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Strategic Planning based on ISO 21500

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Strategic Planning based on ISO 21500.

Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. – Edwin Land. 

Strategic Planning via the concept of ‘Organizational strategy and projects’, is covered by the ISO 21500 Standard for Project Management. Please share your comments! :).

ISO 21500 stands on organizational strategies and projects that “The goals and benefits may result in a justification for the investment in the project, for example in the form of a Business Case (…). The Project Manager should consider the benefits and their realisation in so far as they influence decision-making throughout the Project Lifecycle.

From this statement, we can highlight the following facts:

Justification for the investment

The strategic objectives and goals of an organization are established based on their mission, vision and policies. To accomplish this strategy, it is necessary to identify opportunities and select a Project Portfolio. These projects need to be justified in terms of investment. They are required to have outcome benefits in order to achieve these strategic objectives and finally goals.

Business Case

For obtaining approval for investment in the selected projects, justification for the investment needs to be documented in a serious Business Case. If a project is approved, its Business Case will be the justification reference over the entire project. Also, it needs to be periodically reviewed to ensure that it makes sense going ahead with it when initial premises or circumstances change.


The purpose of the project is accomplishing a series of activities, but more important is understanding that this is done to achieve benefits. Providing the project deliverables is the responsibility of the Project organization. Providing the benefits is also responsibility of the customer’s organizational management (because usually they are not obtained directly when the project finishes. A period of time is needed to reap the benefits).


A Project Manager has to make decisions in all the phases of the project. These decisions need to be driven based on a deep knowledge of the outcomes and benefits expected for his/her project by always being in close contact with the customer’s stakeholders and aligning to the strategic objectives and goals of the organization.

Do you always know the organizational strategy that justifies your projects?

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