Stage 5: Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits


Organisational Strategic Planning & Execution


By Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon)

Sydney, Australia



In this series of five articles I have been using the basic strategic business framework shown in Figure 1 below to discuss some particular issues within the organisational strategic planning, execution and benefits realisation processes which do not appear to have been adequately addressed in the PM literature.

Figure 1: An organisational strategic management framework, with project contributions

The first article in this series (Stretton 2018d) addressed Stage 1: Establish strategic objectives, and discussed the extensive preliminary work needed before strategic objectives can be reasonably established, the importance of “emergent” strategies, and the need to re-establish strategic objectives as the latter come into play.

The second article (Stretton 2018e) addressed Stage 2: Develop options, evaluate, and choose the best. It focused on the importance of developing alternative strategic initiatives, and of achieving reliable conceptual level estimates to facilitate valid evaluation of the options.

The third article (Stretton 2018f) addressed Stage 3: Augment and consolidate strategic initiatives, which included augmenting and elaborating the business cases for the chosen initiatives, confirming feasibilities, and prioritising, balancing and consolidating the strategic initiatives into a strategic portfolio, or portfolios.

The fourth article (Stretton 2018g) was concerned with Stage 4: Execute “other strategic work” along with projects, and focused on the former, hopefully partially redressing the imbalance with project/program execution which so dominates the literature.

This fifth and final article will be concerned with Stage 5, Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits, focusing mainly on some strategic benefits management and realisation issues which do not appear to have been altogether convincingly covered in the project management literature.


I have not seen much material in the relevant general management literature that uses the terminologies outcomes and/or benefits to any extent in the strategic context. Yet these terminologies are used quite widely in the project management literature – particularly benefits, as we will see shortly.


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How to cite this paper: Stretton, A. (2018). Stage 5: Achieve strategic outcomes and realise benefits, Series on Organizational Strategic Planning and Execution, PM World Journal, Volume VII, Issue VIII – August. Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Stretton-stage-5-achieve-strategic-outcomes-series.pdf


About the Author

Alan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)


Alan Stretton
is one of the pioneers of modern project management.  He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA.  In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects.  He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France).  Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992.  He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996.  He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management.  He has published over 190 professional articles and papers.  Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.