It Takes Two to Tango – When Organizational Strategy and Project Management Collide, It Can Produce Great Results

SECOND EDITION                                                         

Conrado Morlan, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, CSM

Texas, USA


Vision and mission are two elements that explain the purpose of the organization. Without a strategy, the organization may drift away from achieving its purpose. The organizational strategy usually defines the direction in the short and long term to meet stakeholder expectations.

As a project management professional, my best interest focuses on project execution and how the product or service delivered by the project will best produce benefits for my organization. When I worked for the global leader in logistics, I had the opportunity to be a member of the cross-functional team that aligned projects with organizational strategy and helped to achieve and exceed the strategic goals.

The content of this paper paper is based upon my professional experience as a project management professional and practitioner, as well as several volunteer experiences in different capacities with PMI.

A couple dancing tango depicts the passion and synchronization in their performance. When strategy and project management synchronize the same way as the tangistas, it can produce great results.

Keywords: Vision, mission, strategy, strategic plan, strategic objectives, strategic alignment, strategic pillars, planning, business challenges, execution, organizational project management, project, program, project portfolio, portfolio, project management, program management, project portfolio management, organizational governance, project governance, business IT, talent triangle, strategic and business management, leadership, as is, to be, gap analysis, priority matrix, implementation roadmap, benefits, benefits managements, harvest benefits

It Takes Two to Tango

“It takes two to tango” is an idiomatic expression that has primarily been used in a metaphorical sense to suggest that more than one person or entity is essential to an accomplishment. In tango, two partners move in relation to each other, sometimes in tandem, and sometimes in opposition.


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 8th Annual UT Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, Texas, USA in August 2014. It is republished here with permission of the author and symposium organizers. For more about the annual UT Dallas PM Symposium, click here.

About the Author

conrado-morlanConrado Morlanflag-usa

Texas, USA

Conrado Morlan, PfMP, PgMP, PMP, CSM is a global portfolio, program and project manager with more than twenty years of experience aligning projects with organizational strategy for multinational companies in North America, Mexico, South America and Europe. Mr. Morlan experience spans the Information Technology, Retail, Logistics, Transportation, Finance and Telecommunication industries and he has a wide breath of knowledge in portfolio, program and project management topics including leading and managing multi-cultural and multi-generational teams.

Mr. Morlan was one of the first 150 individuals to achieve the PfMP credential in the world and was the recipient of the PMI 2011 Distinguished Contribution Award for his activities and influence in championing Project Management to Spanish-speaking practitioners and organizations. Mr. Morlan was a member of the Core Team responsible for developing PMI’s Implementing Organizational Project Management: A Practice Guide.

Mr. Morlan has spoken at several conferences in USA, Mexico and Central America and is a frequent collaborator with Voices on Project Management, PMI’s official blog. Mr. Morlan can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him @thesmartpms and @CMorlanPgMP

To view more works by Conrado Morlan, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/conrado-morlan/