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In many organizations, there is a familiar gap between what should get done and what does get done. This gap is commonly referred to as the “execution gap” and it represents an organizational leadership issue that is difficult to overcome.

In his article Mind The Strategic Execution Gap Paul Williams ( argues that we also have an “innovation gap” as well as a gap in strategy execution.

The strategic execution gap is most often a result from a lack of focus and action between the strategic direction of the organization and its frenetic attempt to balance keeping the lights on and the customer happy.

In our interview Paul defines the problem and we learn a lot about these various gaps -- how they come to be and how they represent a problem to our organizations. But of course we also discuss how project management and project leadership fits into all of this and how we project managers and project leaders can help overcome the issues.
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paulIt’s time. It’s time for strategic project management to be directly represented at the executive round table, in board meetings, and in the ‘C’-suite. It’s time for singular ownership and accountability for organizational strategic planning and execution. It’s time for dedicated focus on organizational resource planning, allocation and utilization. It’s time for focused attention regarding return on investment, earned value on execution, appropriate risk management and post-execution benefit capture. And finally, it’s time for single-sourced, unambiguous communication regarding strategic balance, allocation of resources and prioritization of the directives that constitute the portfolio of investments that the organization makes on its own behalf.

What you have just read is the opening paragraph of the article It’s Time for Project Leadership To Have A Seat At The Executive Table written by Paul Williams ( In it, he emphatically argues that project management is just as important as any of the other more traditional business departments such as marketing, finance or operations.

In our interview, Paul and I review his general argument why project leadership needs a seat at the executive table, what the roles and responsibilities of our representative are, what skills he or she needs, and what you can do as part of your career planning to become that very person.

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