Results-based Leadership:

Project Management

Business Synergies Approach to Project Management

Modern Approach to Managing Innovation Projects as Business Systems

Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


Project Initiation & Planning

Business Case Analysis

Sensitivity Analysis & Decision Making

Strategic Alignment

Project Execution

Preparing Business Plan

Managing for Business Results

Reacting to Market Changes

Project Outcome Lifecycle

Evaluating Results

Employing Project Outcome

Operating Outcome


Balanced Business System    



Business Synergies Approach to Project Management Corporate Strategy Creating Sustainable Value Business Case Analysis Strategic Alignment Radical Project Management (RPM) Traditional Project Management Project Management PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Business Systems Approach


The Dual Project Management Orientation

  1. Business Orientation concentrates on the entire life of both the project and the project outcome, from birth to death.

    Contains marketing risk: the probability that the company can sell the outcome.

  2. Technical Orientation concentrates on the project itself, which produces the outcome within given time and budget constraints.

    Contains technical risk: the probability that the project team can actually produce the desired result.

10 Key Project Leader Skills


From Old Constraints to New Processes and Results

Old Constraints

New Processes and Results


Crafting for value addition to the organization in the dynamic marketplace

Duration (fixed deadline, schedule)

Timing the completion of product/service development for maximum cash flow

Cost (budget)

Investing to develop competitive advantage

Shift to New Project Success Measures



Meeting fixed specifications

Satisfying customers and contributing to the organizational strategy

Meeting fixed budget constraints

Managing cash flow so as to increase shareholder value

Meeting fixed milestones and deadlines

Selecting the best time to market and time to breakeven

Having and internal technical focus on the project

Having both internal technical focus on the project and external focus on the customer, market and competition during the entire project output lifecycle

Just implementing the project

Helping to implement the organizational strategy


What is Business Synergies Approach?

The systemic business synergies entrepreneurial approach is concerned with discovering possibilities for adding value to the organization, not with finding solutions within given constraints. Though this approach is built on the old triple constraints of project management cost, duration, and outcome, it goes beyond these constraints to consider factors for developing business results.

Results-based Leadership

Entrepreneurial Leader: 4 Specific Attributes

Why Business Synergies Approach?

Change in the marketplace that is accelerating and occurs at increasingly random patterns today, increases the market risk and the necessity of having project managers make important decisions at the project level during its implementation. Constraints imposed earlier may become obsolete very fast, and there is no time to constantly check in with upper management before acting to keep up with changing conditions.

Two Approaches to Project Management

Project Management: 2 Approaches

  1. Business Administration focuses on finding solutions within given constraints (output, time, and budget); characterized by an early design freeze that creates a stable target for the project; effective when duration of the project - or the time required to innovate - is shorter than the rate of change in the business environment.

  2. Business Synergies focuses on adding value to the organization and maximizing return on investment; does not lock down design earlier than absolutely necessary not to miss a newly emerging opportunity; effective for managing innovation projects in the rapidly changing environment, where change cycle is shorter than or equal to the duration of the project

Managing Innovation Projects versus Lifestyle Projects

Managing innovation requires specific business systems approaches.

Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas

The Jazz of Innovation

The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Loose-Tight Leadership

"If you try to manage the uncertainty inherent in innovation with tools and thinking designed for the relative certainty of operations, you'll run into trouble... You'll be continuously surprised as your assumptions prove false."5... More

New Tasks of the Project Manager

Entrepreneurial management is fundamentally different  from corporate management that is focused on delivering the annual operating plan. You need to consider your project and your project outcome lifecycle in a wider context of the overall organizational strategy. Unlike traditional project manager who has to meet static constraints of project deadlines, budget, and outcome, you should act as an entrepreneur and deal with a dynamic business system. You should be able to manage for broader economic and financial gain for the project and project outcome lifecycle, thereby contributing increased shareholder value to your company.

The Tree of Business Success

6Ws of Corporate Growth

To achieve that goal, you would require to have a broader understanding of the whole business and the way your project supports the overall strategy and fits into the dynamics of the business system. You should also be prepared to fine-tune the project budget and the project as a whole in response to market changes and competitor actions in order to react timely to arising problems and emerging opportunities.

New System of Success Measurement and Control

Entrepreneurial approach to project management that understands the dynamics of the marketplace and competition may require radical change in the project success measurement and control systems of most organizations. Business-oriented controls should focus on market performance, timing and investing for higher return rather than on meeting fixed specifications and constraints. They must resist the temptation to use operating-plan logic to manage new ventures.

New Mindset of the Upper Management

Smart Executive

Competitive Strategies: 2 Types

The parent organization should treat the project as and internal start-up or a spinout that, in a competitive environment, develops an outcome that supports the overall organizational strategy and, in particular, the corporate venture strategies,  and contributes to its competitive sustainable advantage. Organizations should provide an enabling environment to empower the project manager to act as a CEO and thus to contribute his best to the corporate strategy. Apart from providing the necessary funding, the organization should shield the project manager from organizational restrictions, reward results, and exercise minimal control.

Many of these organizations will need to change their mindset, redefine their concept of organization and loose controls in order to expand their capacity for speed. They should broaden their tolerance to mistakes and encourage entrepreneurial approaches not only verbally, but by creating conditions by which you can be an entrepreneur.





  1. "High-tech Start Up", John L. Nesheim

  2. "Venture Catalyst", Donald L. Laurie

  3. "Project Manager's MBA", Cohen E. Graham

  4. "The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management",  Erich Verzuh

  5. "Relentless Growth", Christopher Meyer