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Samer el Barakeh was born in Lebanon, 1973. He completed his Bachelor in Engineering-CCE at Beirut Arab University-Lebanon in 1996 with honours. Samer was granted Masters Degree in Project Management (MPM) from the University of Sydney-Australia with honours. He also gained the Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential from The Project Management Institute (PMI). Samer is a member of the Order of Architects and Engineers in Lebanon since 1996, The Project Management Institute (PMI), Arabian Gulf Chapter (AGC-PMI) and Lebanon Chapter-PMI. During his 13 years of professional experience in Lebanon, Australia and Saudi Arabia, Samer held many positions among them: Telecommunication Site Engineer, Site Manager, Low Current Service Head, and he is currently Senior Systems Analyst at the General Project Construction Division. Samer is a Project Management Consultant and Training Provider for universal organizations like Business Management Consultants (USA) and PMCTQuest (Canada) Samer is a Registered Training Provider for Project Management Professional (PMP), and he provides training in Program Management, Portfolio Management,PMO...
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December 30, 2007

Strategic Planning, Do we need more 'Planners' ?

Our assessment of the common strategic planning processes has uncovered the need to introduce more strategic planners into the strategy making process which is currently owned by line managers and performed in a synthetic manner- below the threshold of “formalization edge”- a good practice. (Mintzberg H., 2004)
Strategic planners will enrich the strategy making process with analytical formal insights and the strategy implementation process with strategic programming scheme (including codification, elaboration and conversion of strategies).
Heading towards a more flexible learning organization, we would favor including more “left-handed” planners to uncover strategies in strange places and serve as stimulating catalysts. (March J. et al., 1976)
Organizations can espouse the comprehensive framework presented in fig. below (integrating planning, plans and planners’ roles) then tailor it to our specific needs (Mintzberg H., 1987)

Figure 2: strategic planning framework adopted from Mintzberg, 2004

Organizational Maturity: Lets Head Upwards!

Maturity reflects the current organizational competencies/practices level. It reveals how successful this organization can be in effectively running business and carrying out projects. The Six Stage Maturity Model (fig. 1) is based on the following six stages PMGT5876 (2004):
1. Foundation Stage
2. Garbage Can
3. Bureaucracy
4. Partnering
5. Empowerment
6. Network Organization

Figure 1: Six Stage Maturity Model
It is on this scale that organizations are assessed (1-6) according to the following eight criteria: Strategy, Management, Organization, Stakeholders, Contracts, Data, Systems and Processes and Technology.
While organizations develop, they progress through these stages. However the “strategic objectives” set by each organization will reflect its target upper maturity boundary.
As a complementary approach, since it is evident that Knowledge sharing is an essential pre-requisite for cultural developments, partnering, and alliance; therefore, we suggest adopting the RMMM (Relationship Management Maturity Model) that serves in aligning different units/divisions of the organization (Martin et al., 2006). It introduces a mechanism to bridge the cultural maturity gaps through an interpretive approach to knowledge sharing, defines knowledge sharing processes and emphasizes on the tasks of the “Relationship Managers” as facilitators of knowledge sharing and measuring the relationships’ maturities. The RMMM can furthermore be used to identify problematic issues and develop processes to address them.
These two maturity models should form the baseline of the change process in our organization upon which strategic decision and strategic change planning can build onwards.


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