About The Strategic PM

Hi – John Reiling here! Welcome to The Strategic PM. Project Managers are typically associated with implementing…but I’ve always thought that was limiting. There is nothing like seeing the big picture to help you deliver more value, to open new opportunities for the organization and you, and to help others.


My first job after college was as an implementer – a Project Engineer in a manufacturing environment. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about people, projects, and leadership among other things.

A few years later, I was introduced to strategy in graduate school.  I was so excited to see the world through this different lens! I could see the ‘why’ in what I had seen in manufacturing. I could see many of the bigger questions that needed careful consideration and wanted to learn more, to probe more deeply.

I found ‘strategy’ to be absolutely fascinating, and have since found that strategy combined with implementation skills – especially strong project management – is a powerful combination!


Every project manager needs to understand the ‘why’ behind a project.  However, it’s usually just not enough to be told by someone why the project is going forward. Usually there are deeper reasons, deeper insights, deeper objectives.  If the project manager and team could truly understand them,  they would provide a greater basis for delivering and measuring against the bigger goals.

My objective is to help people ‘marry up’ the two – project management and strategy. In my experience there is a gap between the two.  Strategists most often do not cross the line to the hands-on implementation side.  Project managers rarely get truly engaged with the strategy formulation side.

That’s a problem – and an opportunity – for both people and organizations.  I’ve always been big on ‘cross-pollination’ – at an individual as well as organizational level.  But there appears to be an invisible firewall between project management and strategy.   I believer it would be helpful for PM’s to gain strategy skills and experience, and for strategists to gain project management skills and experience.

In short, if more people would walk in the shoes of those on the other side, more effectiveness and opportunity would emerge.

So, the objective is to give folks – particularly Project Managers – a deep and broad range of insights, tools, and skills to master or enhance their strategic thinking. And I intend to do it in a way that parallels and builds on familiar approaches to project management.


The goal of ‘The Strategic PM’ is to help project managers understand strategy at a deeper level.  That means to help:

  • project managers be more effective on their projects
  • organizations bridge the gap between strategy and project management
  • project managers grow in their careers

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

John Reiling

The Strategic PM

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