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Over the past year, I have been reading a lot about linking strategy to projects and project leadership. It’s almost as if the C-suite suddenly realized that project managers, program mangers, and the portfolio office actually show up to work every day and deliver’strategy.
Assuming that there is a link to business goals project leaders turn visions into realities and move everyone closer to the goal.
I often see strategy as referring to’making more money’, such as increasing market share or return on investment. Strategies to deliver sustainability benefits have been a topic that has not been discussed much by anyone until now.
Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have written a new book called The Sustainability Wheel. It is the book that will change everything.
Incorporating sustainability into the portfolio
Because projects are short-term endeavors, they are not very good at integrating long-term strategy. This is why there are many disconnects between strategists and those who approve the work against the targets for the year. It’s especially true for sustainability, which is a long-term thing.
This book is for managers of all levels. It helps them to think about how sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into their projects and programs. It explains how to:
Evaluate your current sustainability initiatives
Measure your efforts
determine priorities
These priorities should be aligned with an overall mission and organizational strategy
It all can be linked to a realizable delivery framework through program, project and portfolio management.

You are more powerful than you think
Although it may sound like a lot of work, you are more empowered than you realize to incorporate sustainability into your projects. The great expression used by the authors is “Don’t Be a Dorothy.”
They are referring specifically to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. She had all the tools she needed to get home, except her shoes. She didn’t feel capable or knew how to use them.
Translate this to your workplace and consider how you can add sustainability to your projects. Simply put, do it! Then, let others know what you think.
This is true for many aspects of project management. It took me some time to realize that I was more capable than I thought. I could make many decisions that would not be questioned. Green project management allows you to step out of your comfort zone and do the same.
The authors write:
Project managers, what are you waiting for? Don’t undersell yourself! … You are change agents. You are change agents by definition. Projects are by definition about change. If they didn’t want to see something change, nobody would start a project. You’re wearing ruby slippers! You have the power! You had the power all along!
The authors then say that you can do this yourself. They bet that in three clicks, you’ll find a page dedicated to sustainability, your business’ green credentials, or something similar.
Check it out now!
The only flaw in this whole thing is that the ruby shoes were an invention of the film studios: L. Frank Baum’s original text featured Dorothy wearing silver shoes. As a graduate in Children’s Literature, I would prefer that they refer to the original shoes. But, hey, I’m fussy about books such as this.
Ranking and benchmarking your sustainability project
If you don’t,