The Strategic Department of the GDRFA: Aligning Projects


Corporations and governmental agencies use powerful strategies to achieve their objectives and deliver timely services to their clients. They also implement different projects to add value to different stakeholders. To make every organization successful, it is appropriate for managers to merge projects with existing strategic plans. When programs are aligned with a corporation’s vision or long-term goals, it becomes easier to allocate adequate resources and achieve every objective. Tasked with monitoring the exit and entry of people to the United Arab Emirates through Dubai, the Strategic Department of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) can use appropriate models to align its projects with strategy.

Literature Review

Business theorists acknowledge that managers should align processes such as portfolio management, project selection, and strategic planning (Awwal 2014). This practice ensures that the strategic element supports the portfolio aspects of the targeted organization. The strategy results in improved project management practices, thereby supporting the execution process. Failure to align these activities will result in wastage of resources.

These ideas constitute what is known as strategic implementation theory or model (Cooke-Davies 2017). Departmental leaders should decompose strategy to projects and programs. This can be achieved using diverse approaches to ensure that every strategy supports different projects. Consequently, resources are delivered effectively. On the other hand, the implemented projects resonate with the outlined organizational aims.

Awwal (2014) argues that projects in an organization should be treated as critical aspects. Such projects are similar to various organizational functions such as human resources, production, and research and development (R&D). During strategic planning, organizational structures, internal analyses, and control systems must be connected to projects’ activities. A portfolio of projects can be merged with a strategy using appropriate concepts. The process will initiate a powerful system that results in improved performance.

Cooke-Davies (2017) indicates that a comprehensive model or framework entails the participation of stakeholders such as team members, project managers, and organizational leaders. Variables such as organizational strategies and project management elements are aligned with tactical processes. The ultimate goal is to develop a powerful approach whereby the portfolio of projects is supported by the existing strategic model. Another powerful alignment concept is known as contingent (Hyvari 2014). With this approach, different projects’ elements are configured with existing strategies such as cost leadership.

There are some critical success factors (CSF) that should be considered whenever aligning projects and programs to strategy. The first one is the ability to commit to the alignment decision or process. Stakeholders should also support the agenda. The concept of continuous prioritization is another success factor that dictates how organizations use different approaches to meet their future goals. Some of the key deficiency factors (KDF) in aligning programs to the strategy include the absence of a management model, the inability to offer adequate resources, and poor leadership.

Lack of coordinated efforts and focus on short-term gains will also affect the success of the alignment strategy (Hyvari 2014). Whenever aligning projects to strategy, managers should be keen to use the right framework. This decision should be informed by the nature of the industry. For instance, a company operating in the manufacturing industry can use a comprehensive tactic to bring on board different players, coordinate operations, and merge them with existing business strategy and project management elements.

Several organizations have managed to align their strategies with various projects. For instance, the GDRFA’s Strategic Department has combined different programs and projects in its strategy. The projects are usually implemented to support the agency’s performance. Emirates Airlines’ programs are also aligned with their business strategy. However, the case of GDRFA reveals that several risks might arise whenever aligning projects with strategies. At this organization, there is no specific mechanism to ensure that different projects resonate with their objectives.

The risks of decomposition are also evident at GDRFA. Different employees are forced to complete tasks that might be of less value. This also results in the misuse of resources. The level of accuracy in the decomposing process decreases significantly. Risk independency and interrelation between projects are critical concerns whenever programs are not aligned with strategies (Awwal 2014). These gaps make it impossible for leaders to manage dependencies between the existing risks whenever projects appear to overlap. Consequently, such gaps make it impossible for the organization to achieve some of its goals.

Research Limitation and Recommendations

The proposed study is expected to present new concepts for aligning business strategies with projects. Since the study focuses on a governmental organization, the collected information might not reflect the true picture of alignment in the corporate world. The research might also fail to offer evidence-based insights that can be applied in state organizations (Hyvari 2014). The best recommendation for improving project management processes is for organizational leaders to emulate the approaches implemented in the business world to align programs with organizational strategy.


Projects should be embraced by organizations that want to deliver the strategy. When projects are merged with existing strategies, it becomes easier for agencies to move forward and implement superior tactical plans. The completed study will, therefore, offer powerful insights that can ensure that the Strategic Department in the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) achieves its potential, mitigates risks, and support the needs of many travelers.

Reference List

Awwal, MI 2014, ‘Importance of strategic aspect in project management: a literature critique’, International Journal of Supply Chain Management, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 96-99.

Cooke-Davies, T 2017, ‘Managing strategic initiatives: advances in project management’, PM World Journal, vol. 6, no. 7, pp. 2-7.

Hyvari, I 2014, ‘Project portfolio management in a company strategy implementation, a case study’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 119, pp. 229-236.