Strategy design and execution in education management – Part 1

When designing a strategy, a paramount and inherent aspect for a successful endeavour is that each action is in line with the expected performance and result indicators. There must be a clear goal, a road map that will reveal the path to be trailed, what one should expect and the final destination. As Seneca suggests:

“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable” 

A strategy will always demand a series of actions to be successful. Depending on the magnitude of the task, we may be talking about a portfolio of projects. Projects, in this case, would lay the groundwork for strategy execution. Aligning projects to strategy is a real step forward when it comes to maximising chances of success. According to the PMI institute, high-performing organizations successfully complete almost 90% of projects, whereas low performers complete less than 40% of projects successfully. Low performers waste more than 10 times more resources than high-performing organizations.

In this article, I will explore how strategies can be implemented through performance enhancement and project portfolio. Moreover, I will point out how managers can use Metrics to keep track of the changes, act upon needed areas and maximise chances of success. It will be divided in two parts. Part 1 will focus on strategy design and how a project portfolio can help an LTO (Language Teaching Organizations) maximise chances of strategy success. Part 2 will explore planning, execution and monitoring tools and metrics such as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRIs (Key Result Indicators). Thus, allowing managers control over the route and outcomes of a given project.

Strategies are overall focused on innovation or on efficiency improvements.  The former may be related to the introduction of a new pedagogical backbone or any disruptive trend in the teaching/learning interface. The latter is linked to any attempt to ameliorate an already offered service, teaching technique, human resources strategy, etc.

An intervention is an attempt to boost performance, allowing the LTO (Language Teaching Organization) to be better positioned in the market (maybe because it offers better quality to final clients – students). It may also be focused on a healthier financial situation, meaning that it has to offer more using fewer resources. The graph, as follows, shows this process.


A very effective way to implement a strategy is to divide the strategy into different branches of projects, also named portfolio of projects. A trait of a project portfolio is that it is 100% aligned with the strategy. This way resources will be allocated according to the strategy.


This  way, school projects management will be under the strategic priorities of the organization. This means that all potential resources will be canalised to the accomplishment of the strategic goals, in this case students’ retention.



In my next article, we will delve into project planning and execution in the context of language teaching organizations and portfolio management. How to get it off the drawing board and take your language institution to the next efficiency and success level. See you soon 🙂

Previous Post
The freelance language teacher
Next Post
Should we vent about our students?
Júlio Vieitas

Júlio César Vieitas has been a TEFL professional for 20 years. He did the Delta course at IH London in 2012 and is currently doing his MA in TEFL at Birmingham University. He also holds project management Certificates by FGV and Insper. He's the founder and managing director of Julio Vieitas Consultoria Educacional (, a consultancy firm specialized in education management and teacher training. He's fascinated by the interplay between education management and teaching methods/approaches in ELT.

15 49.0138 8.38624 1 0 4000 1 300 0