It has been mentioned by several people that a strict breakdown structure might not be appropriate since any one project might be aligned to several strategic 'statements'. The concept of 'tagging' was brought up as a method that would be better than a strict hierarchical structure. I certainly agree that tagging makes good sense for this reason. But my suggestion of using a breakdown structure is not about making the physical connection easier or more straightforward. I see it as a method of ensuring that the thought process for WHY a project aligns to a specific strategy (or strategies) is rigorous. I also see no reason why even in a hierarchical breakdown structure that a single project could not appear under more than one strategy.
I see the relative scope differentials between a Strategy (necessarily broad and general) and the project (necessarily small and narrow) as making it too easy to drop a project into a strategic bucket without any real thought about how, specifically that project is addressing the needs of the strategy. It generally requires no real thought. They get aligned very quickly and we are off to the next steps in the portfolio management process. I feel that the process of breaking down strategic "statements" into smaller and smaller sub statements and then figuring out which sub statement a project feeds will be a good exercise not only for the alignment process but also for the process of determining strategic statements.
I see the output of the SBS as being more about the analysis and thought process of creating the structure and of the thought process around the alignment of the project to the SBS than about the resulting alignment itself. The resulting alignment has obvious value to Project Portfolio Management but it always has. I'm just asking if it might be more valuable if we were more sure of the process by which we arrived at the alignment. Please email me with your thoughts or comment them below.