What if there was one simple thing that everyone could do to dramatically improve the business results from projects? What is the magical 'holy grail' for projects?

Projects are complex. Completing a project and delivering business value from it is a significant challenge.

But what if there was one step you could take to single-handedly increase the value of every one of your projects — to increase business satisfaction and results and simplify project delivery?

Utopia? Fantasy? We don’t think so – and we’ve proved it with the major organisations we have worked with over many years.. 

More than three decades ago, when TOP set out to discover why so many projects fail to deliver the business value expected — instead staggering to the finish line with compromised results — we went back to basics to ask:

“Why are we doing projects at all?”


We don’t do projects to deliver ‘on time and budget’ as this is merely a measure of the input resources we use to deliver the project.

We certainly don’t do projects to enable us to control project costs, as many senior management groups inadvertently seem to believe, given their sole focus on managing these.

And, we don’t do projects just so we can “manage the business’s expectations (down) to what is going be delivered” - often cited as a critical stakeholder control mechanism.

All of these seemed to highlight the real problem — that projects are justified, run, managed and measured on the wrong dimensions.

We do projects to realize the value.

If we don’t reap the value intended, then we are NOT better off. Indeed, we are worse off, having spent the time and money on the project with all of its attendant effort, disruption and angst.

The simple solution is to define the intended future and the business value it delivers in clear, specific, measurable terms - we call these the Desired Outcomes.

When you define your Desired Outcomes you can then drive every aspect of the project delivery process to align with it and then track the delivery of the results. 

That’s why we call Desired Outcomes the “holy grail” for projects...

It’s simple when you know how to do it. 

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