The TOP Value Equation equips you to define and deliver true project success that maximizes the business value realized

If you don’t define what ‘true business success’ is, you will not deliver it. Simple.

How the TOP Value Equation ensures true business success by defining true project success

The TOP Value Equation™ defines true business success.

It also makes ‘value’, across all of its dimensions, as measurable as costs.

It does this through six simple processes.


1               Defines the desired business outcomes/end states in clear, specific, black or white measurable terms.

EG “We accurately invoice all service calls within 24 hours of completion” Measure: Do we or don’t we? This is absolutely clear and simple to measure.

The clarity of each outcome’s definition and its black or white measurement makes clear whether or not the desired outcome has been fully achieved or not. Every compromise in the delivery of an outcome will impact one or more dependent benefits. You therefore can track and measure the business impact of any compromised result delivered.

For example, if you aim to deliver a ‘within 24-hour invoicing system’ and you only get to ‘within 5-days invoicing system’ then you have reduced the value of the working capital benefits you were planning to realize. This is simply visible, trackable and measurable.

Subsequently, you can define what the project is going to deliver as a subset of your business outcomes, but again defined in clear, specific, black or white measurable terms so you can clearly measure whether or not the project has actually delivered the outcomes needed to deliver the desired business results. You have also totally aligned your project to your business success measures. 

This level of clarity, specificity and measurability is missing on most projects and programs, which dooms them to fail to some degree at least.

Explore the impact just defining Outcomes can have




2               Identifies ALL of the benefits available from the achievement of the agreed desired business outcomes

EG “Reduced working capital due to earlier issuing and collection of invoices”

WIth the Value Equation you identify the benefits BEFORE identifying the costs. Therefore there are no constraints or incentives to minimize the number or value of the benefits. You can identify them all. Just this change in approach to identifying benefits increases the business value of the investment. Too often ‘success’ is compromised by only identifying ‘enough’ benefits to get the project approved when the whole purpose of projects is to deliver all of the available benefits.

Using the TOP Benefits Funnel and Double-Pass processes the number and value of the benefits can be increased by at least 25% (and often much more)—setting you up to reap the maximum gain from the investment in the project/business initiative.

Increased benefits/gain from the same level of investment increases your level of success.

In addition, each benefit is ‘attached’ to the business outcome that will deliver it. You therefore know what benefits each outcome will deliver, when each benefit will be delivered (when the outcome is delivered) and the value to be realized by each outcome. Benefits management is thereby made simple. By managing the delivery of the outcomes you are automatically managing the delivery of their benefits—requiring no extra staff, workload or cost for benefits management.

Some of the benefits will become available immediately the project’s outcomes are delivered. These benefits can be allocated to the project to deliver as part of the overall project, its outcomes and value. Each project is now a measurable value-delivery vehicle.

Most orthodox business cases/benefits identification processes minimize rather than maximize the project’s potential value, which immediately degrades the level of business success targeted.

Explore the nature of benefits and how the Value Equation makes their delivery simple



The other four processes will be discussed in next week's blog


Explore more about success and how to deliver it



Topics: Project Success, Value Equation

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Sept 2015) as "How To Define True Project Success For Your Projects-1"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and Corrections