With this 'black hole' you can lose control of your project and what you're trying to achieve. Yet the TOP Value Equation can fill this hole.

Do you have a 'black hole' in the middle of your projects?

Most projects unknowingly have a black hole in their midst. A black hole that increases waste, loses value and impacts business performance. It hinders project control, clear project direction and your ability to improve project results.

The clouds over the black hole

This black hole is rarely seen as there are ‘clouds’ across it. ‘Clouds’ that seemingly fill in the hole – but don’t.

The black hole is the lack of a clear, full, specific and measurable Value Equation.

The ‘clouds’ are the lists of objectives, benefits registers and complex spreadsheets that purport to give direction and value to the project but lack the clarity, specificity and completeness to fill the black hole.

Why is this important?

These ‘clouds’ created by orthodox project approaches

  • Mis-focus the project and its workload to only deliver the project outputs (not the business outcomes and value).
  • Allow the business case to miss more than 25% of the available benefits (these missed benefits then don’t get delivered.)
  • Prevent easy tracking of the benefits’ available value, as the spreadsheets are not designed to be easily tracked.
  • Don’t link the business outcomes and their value with the changes and costs required to deliver them. You therefore don’t know whether the costs to deliver each outcome are worthwhile.
  • Prevent easy assessment of the project investment’s ongoing viability allowing projects to be ‘condemned to completion’ and waste millions.

Not a good start.

The TOP Value Equation™ is specifically designed to

  1. Make clear the desired business outcomes, the new business-as-usual end states to be achieved. These become your primary measure of success.
  2. Make the achievement (and any compromise) of these outcomes easily visible and measurable – you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, whether or not you have achieved it, and the value impacts of any compromises.
  3. Maximize the number and value of the benefits identified – no more missed benefits.
  4. Quantify the benefits’ financial values on clear bases that allow for simple ongoing tracking and measurement.
  5. Identify the nature, size and scale of the change activities required to deliver the desired business outcomes – the basis for the cost-to-deliver computations.
  6. Produce a roadmap that shows the interdependencies of each outcome and their benefits and value so you can track the progressive delivery of your business results.

The benefits and value

These six outcomes put you in control of your project investment.

You can now...

  • Define exactly what you want to achieve in clear, specific, measurable business outcome statement terms. Everyone on the project and in the business can understand exactly what is to be achieved and can ensure their work aligns to and helps to deliver these outcomes. This approach reduces costs, delays and rework while increasing the likelihood of a successful result.
  • Track exactly when each benefit is due to be delivered, what needs to have been delivered to enable full benefits realization, plus easily track and measure each benefit’s realization without extra work. Benefits management becomes integral to project delivery, not a separate stream of work.
  • Quantify, track and measure the up-to-date value of your benefits (which can legitimately change during the project) so you always know the full value available to be realized and ‘banked’. No more excuses that ‘everything has changed’ – all changes have been tracked and their financial impacts measured.
  • Manage and reconfirm each quarter that the project is still worthwhile, relevant, doable and, importantly, still viable. This prevents projects wasting money being ‘condemned to completion’ when they are no longer worthwhile investments.
  • Track and manage from day-1 the changes and workload required to deliver the business outcomes, benefits and value in full. This focuses everyone on ‘value delivery’ not just project delivery.

The proven results have included

  • The value of the benefits identified and delivered doubling
  • The workload to deliver project investments reducing by over 20%
  • The time to benefits delivery and realization being reduced
  • The level of time, effort and cost wasted within projects reduced by 50%.

Your current black holes are destroying value, perpetuating waste and compromising your business improvements.

The TOP Value Equation equips you to make clear, specific and measurable what you are trying to achieve, its value and the workload required.

As the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” The current lack of outcomes clarity, specificity and measurability leads directly to unnecessarily excessive waste and lost value.

The TOP Value Equation instead gives you direction, control and results. It is a very simple solution.

Topics: Project Controls, Value Equation

Further Reading



[1] ...

Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Apr 2015) as "How To Increase Your Project Control"

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