TOP's international recognition by Gartner as a 2011 Cool Vendor

Top Has Received International Accolade for Its Innovation and Market Leadership From Gartner

Gartner 2011 Cool Vendor logo
TOP, the Australian-based company that has pioneered a business strategy based approach to strategy execution and value delivery, which ensures that businesses reap value from their major projects, has received a 2011 citation by global research company Gartner Inc. for its worldwide leadership and cutting edge services.

This prestigious recognition places TOP – Totally Optimized Projects – in elite company with other standout companies that Gartner has selected as Cool Vendors for their innovation, focus on value and ability to change a market in a significant way.

TOP was one of four companies in the world to have been selected this year for their visible and positive impact in the project delivery and portfolio management arena.

Speaking from Atlanta, Georgia, Mr Daryl Plummer, Managing Vice President and Chief of Research at Gartner Inc, explained that to find Cool Vendors,

“We dig into the unknown but innovative, impactful and intriguing vendors.”

“For investors, it is a way of discovering the next great business and investment opportunity. We say — if you are looking for investment opportunities, look here first.

“For end-user clients, it’s a way of getting and making better strategic decisions about technology and services,” he said.

“We dig out the gems,” Mr Plummer said.

Gartner Research Vice President Donna Fitzgerald said that TOP had filled a niche in the strategy execution field by providing explicit step-by-step instructions in a series of books and guides on how to achieve benefits.

Ms Fitzgerald said:

“While strategy and change management are long-standing concepts in most organizations, most organizations don’t do them well. To refocus the organization on actually executing against the strategy — rather than continuing to do business as usual — takes a conscious change effort, which most companies would be unable to do without either a framework or outside consulting help.

“Ensuring that projects actually deliver value is an arcane art. What initially brought TOP to our attention was that its material seemed to have escaped the trip into the land of the theoretical and that, with a little effort, an average business leader could actually use it.”

Ms Fitzgerald noted:

“The current market is dominated by consulting companies that will find it easier to do the work than to train the organization to do it. Two years later the organization has gone back to having no reliable process to work with.

TOP’s frameworks offer significant long-lasting value.

“Every manager who is ever involved in writing a business case can have (access to) his or her very own copy of the material – something we consider a brilliant idea.”

TOP’s joint founders are Mr Jed Simms, author, commentator and internationally recognized expert on project value management and project governance and Ms Alexandra Chapman who is TOP’s principal for benefits management, business requirements simplification and EngineeredThinking™.

Mr Simms said more than 72 years of development had gone into TOP. He was delighted that it had been recognized internationally by Gartner.

“This accolade acknowledges the groundbreaking product that we have developed and builds on previous recognition of our work by the Australian Information Industry Association as an Outstanding Australian Product Innovation,” Mr Simms said.

“No one has ever managed to do what we have successfully achieved – create a simple-to-use, end-to-end, top-to-bottom business led approach to totally optimizing projects and delivering more benefits for less cost and in less time.

“Every gap, every deficiency in how an organization approaches and delivers projects allows value to escape. Not a little value, but millions of dollars. Every step in the process must work effectively to produce an optimal result – but today, most steps are sub-optimal, many organizations have institutionalized poor processes and then wonder why they waste so much money and get so little for it.”

Mr Simms said the cost of sub-optimization can be 50% or more of the potential value – through projects costing too much, taking too long and delivering too little.

“We’ve seen massive losses with NSW Licensing, Queensland Health Payroll and many system implementations,” he said. “These are just the tip of the iceberg. Projects rush off without doing the groundwork to determine exactly what ‘success’ will look like; action triumphs over thought and so called ‘progress’ triumphs over thoughtful planning. The opportunity to optimize a project is not only missed but also totally frustrated by most organizations’ standard project approaches.

“Using TOP, one project originally approved for $82 million was delivered for $35 million – a saving of $47 million – without losing any of the benefits. Another project was ‘solved’ for less than $20,000 when the project team had asked for $5 million!”

Mr Simms stressed: “This is not a ‘project problem’ but a business problem. TOP equips business executives and boards to consistently reduce the cost of their projects while increasing the returns. And the best thing is – as our clients round the globe confirm - anyone can do it.”

Ms Chapman explained that TOP had been designed to be easy for organizations to adopt and for business managers at all levels to learn and use.

“We have taught board members a few simple questions to ask at key points in a project, which have dramatically improved the value delivered and allowed the board to take back control of the project.

“In a few days, using EngineeredThinking™, we have taught junior staff to create business cases better than those delivered by $5000-a-day strategy consultants. Reading one business case, a board director commented that it was the first time he had truly understood an IT project business case!”

Mr Simms agreed, adding: “Organizations now have a choice – optimization or sub-optimization; value delivery or value destruction. TOP creates the opportunity for any organization to deliver totally optimized projects – consistently.”

About TOP® (Totally Optimized Projects Pty Ltd)

Totally Optimized Projects was founded in 1994 when Jed Simms left The Boston Consulting Group to work on building organizations’ capability to successfully deliver projects. Since 2000 the focus has been on documenting world class, leading project delivery IP. The result, TOP, is now the internationally-recognized integrated set of tools, techniques and process designed to consistently deliver "totally optimized projects".

More than just a project methodology or body of knowledge – TOP is designed to equip the business, from the Board to the front-line staff, to effectively lead, direct and own its projects to get the results that the business desires. Using EngineeredThinking™ techniques makes it easy for all staff to learn the approaches and deliver outstanding results.

TOP moves the measure of success from just the delivery of some project to “the totally optimized delivery of the desired business outcomes, the associated benefits and net value” – a result that routinely more than doubles the realized benefits.

Gartner on Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, delivers the technology-related insight necessary for our clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, to technology investors, we are the valuable partner to 60,000 clients in 11,000 distinct organizations.

Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, we work with every client to research, analyse and interpret the business of IT within the context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has 4400 associates, including 1200 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries.

Topics: Capability Development, Project Success, Engineered Thinking/Ideas/Innovation

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (May 2011) as "International Recognition For TOP By Gartner"

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