TOP takes the same principles as Val-IT but extends them to be business driven and value focused.


Val-IT is an extension of the CobiT IT-governance framework. CobiT covers ‘Are we doing projects the right way?' and ‘Are we doing them well?’ Val-IT covers ‘Are we doing the right projects?’ and ‘Are we getting the benefits?’

While both TOP and Val-IT are value-oriented, Val-IT is very IT-centric whereas TOP is business-strategy centric. For example, in Val-IT the ‘Executive’ has no role in business case generation, in VDM the executive Sponsor governs and ‘owns’ the business case.

Val-IT is primarily a framework that says what needs to be done. TOP is a process that spells out ‘how to …’ deliver the value.

The majority of the Val-IT components are included in one or more of our TOP processes. We don’t fragment the approach to project value as much as Val-IT does, we make it an end-to-end process.

TOP takes the Val-IT emphasis on value and provides the business strategy perspective and “How to..” guidance within an overall value and project delivery context — ie we translate Val-IT’s intent into practical business processes and value.

Alignment and adaptations

TOP simplifies, adds and expands the following Val-IT areas:

Val-IT defines 39 tasks to be completed to successfully select the right projects and deliver the value. TOP covers all but two of these tasks within its processes. The two omitted — determine target portfolio mix and perform gap analysis — are deliberately omitted as alternative, more business strategy-based approaches are provided within TOP.

We take the tasks and intent of Val-IT and convert these into business processes, detailed process steps, workshops and tools and templates to ensure the business value is identified and delivered.

At the detail level our processes are business-based and do not include all of Val-IT’s specific IT characteristics, making them more usable in non-IT environments and on non-IT projects. Indeed, as one of our premises is that there is no such thing as an IT project, only change projects, some of the Val-IT elements are irrelevant to the TOP approach.


In addition we have added a range of overlay processes to the investment management processes including

  • project governance - the roles, responsibilities and activities required of investment committees, sponsors, steering committees and portfolio management offices
  • executive management - a series of tools and other guides for executives not directly involved in projects to understand the issues and prerequisites for the successful delivery of projects and their value.


CobiT Val-IT practitioners will find our TOP approaches take their base framework and translates it into practical steps that all project parties can action, plus adding some new dimensions in some key areas.

Topics: TOP compared to orthodox approaches

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Jun 2009) as "TOP And (CobiT) VAL-IT"

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