TOP equips the business to define its true needs and then govern the project to successfully deliver the business value

The answer is that there are plenty of excellent project management tools and methods (PMBOK, PRINCE2 et al) – so TOP does not play in this space.

TOP improves project performance by bringing the business perspective that improves project outcomes and ensures the project's performance and success as measured in business terms – the business results and value delivered.

Top Ensures That Projects Clearly Define What Success Looks Like…

B0070 The Big explosion 2 270TOP makes the project manager’s role clearer and easier by ensuring that they are provided with a clear direction from the start - through the definition of clear specific Desired Business Outcomes and the Outcomes Dependency Roadmap - which define exactly what things look like in the future when it is all working 'just right' and provide the optimum delivery sequence.

TOP changes the definition of what a project should deliver…

TOP also improves project results. Rather than seeking to deliver a 'capability', a project should only be considered as complete when it has delivered a working business-as-usual environment to a clearly agreed level of operational performance. We describe this end-point as being an “operational factory making bricks” as opposed to the 'capability' goal of a “brick making factory” capable of making bricks.

The project governance team needs to know where it wants to get to…

During the life of the project, an informed project governance team can directly improve project performance by providing direction, leadership and guidance to manage the value delivered by the project – rather than simply controlling the costs.

Poor governance teams, who do not understand that their role is to define, manage and protect the project’s value, can destroy more value in 5 minutes than a project manager can with a year’s worth of cost-overruns.

Our mantra at TOP is simply this:

NOTHING and NO-ONE can save a project that is “ill-conceived”, “miss-conceived” or “just plain dumb”!

Nothing - not even the most “heroic” of project managers - can rescue a project and deliver business value from a project that should never have been started.

The solution to fixing the problem of projects that fail to deliver anything of value...

Or that limp over the line “on-time” and “on-budget” whilst delivering compromised solutions, from which the intended business value can never be realised, is to avoid doing these projects in the first place!

In Conclusion

TOP focuses on equipping the business to define, lead and deliver the business value, enabling the project manager to more effectively manage the project project resources so that the optimized net value delivered is not reduced by spending more on the project than it should do.

Project Managers control the cost - but the business determines the value.

Alex Chapman

Connect to me on LinkedIn if you have questions.


Topics: Value Delivery, Project Controls, Project Governance

Further Reading



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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (May 2014) as "How Does TOP Improve Project Performance?"

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