Changing Culture to Maximize Enterprise Value

I recently gave a webinar to the Association for Project Management (APM) in the UK on this topic. I’m providing a brief summary of the webinar in this post, and you can watch the actual Webinar here. The webinar starts ~ 2mins 35 secs into the recording and is ~50 mins long. At the end of the webinar, there is a further ~30 mins of discussion and responding to audience questions.

I opened the webinar defining value management as the “linked up thinking”, mindsets, behaviours and practices that must be embedded in governance, management and daily operations to create and sustain business value from all business activities, including but not limited to transformation and IT-enabled change.” I went on to say that effective value management requires moving from a delivery culture –  “build it and they will come”, to a value culture.

The webinar presented an overview of:

  • The origins of Value and Benefits Management;
  • The core processes (P3M)
    • Portfolio Management;
    • Programme Management; and
    • Project Mangement;
  • Necessary conditions for success:
    • Proactive Management of Change;
    • Full-cycle Governance;
    • Activist Accountability; and
    • Relevant Metrics;
  • Key tools required to support Value and Benefits Management:
    • The BusinessCase;
    • Value/Benefits mapping; and
    • Stage Gates; and RACI Charts;
  • Completing the picture with:
    • Architecture Management;
    • Operations management; and
    • Value Governance.

During the webinar, I built up to the picture shown below.

The intent of this picture is to show that Value and benefits management are much more than just a part of portfolio, programme and project management – they are behaviours that need to be embedded in all management domains –  from strategy through to business operations. If value is to be created and sustained, value and benefits need to be actively managed through the whole investment lifecycle.This requires an effective approach to governance – with a strong focus on ownership and accountability that promotes and supports a culture of value, such that the organisation has:
  • A shared understanding what constitutes value for the organisation;
  • Clearly defined roles, responsibilities and accountabilities;
  • Processes and practices around value management, with active benefits and change management; and
  • Relevant metrics.

I stressed that, in all too many cases, the missing link here is portfolio management. Portfolio management is a Board and Executive responsibility. Without effective portfolio management, there is no context for programme or project management – they operate in a vacuum.  That is one of the main reasons we continue to see such significant value leakage in programmes and projects.

I ended the webinar by introducing the next step in the value/benefits journey. While we are still wrestling with getting more traditional investments right, we are now facing a new, rapidly evolving world of digitally-enabled business transformation. One in which, while the fundamentals of value and benefits management remain the same, our approach to implementing them will have to adapt significantly to this new context. One which will require a culture that is:

  • Obsessed with value and reducing complexity
    • Challenging all aspects of the status quo
    • Continually unlearning, reimagining and reinventing
    • Transcending traditional roles, siloes and hierarchies, and dismantling bureaucracy
  • Inclusive, open, transparent and collaborative
    • Decision making focused on evidence rather that hierarchy and ego, embracing openness and transparency with empowerment and accountability “at the edge”
    • Getting things done through teamwork and responsible autonomy
    • Leadership as a behavior to be recognized, nurtured, empowered and rewarded throughout the organization
  • Open-minded and embracing diversity
    • In recruiting new talent, as well as integrating external talent and partners
    • Challenging existing organizational paradigms and mindsets
    • Recognizing that great ideas and creativity can come from anywhere in the organization or its eco-system
  • Comfortable with risk, uncertainty and continuous change
    • Willing to try new things
    • Capability and flexibility to rapidly adapt and up-scale or fail fast and pivot depending on progress towards desired outcomes



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