Book Review: Value Management: Transforming Aspirations into Performance

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Roger H. Davies and Adam J. Davies have just published Value Management: Translating Aspirations to Performance (Gower, 2011). Although it is a lot of work, it can be very useful if you want to get the most out of the programs you deliver.
Although there is a lot of theory, there are many techniques that you can immediately apply to your programs. It is intended for people who are in program management, portfolio offices, or senior executive roles. Project managers will not be able to apply the concepts without senior support.
Defining value
The authors define value as:

Or, to put it another way:
Although I believe value can be defined in many different ways, I do understand that there must be a common ground upon which to base the rest.
Asking the right questions
Executive questions are a unique feature in the book that I have never seen before. Here’s an example.
Q: What is Value Management? How can it help you deliver more value from your change programs?
A: Value Management is the ability to deliver more value for less risk and cost. Value Management aligns and targets initiatives to maximize total value. This is done by linking programs to attributable benefits. This requires the precise quantification and analysis of cause-and-effect relationships between program deliverables, business performance drivers, and consequential stakeholder benefits.
Refer to Chapter 7 (Programming value) and Chapter 8 (“Aligning value”)
This is a great way to explain to people who pick up the book what questions they will answer by reading it. It also forms a sort of annotated table, so you can quickly jump to the section that interests you most.
Is it worth reading?
Although Value Management is not an easy book, I don’t think I’m in a position where I can use the information here effectively. The authors provide a glossary, lots of graphs, figures, and tables to make it easy to understand the concepts.
They also draw from real-life examples and their own stories, as well as examples from the movies. This makes the theory as accessible as possible.
One of the authors was clearly very interested in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and there are many references to how powerful it can be.
The authors write that Value Management is best understood by the ability to produce dramatic shifts in performance through re-programming limiting perceptions, and… enabling clients to unleash latent potential through changes.
This is what they call a value breakthrough. However, I found this to be one of the weaker parts of the book. You could achieve similar results by cultural change without having your entire organization “NLPed”.
This book could be a great resource for you if you’re looking to save money and ensure your portfolio of projects and change programs deliver the highest value to your company.
If your company does not have a mature approach for program management, it could be difficult to implement any of these. However, understanding the concepts will help to assess which programs are most beneficial to your business and how to extract the most value from them.
Amazon.co.uk: Buy Now
This review was first published on Gantthead.com December 2011.

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