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Performance Management, Project Management

Validating Strategies – 2 days with the guru, Phil Driver

I’ve just spent two stimulating days with Dr. Phil Driver, the thought leader behind OpenStrategies and PRUB-Thinking. Phil is back in the UK for a few days and devoted the past two days to bringing a group of partners and clients up to date on his latest thinking.

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I’ve written and enthused previously about PRUB-Thinking because it’s such a (deceptively) simple framework for helping to develop clear strategies and to cut through all the waffle and vague words that usually accompany corporate and public sector business planning.

Phil cut to the chase by saying that a Strategy is simply an action plan supported by a rationale. The model at the heart of OpenStrategies: Projects, Results, Uses and Benefits is intuitive for almost everyone. Organisations carry out Projects, which produce Results. These Results are Used by people in the community (citizens, customers) to achieve Benefits. Critically, if there are no Uses, there will be no Benefits!

Phil has spent the past two years writing a new book which will be published by Gower in April 2014. The title is ‘Validating Strategies’ and Phil explains not only PRUB-Thinking, but more importantly, how it is possible to validate strategies so that organisations don’t get bogged down in endless projects that fail to deliver the benefits that are really needed.

I have used PRUB-Thinking in a number of ways to help clients achieve real clarity on complex business issues. For example, it is a really powerful framework for Benefits Management in projects and programmes, where it helps make explicit exactly what people will DO with the project’s deliverables. In the area of Performance Management, it’s useful to help people think through the cause and effect chain that links organisational objectives to the work that teams and individuals need to do. You can then use it to build a meaningful set of Key Performance Indicators.

You can find various articles on PRUB-Thinking on my Performance Management page.

I will be blogging more about Phil’s new book and how I think Project Managers and Sponsors could benefit from PRUB-Validating their projects (preferably BEFORE they go too far!).

Gower website: http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781472427816 : Anyone wishing to place an advance order for the book before the end of 2013, may do so on the Gower website using this discount code: G13HQB35. If you type in the discount code when you are checking out, the website will recalculate the value of the order less 35% (i.e. Phil’s book will be £39.00 a copy, rather than the list price of £60.00).

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