Advances in Project Management Series: There are no shortcuts from Projects to Benefits


By Phil Driver

New Zealand


Ian Seath

United Kingdom

Organisations increasingly need to prove convincingly that their strategic Programme and Project Management (PPM) investments lead to worthwhile benefits. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how the PRUB-Validate approach enables you, particularly if you are a Project or Programme Manager, to do this.

Business School and consultancy research consistently shows a frighteningly low success rate in benefits realisation. All too often the aspirational goals of senior managers are frittered away as they get cascaded down from Strategy to the operational realities of Programmes and Projects.

Of course, most Project and Programme Managers will understand that they can’t “realise” benefits since the majority of benefits come about after a project has finished and people start making use of the things that have been created. Whether Sponsors similarly understand this is perhaps more debatable!

What do organisations do?

The fundamental role of all organisations is to create assets (services, products, infrastructure) and enable people to use these to create benefits. This is exactly what PRUB, the OpenStrategy Information Structure defines.

Organisations run Projects that produce Results, which citizens or communities Use to create Benefits. PRUB is the one and only inescapable model of what organisations actually DO. So, it is ideally suited as a framework and way of thinking to help develop strategies, validate them and implement them in projects and programmes.

PRUB defines, uniquely, the smallest set of strategic information that has the highest value to the most people.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: The Advances in Project Management series includes articles by authors of program and project management books published by Gower in the UK. Information about the Gower series can be found at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/advancesinprojectmanagement.

About the Authors

pmwj30-Jan2015-Driver-DRIVERDr. Phil Driverflag-new zealand

New Zealand

Dr. Phil Driver is founder and CEO of OpenStrategies Ltd (Christchurch, NZ). His background in science and engineering management led to his involvement in large-scale industry-sector strategies. That in turn led to his developing an in-depth understanding of the challenges of even larger scale, public sector strategies. The OpenStrategies’ system then evolved through more than a decade of intense engagement with many public and private sector organisations.

A fundamental principle Phil applied was that ‘anyone can design a complicated strategy system but a good designer will develop a simple one’. The resulting OpenStrategies’ system is compellingly simple yet powerful, even for very complex, large scale strategies. Crucially, OpenStrategies doesn’t just underpin the design of strategies – it also guides their validation and implementation.

pmwj30-Jan2015-Driver-SEATHIan Seathflag-uk

United Kingdom

Ian Seath has been helping organisations to increase their capability for continuous improvement for more than two decades. He established Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. in 2007. Ian has worked with more than 200 clients and helped implement a wide range of approaches to improve customer satisfaction, reduce process cycle-times, drive out waste and actively engage staff in continuous performance improvement. Ian’s experience covers the private, public and voluntary sectors and he has worked with Boards, Managers and Front-line Staff.  He works as a Coach, Facilitator, Project Leader and Trainer.