Monday, September 23, 2019

Value shifting as we speak

I wrote "a" book on project value, "Managing Project Value", though I would like to say I wrote "the" book on project value .... but I won't go there. (See the cover image below)

Now, in that book I assert that "value" is commonly in two flavors:
  • Value as a system of beliefs, " .... are a moral and ethical code of sorts; collectively, they form culture ... "
  • Value as worth, " ...Value is the worth we place upon something for which we are willing to give up something else.  In other words, worth or worthiness has a transactional aspect, and thus we speak of ‘transactional value’ 
Business value begets project value
For decades, business value has been transactional, the ultimate purpose of which is to increase shareholder value in the business.

And so, we get this bit:
We posit that the best way project managers contribute to maximizing value is to deliver a “best value” outcome.

Best value is the most valuable set of outcomes possible for the available investment, risk, and constraints.

Best value is not necessarily best financial benefit; best value can be the best possible outcome of any scorecard metric.

Best value at the project level maximizes value at the business level
But, is all this still true?
Is "maximizing shareholder value" giving way to some other measurement or accountability?
And, can there be accountability without competition, the "Economist" editors ask.
Perhaps not
If not, then away with monopolies!

And to whom should there be accountability and for what?
Is this a new enlightenment?
Maybe the circle is widening; no longer mostly shareholders and shareholder value.
But, as I've written elsewhere, accountability to everyone is tantamount to accountability to no one. So, add carefully to shareholders those to whom you are to be accountable.

Project balance sheet
All then market, cultural, and political dynamics take us back to the project  balance sheet: business value in balance with project outcomes and risk. If one side is to change -- the  value proposition of business -- then so to must the other side.

To wit: stand by for change; stand by for challenges to project culture!

Buy them at any online book retailer!