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Project Manager : Project Manager Dec Jan 2013
26 Project Manager •COVER STORY HOW TO IDENTIFY NON-FINANCIAL VALUE 1 Identify and clearly communicate organisational strategy. Strategy will be the source of most value measures, and needs to emphasise the broader objectives (not just financial) of the organisation. "For a not-for-profit, that will be pretty obvious, because it is there for some social good, not necessarily to make money," says Michael Young. 2Measure the project against the strategic goals. Identify measurable goals and establish a process to measure them. "Your strategic goals need to be measurable, but not necessarily measurable in a financial sense, so you could use triple bottom line," Young says. "That way, project benefits can be compared with the strategic goals and the right projects selected." 3 Look at the project's achievements over time. Establish a 'gated' process with checkpoints throughout to directly reflect the desired portfolio benefits. "While you might approve a project initially based upon its great social policy perspective, if it fails to even attempt to deliver on that over time then it probably should be canned," Young says. "The gating criteria for public-good research (such as in community, environment and political organisations) should be both financial and non-financial, reflecting the triple bottom line drivers. In non-profit research, criteria should be weighted to non-commercial, as a rule of thumb." 4 Manage multiple stakeholders and their different interests. This is especially important in the 'public good' area, and often includes the need to work within political cycles and consider the effects of changes in political climates. "You need to understand what the stakeholders' interests are in relation to the project," Young says. "You're going to have stakeholders with all sorts of interests, and some of them will only want to see a financial return, so it has to come back to those strategic goals." LOOKING BEYOND FINANCIAL VALUE Michael Young spoke about assessing the non-financial value of projects in portfolio decision making, delivering a presentation developed by him, Catherine Killen and Michael du Plessis based on their cur rent collaborative research into the role of project portfolio management (PPM) for public research and non- profit portfolios. PPM is generally accepted as an e ective way to maximise the return of several projects over time, and Young spoke of the importance of evaluation and selection criteria to PPM's capability across both commercial and non-commercial organisations, tailored to each di erent environment. "Non- nancial project valuation is important in commercial environments in conjunction with nancial measures, especially to measure strategic value and to balance the portfolio," Young said. "In public research or non-pro t environments, non- nancial project valuation is even more important as nancial measures are not relevant, so strategy must be de ned and clearly communicated to support the development and use of non- nancial value measures. While project value with respect to strategic goals for sustainability, environmental and social impact, a nd lear ning and educational outcomes can be assessed by measurement systems such as logical framework analysis, the triple bottom line and the balanced scorecard approach, analyses of the use of these non- nancial metrics and frameworks in PPMs is conspicuously absent from published research. Young, Killen and du Plessis will be addressing this absence; with an initial literature review now complete, they are conducting inter views and workshops to gain further insight, as well as a sur vey to gauge cur rent practice. ••• Can your organisation participate in the research project? Email Catherine Killen or Michael Young: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012
Project Manager Feb Mar 2013