Validating Strategies Blog

Full Spectrum Accountability (PRUB-accountability)

PRUB-thinking provides an excellent framework for identifying and defining accountabilities as described in the attached paper.  

Validating Water Quality and Nutrient Management Strategies

Water is geographically widely distributed.  Therefore water quality cannot be fixed centrally - it must be fixed by local actions by local people.  So strategies to fix it must be understandable to everyone, especially locals.  Unfortunately most published water quality and nutrient management strategies are difficult for many people to understand.

Feedback from participants in our internationally certificated Validating Strategies Practitioner course

Feedback from participants in our internationally certificated Validating Strategies Practitioner course

“Thanks so much for a fantastic learning experience!”  (Consultant in the areas of aboriginal health and social justice, Sydney, Australia)

Is public policy the searched-for dark matter in the universe?

Does Public Policy = dark matter? We can feel its gravity pulling things down, but other than that it doesn't interact with the world as we know it....

Approaches to multi-stakeholder decision making

Thanks to Ian Seath and his newsletter:   

for this summary of approaches to decision-making that groups can use:

1.        Authority – the person with the most authority makes the decision (may be the most senior person). While it is efficient and fast, others may not agree, nor be committed to the decision.

Merron Simpson presenting OpenStrategies in London in June

Our UK lead Merron Simpson will be giving a conference presentation and workshop at the 20th Earned Value Conference (#eVa20) in London.  Here's the details including an enthusiastic description of OpenStrategies from the conference organisers.

Behaviour, relationships and politics within OpenStrategies

A reviewer of my book Validating Strategies recently commented that the book“… ends up with an “under-socialised” view of the world, i.e. not taking into account behaviour, relationships or politics. “

I found this perspective interesting because I always thought that our approach did take into account ‘behaviour, relationships and politics’, but maybe this didn’t come through clearly enough in my book.  This set me thinking and led me to come up with the following responses.  I welcome feedback.

Validating Strategies and 'Agile'

In a conversation with one of our Validating Strategies Practitioners Dan Randow, Dan raised the concept of how 'Agile' and Validating Strategies might have some overlap.  He postulated that Agile rapidly 'creates', and then tests what it has created, and that this testing primarily relates to the 'handover' in a PRUB-sequence, that is: "is the thing that has been created, i.e. a Result, fit-for purpose i.e. will it actually be Used or Adopted as planned?"    

'Community strategies' focus of the July 2015 Validating Strategies Practitioner course in Christchurch

The workshop exercises in the July 2015 Validating Strategies Practitioner course will guide participants to create ‘community’ strategies on topics such as: community resilience; sustainable communities; social housing; community engagement; healthy communities; rebuilding communities and so on.  So if you are grappling with any these topics then come along to this course where you will learn how to create and validate strategies and then apply your skills to create real-world strategies that matter to you.

Validating Strategies book - on-line viewing

'Validating Strategies - linking Projects and Results to Uses and Benefits' can now be viewed here: 



Benefits Summit

 Projects & programmes: a sure-fire way to creating business value?

Phil Driver's visit to Europe and Britain in November 2015

I'm expecting to be in the UK from the 9th-20th November and in Cologne from the 21st November to the 4th December 2015.  

I'll be presenting a paper at a conference in London on the 12th November and running MBA-level courses when in Cologne.

Editorial by Jonathan Norman, Publisher

The following editorial was written by publisher Jonathan Norman on gpmfirst, Gower's new soon-to-be-public site:



Changing the way we talk about strategy

GUEST EDITORIAL: Take a look at some of your current strategies: if they aren’t as effective as they could be, perhaps you need to rethink the language being used – especially the verbs – suggests Jonathan Norman.

Validating Strategies presentation to the Cologne International School of Design

Here's the link to my recent presentation to the KISD-talk series at the Koeln (Cologne) International School of Design.

This year's KISD-talk series focused on 'complexity', hence the topic of my talk.

Complex strategic environments require simple strategic actions

I recommend Dave Snowden's and Mary Boone's excellent paper which defines 4 strategic environments:

Slides from Validating Strategies webinar

Here's the slides from my webinar for the UK Association for Project Managers

Great slide share from the Chairman of the UK Association of Project Management

Steve Wake, chair of the UK Association of Project Management recently described Validating Strategies as "The Project Management Holy Grail" - see his slide share here:

Master classes in internationally-recognised strategy methodology to be held in Wellington, Christchurch, London and Cologne

29 September 2014

Validating Strategies, a book by New Zealand strategy expert Dr Phil Driver, described at recent Norwegian and UK conferences as ‘the project management holy grail’, will be demonstrated in master classes in Wellington next week and Christchurch the following week (see links below).

UK Social Investment Group/Housing Association builds strategies using OpenStrategies

Merron Simpson, one of our key UK OpenStrategies facilitators, posted this on Twitter:

Just spent an excellent day training enthusiastic Trident team to maximise social impact using @OpenStrategies @JohnM_Trident

OpenStrategies at Airbus in Toulouse (with the UK Association of Project Managers)

Note this conference at Airbus Industries in Toulouse, France and in particular the presentation at 2pm on day 2: Steve Wake, Chair of the UK Association of Project Managers presenting on behalf of OpenStrategies Ltd. 
From the conference website:
"Steve Wake will discuss his quest for a better understanding of the relationship between projects and portfolio benefits. For him the Holy Grail.
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