Projects-Results-Uses-Benefits: PRUB

OpenStrategies is a system which enables multiple stakeholders to create, validate, implement and performance-manage strategies. It maps strategic information in a manner that is transparent, accessible, collaborative and, most important, validated.  The system is comprised of the simple yet powerful Projects-Results-Uses-Benefits (PRUB) information sequence plus a strategy development and validation process together with support in the form of the Validating Strategies book plus a range of services.

The PRUB sequence is the core information structure that underlies OpenStrategies and the PRUB-Validate approach to SubStrategy development and implementation. PRUB constitutes the simplest and most readily understood language which has the highest value to the most people in a multi-stakeholder planning environment.

The PRUB information structure is made up of four types of information or ‘Items’:

  • Projects:  Organisations run Projects such as building a new local market, developing a communications campaign, developing health services, planting flaxes and trees around a wetland or building an irrigation scheme and filling it with water.
  • Results:  Organisations produce Results from these Projects such as a new local market, a communication campaign, a new health service, a restored wetland, or water being available to farmers.
  • Uses:  The community Uses these Results, eg by purchasing produce from a local market, reading the information from a communications campaign, receiving service at a hospital, people enjoying studying flora and fauna in the wetland, or farmers using water for irrigation.
  • Benefits:  The community creates Benefits from their use of the things that organisations produce, such as healthier citizens due to eating healthier local produce, more engaged citizens, healthier citizens as a result of receiving more effective medical care, people having a sense of oneness with nature through their experiences in the wetlands, or farms being sustainably profitable.

This is shown in the following core PRUB diagram:

Over time an OpenStrategy develops to show a map of all Projects/activity undertaken by organisations, the Results they will produce, the Links to how each Result will be used by the community and the Benefits resulting from these Uses.  This map will include activity across regions and organisations and will clearly show the Links and contributions that activity within a locality will make to the bigger picture at a regional or national level.

OpenStrategies based on PRUB define the sequence of steps that need to happen to effectively address customers' or a community’s values.  Here's a really simple example:

Typically each of the above Items (Projects, Results, Uses and Benefits) would be expanded into a more detailed SubStrategy specific to that Item, thereby resulting in a nested set of SubStrategies which underpin the above simple, high-level strategy.

One of the key advantages of PRUB and OpenStrategies is that while the information structure is very simple and the process of populating the OpenStrategy quite straightforward, once it is populated the information can be used in a wide variety of ways.  The main benefits of this approach are

  • SubStrategies can be “validated” (i.e. they are logical, they will definitely work, and they are worth it) and this validation provides a strong argument for supporting such SubStrategies.
  • In contrast, money can be saved by explicitly identifying those SubStrategies that cannot be Validated, i.e. Projects/actions which do not convincingly lead through Results and Uses to worthwhile Benefits and hence such Projects should be stopped.
  • Stakeholders can easily and transparently see what each sub-group is doing, thereby helping enable collaboration.
  • SubStrategies and strategies can be validated at any level from aspirational high level strategies down to individual operational-level strategies.
  • The system very clearly shows how Projects ultimately contribute (or not) via Results and Uses to Benefits.
  • By having a consistent language, it is easier to compare competing or alternative ideas
  • Communications and collaboration amongst stakeholders become more effective because all stakeholders use the same PRUB language.
  • Projects can be directly implemented, because Projects (actions) are explicitly defined.
  • The system enables stakeholders to inter-link and develop integrated strategies at local, regional and national levels.
  • SubStrategies can be aggregated, disaggregated and re-aggregated into different combinations and sizes to create strategies on chosen themes or demographic or geographic groups using the same PRUB strategic building blocks.
  • National, regional and local strategies can be inter-linked while preserving the integrity of each SubStrategy.
  • PRUB-Validate confirms that there are no shortcuts between Projects and Benefits – Only Users can create Benefits.
  • It is straightforward to identify where it is most important to have convincing cause-and-effect Evidence to justify investing in SubStrategies.
  • The system allows strategies to evolve fluidly over time so that implementation of aspects of the strategy can begin from day one, and continuously, as different parts of the strategy are developed.

For more detailed information about how OpenStrategy addresses these and other issues relating to the challenges of strategy diagnosis, development, validation, stakeholder engagement and implementation please contact us.  You may also like to download one of our papers.  

OpenStrategy® is a registered trademark of OpenStrategies Limited in NZ, the US and other jurisdictions.