Why Value Management Is Unique

There are many initiatives, tools and approaches out there trying to attract your attention. Here we explain why Value Management isn’t just another one in the list. It’s not just about how you do things, but what those things are in the first place. It is also holistic. And these things make Value Management unique.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Agile.
  • LEAN.
  • Alliancing.
  • Relational Contracting.
  • Collaborative Working.

Just some of the initiatives, tools and approaches out there today each trying to attract and excite adherents and potential clients.

Where does Value Management fit in? Is it just another one to add to this list? If not, why not? And why should anyone adopt it over the others?

Value Management: Just Another Tool or Approach?

We make some strong claims for Value Management – we say it’s a new way of working; we say it achieves engagement, motivation and change; we say it leads to the embedding, spreading and scale of these things; we say it delivers results.

But similar claims are made for Agile. Everyone seems excited by how AI is going to transform everything. Relational Contracting is exciting many in the contract management domain. And so on.

In fact, “Value” is often very high up the list of what these tools and approaches claim to deliver, and very high up the priority lists of those adopting them.

We even gave a list of these tools and approaches to ChatGPT and asked “from an organisation’s perspective, what would they extract as common threads“. What came out as the top one?

1. Value Creation:

  • AI can optimize processes and drive innovations.
  • Agile and Lean methodologies focus on delivering customer value through efficient processes.
  • Alliances, partnerships, and collaboration often aim to create synergies and enhance value propositions.

So is Value Management just another approach or tool making a claim relating to Value?


There are two reasons why:

  • Unlike the tools and approaches listed, Value Management isn’t just about how you do things; it’s also – even primarily – about what those things are.
  • Value Management is a holistic approach that sits “above” and “around” all these other tools and approaches.

Value Management: Not Just How You Do Things

What all of the approaches and tools listed have in common is that they are applied to what you are doing, but not what you are doing actually is.

It is obviously good to be more effective at how you do things – and many of these tools and approaches can be very powerful here – but that’s of no benefit at all if they’re the “wrong” things.

And if you make the way you do things an end in and of itself, it further loses sight of what those things are.

We have already written about Agile in this respect, but the same is true for all the other tools and approaches discussed here:

  • AI can be a great time-saver, but saving time for what?
  • LEAN can be great for efficiency, but efficiency in doing what?
  • Alliancing, Relational Contracting, Collaborative Working can be valuable ways of approaching relationships and of working together, but what are those relationships for?

Yes, Value Management is also able to save lots of time and improve efficiency (e.g. through Diagnostics), and it can transform how relationships are managed.

But the difference is that Value Management primarily focuses on establishing the Things That Matter.

What the purpose and Value in any situation actually are therefore comes first, and then – and only then – does Value Management move into how you operate to deliver on these things.

This is the first thing that sets Value Management apart: it is unique in addressing both the what and how of Value.

Value Management: A Truly Holistic Approach

The second thing that sets Value Management apart is that it sits before, above and around all these other tools and approaches, and it does so in two ways.

Firstly, it establishes the Value context – through the Things That Matter – within which all these other tools and approaches can be deployed as and where appropriate:

  • We use AI in support of Diagnostic analysis.
  • The relentless focus of LEAN on capability, efficiency and continuous improvement is the focus of several Value Modes.
  • We fully support and endorse Collaborative Working when collaboration is the way to approach the Things That Matter.
  • We complement Relational Contracting and Alliancing by helping to move the focus beyond the contract.

Secondly, Value Management doesn’t start with the assumption that a particular approach is always the answer.

Rather, Value Management starts with the assumption that a general approach of focusing on Value is always the answer – should you ever be doing something that has no Value? – but that, within that, particular approaches can be used as needed.

Compare and contrast this with e.g. the world of Collaborative Working, where the ISO 44001 standard has been set out to define how collaborative relationships should operate.

Yes, part of the ISO 44001 process involves establishing whether the relationship is appropriate to run in this way, it talks about varying application of some of the provisions, and there are specific clauses about establishing and reviewing Value.

However, the point is that Value (what) is inserted into the standard (how), when it should be the other way round: adopting the standard, in whole or part, because it serves a Value-led outcome.

Not starting to implement the standard – whether on the assumption that collaborative working is valuable or that the standard itself is – and then considering the Value.

Value Management begins with Value and makes no comparable assumptions – whilst it (correctly) assumes that you need to start by knowing what you value, it doesn’t assume what that is, or what the best way of reaching those goals is.

In Conclusion: Value Management is Unique

Value Management is therefore the only approach that can:

  • Focus on both the what and how of Value.
  • Bring together all the other approaches in an holistic whole.

And, whilst not the focus of this article, it is also the only approach that is all three of: Complexity-aware, People-centred and Value-led.

So is Value Management “just another choice” amongst many? We say “absolutely not”!

But what do you think?