Creating the Programme-Managed Learning Organisation for Maximising Stakeholder Value - Cranefield College

Creating the Programme-Managed Learning Organisation for Maximising Stakeholder Value

Author: Le Roux, Pieter
Supervisor: Professor Pieter Steyn
Date: September 2008

The following research problem is addressed within the ambit of the dissertation: “The absence of project and programme management principles, procedures and structures results in stakeholder value being compromised and a focus on an improper form of growth”.

Some in modern management have an illusion that the world comprises separate and unrelated forces; hence their ignorance of systems thinking and learning organisations. The spirit of innovation, creativity, continuous improvement, organisational performance, organisational learning and oneness is suppressed to ensure that control, power and reward is destined only for a “selected few”. The notion of stakeholder interest has its roots in a myopic analysis that runs along these lines: In pursuing the interests of shareholders, top management is continually, quarter-to-quarter, under pressure to improve the bottom line and to make the numbers expected by Security Exchange analysts.

There is, surprisingly, a striking resemblance between the “Human Model” and the “Corporate Model” as presented within the ambit of this dissertation. Not only can a parallel be drawn between the surrounding spheres and the ultimate vision of the respective models, but an even more powerful correlation also exists between the body systems and the business systems, which, in both the “Human Model” and “Corporate Model”, represent the innermost spheres. Real-life practical lessons and insights can be gained from closer inspection of the “Human Model” and can successfully be applied to the hardcore “Corporate Model”.

The research demonstrates that Steyn’s BSPM (Balanced-Scorecard-based Programme Management) system satisfies the need for a “new generation” approach that allows for balanced, aligned, synchronized, coordinated and integrated efforts constantly to ensure that all available energy is focused on maximising the results and stakeholder value in line with the corporation’s goals and objectives. The organisation must, however, have a healthy body, mind and soul (operations, people and strategy), as defined in this dissertation.

One of the most important aspects is the culture and climate that is cultivated by senior management. If they, for example, tolerate internal politicking that will ultimately destroy the corporation, the people will see this as a licence to do just that. One needs to be very clear and under no illusions: POLITICKING DESTROYS BRAND AND VALUE!

By using the “Human Model” as an analogy, the research problem is comprehensively addressed. It is firmly demonstrated that corporations’ only real chance of maximising stakeholder value and replicating the balanced, aligned, synchronized, coordinated and integrated body system is through creating a programme-managed learning organisation. As shown, this can best be achieved through project-portfolio and process-portfolio programmes, as the structure and methodology replicate that of the “Human Model”. This is where the “Human Model” and the “Corporate Model” truly manifest.

How humans ever managed to run “successful” businesses and to assert a positive influence on surrounding spheres without tangible visions, with unbalanced approaches, while suffering from “silositis” (functional departments operating in isolation), and mismatched talent, defies logic. Is this then the dawning of a new era, in which “success” will be drastically redefined?