Farewell to project management’s voice of reason
I first met Jed Simms when a distant journalist acquaintance called up and said I should meet a dynamic duo who were going to revolutionise benefits and value management in projects.
Admittedly the journalist was at a loose end; he’d recently gone to the ‘dark side’ of communications—known to most as public relations—and was finding it difficult to find the right media to pitch stories to, as their services seemed too niche for both mainstream and business media.
I was in Melbourne shortly thereafter so agree to meet with the founders of TOP (artfully short for Totally Optimized Projects): Jed Simms and Alexandra Chapman. I confess I learnt more about benefits realisation and value management in an hour speaking with them than I had in the previous four years I’d spent editing a project management publication. I wrote an article about project business cases that turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg for this topic.
It was a few years later before Jed and I met again in person, this time in Sydney for the Benefits Realisation Summit where he was a speaker. He was still on a mission to drum the concept of value into project managers’ (and business executives’) heads and keen to reach as many people as possible, thus gave me permission to re-publish some of his articles on the site. Longtime subscribers may recognise his byline.
Sadly, Jed passed away earlier this month from cancer. His life and business partner Alexandra assured us he had not left her empty-handed: he managed to finish a draft of another treatise to be published posthumously.
I’d like to highlight my appreciation of Jed’s contribution to both ProjectManager.com.au and project management in general with the one lesson I learnt from him above all else:
A project is a business case; without it, you have no way to measure benefits or value and no reason to do the project.
It has served me well. Thank you, Jed.