What is AppO?
AppO is an application that helps make better business decisions by eliminating emotion and bias.
It breaks very complex decisions into consumable steps and using proven science measuring the things that add value to your business to rank the decision options.
Most commonly used to select and prioritise portfolios of transformation or asset maintenance initiatives in government and corporate organisations, AppO can use an unlimited number of tangible and intangible criteria such as strategic alignment, customer outcomes, cost, NPV etc. to help you identify the opportunities of highest relative value to your business. Sustainability value measures and reporting frameworks (ESG, GHG, Rights of Nature) can be included as required alongside financial measures to determine the most advantageous alternatives.
AppO can not only model, select and prioritise all the potential transformation or maintenance investments in an entire corporation structured as one or more portfolios, with sub-portfolios, programs, projects, and project options but you can seamlessly integrate and inform your existing governance and stage gate review processes.
AppO can analyse the portfolio relative to the opinions of what constitutes value to individual stakeholders or groups of stakeholders, generate the logical consensus position and identify where compromise between stakeholders may need to occur.
Less common usage for AppO is as a decision engine tasked with choosing the best alternative, such as would happen in a request for quotation, or when recruiting high-profile candidates, or buying a house, boat, car, or business. In fact AppO can help with supply chain management, mergers and acquisitions, strategy development, engineering material selection for product design, nature conservation, waste collection, treatment, and disposal, software evaluation, healthcare treatment selection, policy development, contagion control and a myriad of other decisions seeking to identify the preferred option or rank options.
How does AppO work?
Features and Benefits of AppO
If required, Kepa Software Partners can help organizations make better decisions, working collaboratively with clients to evaluate their current business processes and use AppO to identify strategies for improvement.
However, many organizations are grappling with the same challenges—regardless of industry or geographical location. There are common threads that require similar solutions and having a solid foundation is an important first step.
For example, businesses across the globe are challenged by the impact of new technologies, aging infrastructure, evolving regulations, and a changing business environment where ESG/GHG-related pressures are higher than ever. They want to make better decisions about where and when to invest in their businesses. However, defining what “value” means can often be the biggest challenge, and starting that conversation with a view as to what others have done can accelerate their ability to change and achieve improved business results.
The AppO Value Framework allows an enterprise-wide view of all the value measures that support the organization’s goals and each organisation’s value models can be uploaded to the AppO Value Model Library as templates and made available to clients at a fraction of the cost of development.
The Library is dynamic and constantly evolving—ensuring AppO clients are aligned with industry best practice into the future. It includes models to help clients assess the value of potential projects from a variety of different angles.”
AppO allows you to structure your investment portfolio in any way you choose, such as one or more of any of portfolio, sub-portfolio, program, project, project option, activities and tasks arranged in a hierarchical fashion. In these cases the portfolio could be broken down and analysed as sub-portfolios focused on location, or structure, or accountability etc. Unlimited structure and an ability to analyse multiple portfolios also means your portfolios could be arranged by subject such as procurement, transformation, maintenance, R&D, recruitment, etc. or by asset class.
AppO also has the ability to “fuse” potential investments into larger investments such as might happen when a group of projects may best be managed as a program, AppO can “fuse” the project view into a program view. Depending on your portfolio structure this feature can also be used to derive the aggregate business value that will be generated from the investments relating to a function or perhaps business unit. Thus, value assessed at a lower level of the portfolio structure can be inferred to all levels above.
With AppO you can analyse your portfolio, or any part of it, against differing value models and frameworks and result in a statistically supportable basis on which to select investments. This means you can compare the business value of potential investments in disparate markets where the value criteria differ e.g. Investments in India compared to investments in Australia, U.S.A. and Uzbekistan. If there are material changes in any market you only need to update the assessment and AppO will adjust its recommendations accordingly.
AppO uses an unlimited hierarchy of value measures in any mix of tangible, intangible, with assessments of likely outcome measured subjectively, objectively or as a hybrid. Each successive level of measures further defines the level above. This means you can structure with strategic drivers at an upper level perhaps further defined at the next level as critical success factors and so on ensuring strategic alignment at the level of granularity you need. And, you can have one or more different value measure frameworks for each portfolio of investment opportunities.
AppO value measures can be anything the human mind can conceive or perhaps that contributes to corporate value. This means your value framework can include a full cost/benefit analysis alongside risk, safety, ESG, customer outcomes, community outcomes, business model implications, process impacts, people impacts, legislation and compliance etc. OR measures like the United Nations Strategic Development Goals.
Just as in the structure of investments the value measure framework allows for any value adjustment at any level below the top is cascaded upwards, for example, identifying the detailed impact of a project performance shortfall on strategic goals.
AppO can reflect the views/opinions of what is important (or what is of value) of any stakeholder or stakeholder group. Thus and for example, it is possible to analyse the potential value of investments based on the collective or individual opinions of customers, investors, the board, executive, staff, subject matter experts, vendors, third parties the community etc. AppO can show, in detail or summary the impact of variances, infer where consensus will lie and thus identify areas that may require compromise or where “damage control” might need to be implemented.
You could also create opinions of value that represent “What if” scenarios and use those in detailed analysis to understand where business value could be improved with the current portfolio. This functionality can be used to develop revised strategic approaches or solutions and thus test the impact on the business and the operating portfolio prior to activation.
AppO has the ability to “fuse” opinions such that, for example, the opinions of all executive stakeholders could be aggregated into a proposed consensus position, which could then also be used in analysis of the potential investments.
AppO can analyse an unlimited number of assessments of the likely outcomes of any investment and then compare the impact on the portfolio of each and all assessments. This means that you could use assessments of likely outcomes from customers, investors, board, executive, staff, subject matter experts, vendors, third parties, the community etc. to gain insights into how the investments will be viewed by disparate stakeholders.
AppO can then “Fuse” assessments into an aggregated logical consensus, worst case view, or best case assessment for further analysis. This feature provides the ability to understand the range of potential outcomes.
AppO’s Assessment functionality, especially when investments are analysed using a range of stakeholder views of opinions of value, will provide unparalleled insight into how particular investments or investment strategies will be viewed by stakeholders and where adjustments could be made to achieve agreement or positive impressions.
AppO can also analyse the range of assessments for an individual investment and indicate potential bias introduced by an assessment or assessor.
AppO analyses investments for “Relative Business Value” under one or more value model frameworks, one or more opinions of relative value of measures, and one or more assessments of the likely outcomes of individual investments.
AppO’s analysis functionality include over twenty analysis types, delivering the ability to:
- Inspect the spending in the portfolio on each of the value measures and identify spending imbalances.
- Plot the efficient frontier – Understand the recommended sequence of investment in the light of demand for capital
- Determine value for money against any value measure or group of value measures e.g. Is it value for money in terms of likely ESG measures
- Inspect individual investment opportunities for clusters of value that could be migrated to other investment opportunities
- Determine which value measures will contribute the greatest relative business value to an opportunity (Sensitivity Analysis)
- Analyse the divergence of opinions of relative importance of value measures presented by stakeholders to understand the degree of divergence and look for opportunities to compromise and find consensus
- Identify suspected intended or unintended bias in either opinions of value measure importance and opinions of likely outcomes of investment
- Rank investments based on any stakeholder opinions of the relative importance of value measures
- Model the capital requirements at any point in, or across your entire investment governance processes based on any existing investment status indicators
- Model your multi-year capital requirements of your entire portfolio or any part of it
- Analyse investment opportunities using multiple value frameworks to determine the value in multiple contexts
- Inspect opportunities longitudinally (even after investment) to determine the accuracy over time of assessments of likely outcomes.
- Compare the outcomes of investments against opinions of likely outcome made prior to the investment by individual assessors or groups of assessors to identify personal development opportunities.
AppO’s uses its ‘hybrid’ value measure capability to calculate the value of a measure from other value measures , which means that AppO can model (and automatically calculate) most business rations such as NPV, benefit to cost ratio etc. as well as model full cost/benefit analyses as part o the value measure framework.
AppO employs its ‘Rules’ functionality to apply corporate policy, such as contingency percentages relative to Stage Gate etc. in automatic calculation of hybrid value measures and it’s ‘Group’ functionality allows modelling value measures over a range of years, over a series of business units, over a number of products, in a number of countries etc. There is no limit to how many sets of such iterations of outcomes can be accommodated except for practical ability to report and visualise numerous values. For example, AppO could model a series of measures over a range of years, another series over a range of products or services, etc. all within the same value measure framework.
Any objective, subjective or calculated hybrid value that is more than 0% important will influence the analysed Relative Business Value for any and all potential investments meaning that business ratios or any hybrid value can be modelled to trigger go/no go decisions.
AppO allows for rapid assessment of the likely outcomes of each potential investment and calculates its Relative Business Value (RBV) by analysing against a sub-set of value measures rather than all value measures.
Using rapid assessment allows assessment of only a few of the most influential (important) value measures on RBV, quickly identifying those investments of likely lowest RBV (least value) and thus identifying candidates for removal from the recommended portfolio. Using rapid assessment reiteratively will allow for progressively more detailed assessments as the potential portfolio dwindles, minimising the volume of assessment work required to arrive at a recommended portfolio.
Rapid assessment accelerates the development of a recommended portfolio, and all with minimal effort, often saving days and weeks of assessment effort in large portfolios.
When fully implemented AppO provides a platform for continuous improvement approach to portfolio optimisation and can be seamlessly integrated to a business’s strategy development, portfolio governance and gateway review, portfolio prioritisation and scheduling, delivery and operational processes.
AppO is specifically designed to assist in overcoming seventeen of the most common failure points in the portfolio optimisation process. Thus, implementing AppO can provide the leverage to move towards best practice strategy development, portfolio governance, and optimisation processes.
Independent research of the Forrester Group, Gartner and the PMI agree that the potential savings from utilising Portfolio Prioritisation approaches (such as that implemented in AppO) is between five and twenty three percent of the value of the portfolio. So, if your transformation investment budget is say $20 Million you can either save at least $1 Million or you can achieve the equivalent of at least a $21 Million budget.
Don’t Invest in Low Value Initiatives – Using Appo will underpin the selection of the most valuable investments to form your portfolio. Investments that don’t stack up in terms of contribution to business value or strategic alignment can be avoided. This alone can save more than five percent of the value of your portfolio by not investing in the low value initiatives.
Ensure Strategic Alignment – If your value measures include your strategic goals then AppO’s calculated Relative Business Value for each individual investment exactly equates to a strategic alignment value. Therefore, in using AppO, you will improve the value of strategically aligned initiatives delivered and since any resources expended on activities which are not strategically aligned is a waste of money there may be an opportunity for significant savings.
Find Potential Waste Early – By investing effort upfront to evaluate the pool of investments, organisations weed out inefficiencies that may creep up later due to not having enough capacity for execution.
Consistent Prioritisation Across the Portfolio – By implementing AppO you will be focusing on a consistent approach to assessing the value of potential investments, which will deliver downstream clarity on why projects are approved or rejected, thereby providing further savings from a lack of confusion and improved levels of benefits realisation through higher levels of successful project delivery.
First to Market – In circumstances of time-to-market prioritization of potential investments will give your organisation the first-mover advantage, enabling you to reach customers before your competition.
Reduce Assessment Workload – AppO also includes the ability to rapidly assess options (see elsewhere under “Rapid Assessment” for further information) that can save weeks of work in large portfolios. In one case we know of rapid assessment saved multiple person years of effort. AppO’s ability to Aggregate opinions, assessments and investment options will also save many, many hours of effort, reducing delays and associated costs.
Remove Costly Bias – AppO’s analysis includes the ability to identify potential bias in opinions of value and assessments thus possible “pet projects” can be identified and, if appropriate, eliminated from the portfolio. Individual assessors work can be analysed, which can identify opportunities for personal development with a view of improving the accuracy of assessments and reducing effort.
The hierarchical nature of AppO value criteria allows you to define strategic alignment and business value in increasing detail, which provides a direct link to specific planned outcomes tracked and managed though benefits management. Thus there can be a direct link from planned benefit to strategic driver that with AppO’s aggregation functionality can quantify progress towards strategic goals in detail.
AppO enables you to compare planned benefits with harvested benefits, identifying just what has been “banked”, still available to be banked, or lost as the investment proceeds through planning, delivery and operational stages.
By moving much of the benefits planning workload towards the front of the strategy development cycle provides downstream clarity to benefits managers, program and project managers and removes duplication of effort in benefits planning and articulation.
In practice what is of personal importance to one stakeholder within an organisation, let’s say the Marketing Director (increased revenue, increased reach) or Production Director (operational efficiency, simplified processes, lower skill base required), may indeed be different from another stakeholder within the same organisation such as the CEO (share price, shareholder feedback, board priorities), Auditor (risk management, audit trail, governance), Finance Director (return on investment, risk management, process integration) or CIO (Operational efficiency, data and process security, scalability and flexibility). This means that all of these individuals have differing views that impact their assessment of what constitutes business value. Thus it can be very difficult to come to consensus and often the most strident or powerful stakeholder holds sway.
For each manager to have confidence that the outcomes of initiatives are appropriate for their sphere of influence value must be measured at the level of their interest. However, the collective or aggregated view of all these value drivers must somehow be developed to understand the consensus view of true business value specific to the whole organisation.
AppO can take unlimited views into account when assessing investments and show each of the individuals which of the potential investments are of greatest value to them at their level of interest against an agreed consensus or even aggregate those views to a logical consensus view, and compare outcomes of each individual view with each other individual view or the consensus view.
AppO is designed to enable ‘apples for apples’ comparison based on any value measures. Thus subjective measures related perhaps to strategic alignment, customer outcomes, etc. can be analysed against objective measures such as $ Cost, or NPV and produce meaningful and statistically defend-able comparisons.
If you can imagine a value measure you should be able to model it in AppO, regardless of what that value measure is.
AppO’s ability to analyse potential investments under any number of opinions of value and assessments of likely outcomes added to AppO’s ability to consider multiple hierarchies of value measures allows AppO to demonstrate the impact of extremely complex “what if” scenarios. The scenario can include any variations on any and all of an unlimited set of criteria, opinions of value and assessments of likely outcomes.
If you want to see the impact “on the fly” Appo embodies a “Sandbox” feature. The “Sandbox” allows AppO users to change one or more value measures “on the fly” and see the results prior perhaps to creating alternative and numerous opinions of value and assessments of likely outcomes.
AppO has been developed to provide consultants with a tool to use in value-adding their client engagements. AppO allows our consulting partners to control their client engagements by allowing them to create client accounts, control user access rights and usage, among many other things. AppO Partners enjoy many benefits including free education, accreditation and 24 hour support. To find out more please complete the form on our partners page.
The AppO Advantage
- Make better business decisions, without emotion or bias, making sure that everything you do contributes to your planned strategic outcomes
- Stop wasting money on low-value options (save 5 to 23%)
- Align strategy development with strategy delivery so you can deliver more of your strategy
- Include ESG, GHG and Rights of Nature measures alongside financial measures in any mix and in any depth allowing you to prove that your ESG reporting is transparent, reasonable and rational. This will also encourage your people to be proud of, and become advocates of your sustainability credentials
- Know the impact of your decisions on your stakeholders as they will see it
- Focus your maintenance decisions on any measures such as risk, current status, maintainability, cost, parts availability, location, anything you deem of value
AppO Case Studies
AppO has been used to solve complex decision, prioritisation and strategy development problems for clients within a range of industries. You can view some of these case studies below.
How Can Kepa Help
We offer an initial consultation service in which we’ll help you discover solutions. All initial consultations are provided completely free of charge and obligation.