Value Measuring Methodology (VMM)

What is the Value Measuring Methodology (VMM)?

Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) is a proven toolkit of existing techniques used to define, capture and measure both quantitative and qualitative value associated with information technology (IT) investments. It is based on public and private sector business and economic analysis theories and best practices. The VMM was first articulated in a report by Booz Allen Hamilton in 2002 for the US Social Security Administration, as part of an electronic services project. The purpose of Value Measuring Methodology is to define, capture and measure value associated with electronic services unaccounted for traditional return on investment (ROI) calculations, to fully account for costs and to identify and consider risk.[1]

VMM is a tool that helps balance both tangible and intangible values when making project decisions and monitoring benefits. [2]

Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) is based on defining, capturing and measuring values associated with e-services which are not accounted in ROI. It is also focusing on costs and risks of a project. Therefore VMM is considered to be a hybrid methodology used by government bodies for development and steering of e-government initiatives. It is designed to monitor and help in choosing best alternative and decision making between different initiatives in the field of e-government projects. This methodology is analyzing and estimating values,risks and costs as well as evaluating them and calculating relationships among those elements.It is used to analyze projects on both enterprise and project level. As Mareva, it is focused on benefits that a project will have for citizens,business entities and government bodies. VMM has four main steps: first is to develop a decision framework which goal is to identify and define numerous elements like value and cost structure,risks, etc. Second step is based on alternative analysis. Third step puts that information together in way of aggregating costs, calculation of ROI and risks. Final step is the communication part of the methodology where main task is to present final results to stakeholders followed by implementation of best practices and creation of documentation for important elements.[3]

Components of VMM

The Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) comprises several components or elements that help in assessing the value of IT investments. These components provide a structured approach to evaluate both the tangible and intangible benefits of an IT project. Here are the primary components or elements of VMM:

  1. Value Framework: This is the foundation of VMM. It defines the value categories and metrics that will be used to assess the value of an IT investment. The value framework typically includes financial metrics, business process improvements, customer and stakeholder impacts, and strategic alignment.
  2. Scenario Analysis: This involves creating different scenarios to understand the potential outcomes of an IT investment. It helps in understanding the best-case, worst-case, and most likely outcomes.
  3. Risk-Adjusted Return on Investment (RAROI): This component adjusts the traditional ROI metric by incorporating the risks associated with the IT investment. It provides a more realistic view of the potential returns.
  4. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): While this is a common metric in IT investment analysis, in VMM, it's used to understand all the costs associated with an IT project, including direct and indirect costs.
  5. Intangible Benefits and Costs: VMM places a strong emphasis on evaluating the intangible benefits (like improved customer satisfaction or brand value) and costs (like potential reputation damage) of an IT investment.
  6. Stakeholder Analysis: This involves identifying and understanding the needs and concerns of all stakeholders involved in the IT project. It ensures that the project delivers value to all parties involved.
  7. Lifecycle View: VMM looks at the entire lifecycle of the IT investment, from inception to retirement. This comprehensive view ensures that all phases of the project are evaluated for value.

Why is VMM important?

The Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) is crucial for several reasons, especially in the context of IT investments:

  1. Comprehensive Evaluation: VMM provides a holistic approach to evaluate both tangible and intangible benefits of an IT project. This ensures that all potential value sources are considered.
  2. Informed Decision Making: By quantifying the expected benefits, costs, and risks associated with an IT investment, VMM enables decision-makers to make more informed choices.
  3. Risk Management: VMM's emphasis on scenario analysis and risk-adjusted ROI helps organizations understand and manage the potential risks associated with IT projects.
  4. Stakeholder Alignment: The stakeholder analysis component ensures that all stakeholders' needs and concerns are addressed, leading to better project acceptance and success.
  5. Lifecycle Perspective: By considering the entire lifecycle of an IT investment, VMM ensures that value is assessed from inception to retirement, leading to a more accurate valuation.
  6. Strategic Alignment: VMM ensures that IT investments align with the organization's strategic objectives, ensuring that resources are used effectively to achieve business goals.
  7. Optimization of Resources: By providing a clear understanding of the value derived from IT investments, VMM helps organizations optimize their resource allocation, ensuring that funds are directed towards projects that offer the highest value.
  8. Transparency and Accountability: VMM introduces transparency into the IT investment decision-making process, ensuring that decisions are based on clear metrics and methodologies. This transparency fosters accountability among project teams and stakeholders.
  9. Continuous Improvement: The structured approach of VMM allows organizations to learn from past projects, leading to continuous improvement in IT investment decision-making processes.

In essence, VMM provides a structured and comprehensive framework that ensures IT investments are not just technically sound but also deliver real value to the organization. It bridges the gap between IT and business, ensuring that technology investments drive business growth and success.

Steps to Value Measuring Methodology [4]

The Value Measuring Methodology is composed of four steps:
1. Develop a Decision Framework- The cornerstone of VMM is the decision framework. Comprised of three structures - value, cost and risk - the framework provides decision makers with a blueprint for defining, analyzing and comparing alternatives. In addition, it ensures that decision makers will have the depth and granularity of information necessary to make and justify sound business decisions.
2. Define Alternatives - An alternatives analysis requires “thinking-through” possible ways in which an issue may be addressed, yielding the data required to not only justify an investment or course of action and support the completion of budget justification documentation, but also to provide an expected baseline of value, costs, and risks to guide the management and on-going evaluation of an investment. An alternatives analysis must consistently assess the value, cost, and risk associated with more than one alternative for a specific initiative, including the base case, within the specific parameters of the decision framework without stalling the planning processes in the quagmire of “analysis paralysis.” The estimation of cost and projection of value must, to the greatest extent possible, predict actual costs and value. This is accomplished in part by using ranges to define specific elements of cost and measures of performance, and then subjecting those ranges to an uncertainty analysis to develop a range of expected value. A sensitivity analysis identifies the variables that have a significant impact on this expected value. Although these analyses will increase confidence in the accuracy of an estimate of cost and prediction of performance, they do not consider how other factors may drive up expected costs or degrade predicted performance: to do so requires the performance of a risk analysis.
3. Analyze Alternatives - This step of VMM framework has five tasks: Aggregate the Cost Estimate; Calculate the Return-on-Investment; Calculate the Value Score; Calculate the Cost and Value Risk Scores; Compare Value, Risk and Cost
4. Document and Communicate - The outputs of VMM may be used to communicate the overall value of an initiative to a variety of stakeholders. The analysis and planning required by VMM produce outputs that fully satisfy or strongly support many requirements for justifying budget requests.

Each step is necessary to ensure both qualitative and quantitative information is captured. Additionally, each step must be completed sequentially to ensure complete documentation and objectivity.

What are the benefits of VMM?

The Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) offers several benefits, especially when it comes to evaluating and justifying IT investments. Here are the primary benefits of VMM:

  1. Informed Decision Making: VMM provides a structured approach to quantify the expected benefits, costs, and risks of IT investments, enabling decision-makers to make choices based on clear metrics.
  2. Holistic Evaluation: VMM captures both tangible and intangible benefits, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of the value derived from IT projects.
  3. Risk Management: Through scenario analysis and risk-adjusted ROI, VMM helps organizations identify, understand, and manage potential risks associated with IT investments.
  4. Strategic Alignment: VMM ensures that IT projects align with the organization's strategic objectives, ensuring that technology investments support business goals.
  5. Optimized Resource Allocation: By understanding the value of different IT projects, organizations can allocate resources more effectively, directing funds and efforts towards high-value projects.
  6. Enhanced Stakeholder Communication: The structured approach of VMM facilitates clear communication with stakeholders, ensuring everyone understands the value and impact of IT investments.
  7. Transparency and Accountability: VMM introduces transparency into the IT investment decision-making process, fostering accountability and trust among project teams, stakeholders, and decision-makers.
  8. Continuous Improvement: The methodology allows for feedback and learning from past projects, leading to continuous refinement and improvement in decision-making processes.
  9. Better Project Acceptance: By addressing stakeholders' needs and concerns through stakeholder analysis, VMM increases the likelihood of project acceptance and success.
  10. Lifecycle Perspective: VMM's focus on the entire lifecycle of IT investments ensures that value is assessed and realized from the project's inception to its retirement.

In summary, VMM provides a robust framework that ensures IT investments are technically viable and deliver tangible and intangible value to the organization. It bridges the often-seen gap between IT and business, ensuring that technology investments align with business objectives and deliver the desired outcomes.

VMM Best Practices

As with any methodology, the effectiveness of VMM is amplified when applied correctly. These best practices associated with VMM offer insights and guidelines to ensure that organizations derive the maximum value from their IT investments. From stakeholder engagement to continuous refinement, these practices are a roadmap for successful IT project evaluation and decision-making using VMM.

Here are some best practices associated with the Value Measuring Methodology (VMM):

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Before applying VMM, ensure that the objectives of the IT investment are clearly defined. This provides a foundation for the entire evaluation process.
  2. Engage Stakeholders Early: Engage all relevant stakeholders at the beginning of the process. Their input is crucial in defining value metrics and understanding potential benefits and risks.
  3. Use a Holistic Approach: Consider both tangible and intangible benefits. While financial metrics are essential, non-financial benefits like customer satisfaction or strategic alignment can be equally important.
  4. Conduct Scenario Analysis: Always evaluate multiple scenarios, including best-case, worst-case, and most likely outcomes. This helps in understanding the range of potential results and associated risks.
  5. Regularly Update Metrics: The value metrics defined at the start of a project might change over time. Regularly review and update them to ensure they remain relevant.
  6. Incorporate Feedback: After the completion of an IT project, gather feedback and use it to refine the VMM process for future projects.
  7. Communicate Results Clearly: Ensure that the results of the VMM evaluation are communicated clearly to all stakeholders. This helps in building trust and ensuring transparency.
  8. Use VMM in Conjunction with Other Methodologies: While VMM is comprehensive, it can be beneficial to use it in conjunction with other evaluation methodologies to get a more rounded view.
  9. Consider the Entire Lifecycle: Evaluate the value of IT investments across their entire lifecycle, from inception to retirement. This ensures that all costs and benefits are considered.
  10. Continuous Training: Ensure that the team responsible for applying VMM is well-trained and updated on any changes or refinements to the methodology.
  11. Document Everything: Maintain thorough documentation of the VMM process, metrics used, decisions made, and the rationale behind them. This aids in future evaluations and ensures consistency.
  12. Review and Refine: Like any methodology, VMM should be periodically reviewed and refined based on changing business needs, technological advancements, and lessons learned from past projects.

By adhering to these best practices, organizations can maximize the benefits derived from VMM and ensure that their IT investments deliver the desired value.

See Also

  1. Return on Investment (ROI)
  2. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  3. Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR)
  4. IT Portfolio Management (ITPM)
  5. Cost Benefit Analysis
  6. Information Technology Investment Management (ITIM)
  7. Business Value
  8. Project Management
  9. Business Case
  10. Performance Metrics
  11. IT Strategy (Information Technology Strategy)


  1. Defining Value Measuring Methodology (VMM) Airccse
  2. VMM on Wikipedia
  3. What is Value Measuring Methodology (VMM)? Neven Vrček
  4. Steps to Value Measuring Methodology Aguiare Oliveira