To measure the total return on investment (TROI) as a result of the activities of a program or project, we should always consider the context. That is, we should consider the reason for the project, the problem it intends to solve, the people it is supposed to benefit, is it part of a larger project, or as a result of another project, the underlying or prevailing conditions of the project at the time and so on. From government laws and policies, to the prevailing economic conditions such as foreign exchange rates and interest on loans, to environmental conditions such as the weather, we must consider the overall impact or non-impact of the context.
Considering the context as comprehensibly as possible will help give a truer account of the TROI of the project. It will help attribute correctly, the results that are as a result of the project and the results that were due to the prevailing conditions, that is, the context, at the time. One of the principles of TROI measurement is to not over-claim. We should not attribute to the project what is not as a result of the project. In fact, we will take out value that occurred at the time of the project but was not as a result of the project.
Because the true value of TROI is to understand the real value created by a project and hence, make critical and strategic decisions from which project to undertake with limited resources, to which resources to apply and how much, to what strategic alignments and partnerships to undertake, we need to give as true an account of the TROI of the project as possible. This is why the TROI framework we use is based on cost-benefit analysis and social accounting principles that have been tried and tested for a long time.
If we consider the project as the content and its true impact, then if the content is king, the context is God. Measuring TROI is an evolutionary science that is constantly being improved. And we learn a little more about God every day.