Attitudes need to change to deliver benefits
The expectations of projects are becoming higher. And, amazingly, they are expected to deliver the benefits promised in the business case. That we commission projects to deliver the benefits is becoming more than words and is now expected to become a reality.
So, benefits management is becoming “flavor of the month”.You would think this is good news, but too often it is the excuse for poor behavior.
Problems with benefits management
We see the following:
- Additional processes are imposed on the existing project delivery processes, creating more overhead and more work while not increasing the value of the benefits realized.
- The promised financials in the business case are put into future budgets to “ensure their realization”. This substitutes budget measurement for benefits measurement and only serves to minimize the value of benefits promised, not increase them.
- Benefits management is considered “unnecessary” because when you build a project they (the benefits) will come. Believers in this myth consistently lose more than 50% of the available value across their portfolio. That’s expensive.
- Benefits management is considered to be altogether “too hard” as a result of so many moving parts – scope changes, market changes, environmental changes, and more.
- Benefits management is just “too onerous” – too much work for too little gain.
Each of these “excuses” come in different forms, but these five cover most of the common reactions to the need for benefits management.
the length breadth and depth of Benefits management
There are five components to benefits management:
- Control — the scope and portfolio management processes control what value is made available within the project and across the portfolio.
- Outcomes and benefits Identification — to maximize and then optimize the available value – to get the ‘best bang for each buck’.
- Benefits Delivery — based on an active change management approach – leveraging off the project’s outcomes to maximize the realization of the available value.
- Benefits Measurement — the continuous monitoring and measurement of the steps towards the delivery of each benefit and then the actual benefit itself, with the ability to fully analyze any variances and their causes.
- Value Protection — through effective risk management and governance – equipping the governance team to focus on their primary rol—the protection and delivery of the optimized business value.
Within these five sets of processes are more detailed processes that equip you to identify, maximize, optimize, protect, deliver and measure the delivery of each project investment’s benefits.
Overall the process is simple, easy and effective - as we explain in our video "Benefits Management can be simple".