Learn about the program justification, including the tools and techniques used to reach objectives.
- If you cannot identify the benefits the organization is looking for, how do you actually deliver them? Let's look at what benefits identification is, how we do it, and some tools we use to help us along the way. Simply, benefits identification is pinpointing what value the organization is looking for from our program. Our first stop is the project charter where the organization justifies the program to begin with. Here's one from a program I've been involved in. The organization wanted to standardize the technology used throughout their business in Europe in order to streamline processes, reduce total operations cost, and improve efficiency.
After we identified the benefits, we moved on to define the objectives and how success is measured. In our example, the objective was to have one financial database being used in eight countries and we had three years to make this happen. If the program was delivered on time and the business was happy, this was our success metric. The benefits here would be better data, less personnel, and more products and services we could offer. The program manager develops a plan to reach these goals and measures constantly whether the program is on track.
Don't forget to communicate with your key stakeholders how well the program is running. There are two tools we use to help identify and manage the benefits within our program. The first tool is the program business case. This tells the program manager what the justification is for the program and tells us what our stakeholders are expecting. We use the information within the business case as a benchmark to see if we delivering. Our second tool is the benefits register where we collect and list the plan benefits of our program.
How do we use the register? We first start by listing the benefits. Our data improvement, less personnel to maintain and support the financial database, the new products and services the company can offer, and we map our benefits to our program components. Which projects deliver what? Going back to my example, the results were a mixed bag, and certain countries we received complete customer satisfaction, and in others, we needed to make a few tweaks after the fact.
The key, however, was that we stayed focus on the value the organization was seeking.
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- What is program management?
- Who are program managers?
- Program versus project
- Program life-cycle phases
- Aligning programs to an organization's strategies
- Analyzing needs and planning programs
- Delivering and sustaining benefits from programs
- Working with program stakeholders
- Supporting program governance activities
- Managing program finances and resources
- Scheduling programs
- Managing program scope and quality