This video explains the top 10 principles for establishing a business benefits process.
- To make a good omelette, you need core ingredients. Eggs, milk and butter. Without one of those ingredients you're not going to achieve the pleasure of what looked delicious in a recipe. The same goes for the business benefits realization process. There are core ingredients. We call them benefit principles. That we need to include every time. Benefits are what organizations use to provide justification for starting or in some cases not starting, a new project.
There are fundamental principles to consider when establishing business benefits. These assist the organization in making and managing their investment and resource decisions. I always start with the executive sponsorship and governance. Executive sponsors own and are accountable to delivering the benefit outcomes on behalf of the organizations. Active and visible executive sponsorship is the single most critical factor influencing the success of any benefits realization.
Effective communication sponsorship provides the focus, the commitment the allocation of organization resources and the ability to remain focused on achieving the organization's expected outcomes. Most executive sponsor's outcomes also align to their own personal key performance indicators and performance measures. Factoring this into your plans insures their ongoing commitment throughout the life of the project and the operational delivery after your project ends.
Executive sponsors also oversee formal governance. The policies, procedures and business rules that the project team adhere to and they can help navigate the policies and approval pathways needed to support the initiative through the successful benefits realization. Secondly, we need to focus on culture shift. These are the new mindsets, behaviors and beliefs required, from the change. Many project changes include a level of cultural change which needs to be planned.
These cultural shifts are equal, as important if not more so, than any process, technology or resourcing changes. As such, cultural change will be a key focus of the change management effort. Engagement and participation by a wide cross-section of employees needs to be considered across all levels. It'll be important to create a culture where people feel like they can make effective contributions. Thirdly, we need to ensure we deliver value.
Delivering what is most important in a timely and cost-efficient manner. The focus on delivering value to the organization ensures solutions will be clearly linked and traced to business outcomes. It's very important for a project to keep this in mind relative to scope quality, cost to benefit ratio, and schedule. The solutions must be designed to meet the needs of the business. Keep in the mind the evolving operating model which must effectively support changes in the business strategy together with the demands driven by new opportunities to fulfill the organization's mission and better serve the stake holders.
Up next is a structured approach. Focus on leveraging successful delivery methods that integrate with the organization's financial program and change management frameworks. Follow a change management approach such as the ADKAR model of awareness desire knowledge ability and reinforcement. Utilize frequent and open communication to facilitate the change effort. A communications plan helps define the internal and external communications strategy including purpose outcomes audience channels and key messaging.
Organizational change efforts and planning will focus on people, processes and technologies in an integrated and balanced way. We also need to include collaborative change. With end to end benefits. Monitoring and measuring benefits can be adjusted collaboratively within the organization. This facilitates the tactical changes necessary to remove roadblocks, and enable continuous change. And finally, there's the continuous improvement principle.
At each stage, feedback about the change and the benefits must be successfully incorporated into the next wave of changes. Often, this can be achieved through lessons learned at workshops at critical points throughout the program. I like to do this at the end of a stage gate review. With continuous outcomes reported across the stake holders. Organizational change management lessons learned can be incorporated into these reports and the organization change management plan can be adjusted to ensure the benefits remain on track.
With these benefits principles in your project pantry you have the essential ingredients to make sure that your recipe will be a success and you enjoy the results of your work.
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- Creating a business benefits roadmap
- Establishing a realization plan
- Monitoring business benefits
- Reporting results