First and foremost, a process, or framework, is required for business benefits realization to occur. This video explains a simple business benefits process that can be used for projects of all sizes.
- When was the last time you dove straight into something you knew little about? Did you have to go back, reassess, and come with a better strategy? Organizations are constantly striving for consistency in the way they execute to enable efficient, accurate, and replicable techniques to achieving outcomes. This is why a solid business benefits framework process is needed to ensure your organization achieves this consistently every time.
Before we can plan our measured benefits, we must understand which outcomes are in fact the targets that we're aiming for. The business benefits framework and pillars provide the structure, and now requires a consistent process to enable alignment across the projects, programs, and portfolio benefits. The following four step process will help you clarify and document the expected business benefit outcomes and management. The first step is define the benefits.
This is all about establishing the strategic intent and identifying the outcomes required to achieve this intent. This phase defines the vision, objectives, and potential benefits expected so you can make sure they're aligned to an organization's strategic drivers. These defined benefits help justify the expected time, resources, and effort needed to deliver the expected benefits. The more specific you are at this point will make the other process steps easier to capture and complete.
Next is plan and measure. You should create a plan which further develops the findings from the define the benefits phase. It includes additional details such as the owner, the target you want to hit, and the data you'll be using to measure progress. It also includes the necessary arrangements that'll need to be in place to realize the benefits, like benefits ownership and governance. This phase will also prioritize the benefits and the business change. Ensure the measurements are clear and easily captured.
If they are not, try breaking them down into smaller measurements. Without all of this, it's impossible to create a plan for achieving your objectives. After this, we'll need to manage and report. Realizing the benefits is only achieved by monitoring your progress towards the planned outcomes. If things don't go as planned, you can make an early assessment and put an appropriate corrective action in motion. Reference the business case while your doing this, as there may be differences between what was initially proposed and what is attainable as the program progresses.
The manage and report phase will help you measure, analyze, and understand the program outcomes. With this sort of intelligence, you're able to proactively support delivery of the benefits; which then leads into continuous improvement. The adoption of change needs to be monitored and adjusted so that your organization can fully achieve its benefits goals. During this phase, you'll document the benefit outcomes and learnings to inform strategic decisions and priorities moving forward.
As you mature in the executing of the processes, identifying what is working well and what needs to improve ensures your focus in achieving benefits realization is the most efficient and accurate way possible. The benefits framework and the processes you use to create it ensures that the portfolio, program, project, and operations fit together. When they're in sync, it's a fair bet that you'll achieve the business benefits and they're aligned to the expected strategic outcomes of the organization.
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- Creating a business benefits roadmap
- Establishing a realization plan
- Monitoring business benefits
- Reporting results