This video describes the features of the business benefits roadmap, when it should be created, and where to obtain the information to populate the roadmap.
- When my kids were little, they loved picture books. Good to look at, simple to understand, and a world of entertainment on each page. Executives are just like little kids. They like things laid out clearly because they don't have a lot of time to wade through the piles of detail. They like plans on a page which is a why a business benefits roadmap always works so well as part of your benefits realization process. A benefits roadmap is a high-level picture or diagram of what needs to be done across the life of a project.
It can also show interrelated projects that make up the program of work with the whole thing showing how it leads to business benefits. The process of defining the business realization roadmap provides a number of positives. It ensures rigor on understanding, planning, and realizing the benefits for a program and a project. It gets all the stakeholders on the same page in terms of scope, change, risks, outcomes, and linkage to business strategy.
It helps set the stage for organizational change management and provides good information for investment decisions. It provides a clear linkage between program and project activities, business outcomes, and business strategy. And finally, it clarifies the specific benefits that can be expected and what they can be used for whether it's to justify a business case investment, manager risks, stakeholders, organizational change management, and communication.
Creating a benefits roadmap helps demonstrate the things that need to happen first and those that need to be done before you move to the next activity. It can also capture which projects your organization should prioritize and approve, and what projects need to happen for change to be adopted. Putting all this down in a clear diagram will assist your executive, the organizational change management, and the operations and project teams to understand your projects' strategic outcomes such as increase customer loyalty, engage sales staff, lower operating costs, increase net revenues, et cetera.
There are some key things to capture on your map. First is the relationship between the program and/or project outputs that are being produced. Second, are the business changes that are needed to take on the new capabilities. Third are the outcomes that are expected for the success of those business changes. Fourth are the benefits that are anticipated to be realized because of those outcomes. And lastly, you should illustrate the strategic objectives that will be achieved as a result.
The business benefit roadmap should be created prior to a business case and before a project is approved. It helps articulate the link to the strategic intent of the project and works to clearly show your executive if the investment can be justified. It is important to call out on your benefits roadmap when the project finishes and has transitioned into the ongoing functional operations for benefits realization. The reality of benefits is that they may not be realized during your tenure on the project.
In fact, they may take years to come to fruition for the organization. This is totally okay. You just need to make sure everyone is aware that operations will be helping to achieve and measure the benefits as part of their "business as usual" work. Put it all down on a single page. Make it clear, link the objectives and outcomes to strategic outcomes. If you do this, your benefits roadmap will be used by the executive each time they're asked to explain the benefits of your project.
Just like a page in a children's picture book, your roadmap will speak a thousand words.
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- Creating a business benefits roadmap
- Establishing a realization plan
- Monitoring business benefits
- Reporting results