All processes need to be governed. This video describes a typical approach to governing the business benefits realization process.
- When I was a kid, I used to dream of being a submarine commander. To be able to travel anywhere without others knowing about it, and popping up in a sunny seaside location seemed like an excellent job. When I consider the governance of business benefits, I often think of the submarine commander. Although he has lots of high-tech tools at his fingertips, there is still the trusty periscope, enabling him to take a look around with his own eyes and ensure he is where he wants to be.
Any governing body needs to feel confident in achieving success. In other words, they need a periscope to make sure the coast is clear. For governing business benefits, there are four fundamental components. Measurements during a change initiative. Measurements after your change is in place. Governance meetings. And reporting. Here are the characteristics of business benefit governance measurements to use during your change initiative.
First, measure if you are successfully collecting all the data you need to support a new or changed process. For example, if your company wants to create a single, global purchasing organization, but you're having trouble collecting current supplier data, your global purchasing organization business benefits will be put at risk. Second, measure the degree of consistency that exists about what "better" looks like for your subjective business benefits.
For example, your organization may have an objective to be easy to work with. Good governance in this area means you understand what your customers want to ensure you actually become easier to work with. So, if a vast majority of your customers say they want you to create a new smartphone app, then you have a clear, aligned information. However, if you're getting input from some customers that want a smartphone app, and others saying they want to talk to real people in your business, you may have a dilemma.
Create measures to ensure you understand that your change initiative actually satisfies what your customers want. Lastly, good governance means evaluating your business benefit needs remain valid as your change initiative progresses. This is the ultimate raising of the periscope, ensuring the path you started down at the beginning of your change initiative is still the path you want to be on. If not, good governance helps you proactively make changes.
So let's take a look at the characteristics of business benefits measurements once change is implemented in your organization. This is more straightforward, and there are some standard characteristics of these measurements. First, measurements need to directly support the desired benefit with objective data, such as increased profit, increased productivity, reduced cost, or improved customer satisfaction as determined from customer surveys. Second, the measurements should be easy to collect.
If a measurement costs a lot to collect, the value of the information that it produces should be evaluated against the insights it provides. Thirdly, the measurement should be universally understood by your management team. If your managers do not have a common view of what the measurement is trying to confirm, it needs to be restructured. Next, good governance requires frequent meetings focused on the evaluation of the measurements and the information they provide.
Appropriate, well-positioned managers with the ability to share views openly and change direction when needed are fundamental aspects of good benefits governance meetings. Lastly, a good benefits governance process has good reporting of the business benefits, including the progress made and/or lessons learnt. Your colleagues will respond more favorably if they understand what benefits are being targeted and how you are tracking towards those benefits.
So that's it. Your periscope for the governance of business benefits. Work with these governance elements and you'll make sure that you don't run into any obstacles on your way to that sunny seaside location.
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- Creating a business benefits roadmap
- Establishing a realization plan
- Monitoring business benefits
- Reporting results