This video provides a definition of business benefits and the intent of business benefits realization for projects.
Consider this scenario, your executive asks you to manage several projects as part of a large change program for your organization. You know your executive is excited about the program of work and specific initiatives. But your intuition is telling you that they may be disappointed. You believe it's unlikely they will see the actual results they envision based on what is being described to date. The problem is that you're unable to piece the multiple projects together to understand exactly what initiatives will achieve what outcome.
What project is dependent on what, and what you need to focus on to ensure the project will make a sustainable and real difference to the organization. Organizations have a lot of projects and not every project is going to get approved to go ahead. Executives make decisions based on the potential benefits they are hoping to receive from these projects. Once a project is actually approved, we need to find the ways of getting them from where we are today to actually achieving those measurable outcomes and benefits.
Benefits are the measurable improvement resulting from an outcome. They are perceived as an advantage by a stakeholder. The important point here is that benefits are not perceptions. There are five top objectives of benefits realization management. Firstly, be specific. Ensure benefits are clearly identified to find and linked to the strategic outcomes. Secondly, clearly define who owns the benefits.
Ensure business areas are committed to realizing their defined benefits and the ownership of the benefits is spelled out including responsibility for adding value through the realization process. Thirdly, define the process. Drive the process of realizing benefits, including benefit measurement, tracking, and recording benefits as they are realized. Fourthly, create the benefits plan. Use the define, expected benefits as a roadmap for the program, providing a focus for delivering change.
And lastly, ensure benefits are traceable. Provide alignment and clear links between the program vision and desired benefits together with the organizations strategic objectives. To reinforce the importance, benefits need to be considered as part of a life cylce. From strategy, through tactical, to operational. From my many years of experience in this area, projects create and deliver the tactical mechanisms organizations leverage to affect the required strategic change that they are looking for.
These projects need to ensure they deliver the required business change as most business benefits are realized once these changes are transitioned and delivered in the new, ongoing operational environment. Thinking about it like this will help the organization prioritize the many projects or great ideas they have, and commit the resources to a project as well as prepare the operations appropriately. Delivering on the objectives of business benefits realization and understanding the purpose and intent on why an organization or executive is seeking change, will allow you to rationalize those initial feelings of concern.
Creating a business benefits framework, roadmap, and plan, will drive the way in how best to achieve what is being asked for in ensuring you deliver all those important expected benefits.
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- Creating a business benefits roadmap
- Establishing a realization plan
- Monitoring business benefits
- Reporting results