Benefits Management Approach
The purpose of the Benefits Management Approach is to identify the benefits and most importantly, to select how the benefits can be measured so that it is possible to show that they have been reached. You can then compare the new results to the current situation as it is today or at the start of the project (baselined measurements).
The Benefits Management Approach must include information on the expected timeline for these benefits, i.e., when the benefits can be expected and measured, and who will gather the information.
Tip: If you can’t measure a benefit, then don’t claim it as a benefit
Who is responsible?
- The Senior User Role is responsible for specifying the benefits. After the project is finished and the project team is disbanded, one of the persons responsible from the Senior User Role will report on the realized benefits to the Corporate or Programme Management. They have to clearly show that the expected benefits have been reached or provide other information to explain why not (management excuses :-).
- During the project, the Executive is responsible to ensure that benefits reviews are planned and executed if required and they also check that reviews are planned after the project is closed.
- The Project Manager reports to the Project Board on any expected benefits that have been realized during the project, and updates the Benefits Management Approach and Business Case. During the Closing a Project process, they will plan the post-project benefits reviews that should take place in the following years after the project is done.
- Created (facilitated) by the Project Manager in the Initiation Stage
- The Senior User will normally provide most to the information
- The Project Board will approve the Benefits Management Approach at the end of the Initiation Stage
- The Project Manager can check for realised benefits at the end of each stage
- The Project Manager can check for realised benefits at the end of the project and will schedule the post-project benefits reviews
- After the project, the Corporate or Program Management will take over the responsibility of checking for realised benefits.
The Benefits Management Approach has to cover the activities to find out whether the expected benefits of the project deliverables have been realized and how the products have performed when in operational use. Each expected benefit has to be assessed for the level of its achievement. There may also be unexpected side-effects, either beneficial or adverse and Time and effort have to be allowed to identify and analyse why these side effects were not foreseen.
Advice: The Benefits Management Approach is derived from the: Business Case and Project Product Description (in particular the acceptance Criteria) and other information provided by the Senior User
The Benefits Management Approach can take a number of formats, including: a document, spreadsheet or presentation slides; (just keep it as simple as possible).
The following quality criteria should be observed:
- Covers all the benefits in the Business Case
- If it can’t be measured then it is not a benefit (so dont include it as a benefit)
- The benefits are measurable and baseline measures (eg: measurements are taken at the start of the project) have been recorded
- Describes suitable timing for measurement of the benefits, together with reasons for the timing
- Identifies the skills or individuals who will be needed to carry out the measurements
- You may include the effort and cost to undertake the benefits reviews is realistic when compared with the value of the anticipated benefits
- Consideration should also be given to whether dis-benefits should be measured and reviewed.