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Downsides of Poor Benefits Management

This week we have been developing our first YouTube Video dedicated to Benefits Management leveraging our content on 5 Steps for Effective Benefits Management – see the video here.

On reviewing this content, we noticed the focus is rightly on:

  1. ‘Why’ we should care about benefits management and
  2. How to effectively manage benefits.

Yet in so many organisations and assignments we have engaged in, benefits management often has a an add-on feel.

Senior (Corporate) Management

There is often a strong desire from Senior or Corporate management to manage by benefits but the filter to the operational or project layer can be one of disdain. This in leads to poor benefits management.

The reasons for this, is often senior management managing by a number associated to a project or improvement activity and showing little consideration to the day-to-day struggles. Though some senior managers also exhibit the same disdain for benefits and associate effort as output.

So what may help to change the situation?

Well starting with ‘Why’ is the way to go, but that is a well-trodden path. So here, we focus on the consequences – the downsides – of poor benefits management.

  1. First up – It discredits all change activity. That’s right not effectively managing benefits doesn’t just impact the project where benefits are not being managed, but has the potential to spread to all projects. “There is no point on doing this projects as they don’t deliver any change” – or words to that effect will become the accepted norm within the organisation. Projects and project teams begin to lose the ability to engage stakeholders which, in itself, is an inhibitor to delivering change.
  2. Unable to state the investment case for future (or current release) funding. This will strangle the project of resources and limit the projects ability to function and deliver the transformation.
  3. Linked to point 2, Incorrect or unbalanced investment decisions are taken. Other projects or ideas with less strategic, customer or business value will progress ahead. It is not possible to make priority calls on investment. Ultimately leading to a poor allocation of funding.
  4. If projects create capacity through a project and this is not effectively ‘cashed’ then in effect – time, effort and resources have been expanded to create more ‘fat’ in the system. This will in-turn place strain on other parts of the operation or organisation.
  5. Come back to haunt the project or organisation. At some point, someone, is going to require a definitive Return On Investment (ROI) benefit position on the project. Not being able to produce a stable position shall create doubt and mis-trust of that function. Often this creates a significant overhead on the project / function with audit style assessments. Areas that perhaps at first were not in line for such scrutiny will now find themselves in focus and under scrutiny.
  6. Lack a sense of accomplishment. Not tracking the benefits can remove perspective from achievement. Delivering change at times is hard and gruelling, having the benefits as a reminder of why and a factual point to track progress supports motivation and morale.
  7. Removes focus. Tracking the benefits and ensuring delivery supports priority calls and allows a project and the wider team to make rationale assessments on next steps when activities are going off-track
  8. And finally all of the above points lead to an organisations colleagues building up a resistance to change. And a company that is not prepared to change is one that will not last the test of time.

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Until Next time






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