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5 STEPS FOR EFFECTIVE BENEFITS REALISATION

Benefits Realisation | What is it…

Benefits Realisation is the approach for ensuring the outcome of a project produces the required benefits identified from with the business case. A Benefits Realisation Plan provides a view on when the benefits are going to be realised (the schedule) and how these are going to be measured. The plan includes: – Handover process to the customer – The closure of the project – The method of tracking the benefits – The schedule of benefits delivery.

5 Steps for effective benefits realisation

Projects are set-up to deliver outcomes. These outcomes are the benefits which the project delivers so it is crucial to maintain a focus on the results and effectively manage benefits throughout the project. A poorly managed approach to benefit management increases the risks of projects either not delivering the stated benefits; going significantly off forecast or failing to engage the appropriate stakeholders. The below are the 5 key steps to support you in effective benefits realisation:

Step 1Undertake Benefits Mapping

  1. Benefits Mapping is a technique to gather the benefits (Direct Saving; Quantifiable and Non-Quantifiable Benefits) that a project could deliver. This is best achieved in a workshop setting with strong  facilitation.
  2. This exercise is a great way to engage a wider set of stakeholders and engage those who will be owning or key to benefits realisation
  3. This is the starting point to identify the items which are important to baseline, measure, track and report on
  4. It also provides an early view of risks, assumption and dependencies to ensure the focus of the project remains on delivering the outcomes

Step 2 – Develop Benefit Profiles

  1. A benefit profile should be developed for each of the main benefits identified as part of the benefits mapping exercise
  2. Baseline each of the main benefits to a method which is repeatable (so after the change we can see a before and after position)
  3. Confirm with benefit owners their responsibilities with realising the identifying benefits – this is a critical step as it transitions the project from ‘good ideas’ to ownership of benefit delivery.

Step 3 – Log all Benefits in a Benefits Register / Catalogue

  1. Capture all benefits within a central location – if the project is part of a programme then these benefits should feed into a central programme register
  2. Review benefits for cannibalisation with other activities within the project and more widely within the organisation

Step 4 – Develop a Benefits Schedule

  1. Part of the benefits realisation plan
  2. Create a schedule which shows when each of the benefits is expected to deliver. This should be connected with the project delivery schedule

Step 5 – Measure Track and Report Benefits

  1. Part of the benefits realisation plan
  2. Once the benefits have been identified and baselined above it is important to the Measure, Track and Report to ensure the project is delivering the Outcomes it set out to achieve
  3. This should not be an after thought. Tracking from the project commencing allows a project to react responsively if delivery is not where it needs to be or to exploit opportunities where the project is delivering better than expected
  4. It is also important to keep all those stakeholders on-board as after all delivering Outcomes is what projects are all about
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Tip!

It is important to have an approach for measuring the benefits even after the project is closing and handed over to BAU.

5 Steps for effective benefits realisation

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