Unfortunately, living in the ‘real world’, the truth falls far short of the ideal.
The intent of Benefits Realisation within a business is about ensuring that ideas and consequently projects deliver the benefits, forecast and identified in a business case or project charter documents and are aligned to business strategy.
The steps in doing so should be straight-forward however the reality is that many projects fail to deliver the benefits. Worse still, many fail to even identify what the benefits are other than superficially. Common pitfalls such as expecting that technology will deliver the benefits whereas, whilst it may contribute, it is likely that it is the business change that will deliver the results.
Benefits don’t just happen. They need to be measured and managed.
- Align to Strategy: Ideas and resultant projects should support Business Strategy. If there is no alignment why do them.
- Identify Benefits: What benefits can realistically be expected.
- Identify Measures: How will these benefits be manifest and how will they be measured
- Conduct Baseline Measure: Need to have a baseline against which the measures can be compared.
- Implement Change: Execute the change within the business that the project has defined.
- Monitor: Capture measurement details.
- Assess: Compare measures benefits with the expected.
- Realign to Strategy: Feed results back into the strategy and refine as required.
A Business Architecture provides a structure which supports the Benefits Realisation process. It allows competing ideas and potential projects to be prioritised by identifying early on what business benefit is expected. By providing end-to-end visibility of the business it can assist in identifying key components of potential change and where measures should be made.
A Benefits Realisation Process is not difficult to implement providing the business has sufficient knowledge of how the business operates and the discipline to carry it out.