1 Mar 2012

What’s the benefit

Posted by prince2guest

What’s the benefit

Most organizations nowadays are looking to maximize their investment in change initiatives. The area of focus is moving from successful project delivery to the achieving benefits. From a business perspective – yes it is good to deliver Projects and Programs successfully but how can we demonstrate this?

The focus on benefits is something that can be seen throughout the Best Management Practice suite.  At Project, Program and Portfolio level there is a significant focus on benefits in the three methods – PRINCE2, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and Management of Portfolios (MoP). Without this focus we will struggle to demonstrate what the justification is for a program or a project. Without that justification our initiatives should not be started or allowed to continue.

At Project Level

If we are working at a project level, our focus (using PRINCE2) is very much on the business justification of our project. Why are we doing this project? Based on the combination of costs, benefits and risk we can determine whether or not the project should be started and should then continue through to completion. We have a very definite focus on project output but we also keep a focus on benefits to be achieved that are specific to the individual project.

MSP_Benefits

At Program Level

Stepping up to the next level, at a program level, the essence of successfully delivering our program is making a stepped change to our organization’s capability often linked to a strategic objective of our organization. This involves us taking a much more detailed view of benefits. Looking at how the projects in our program will deliver outputs which in turn lead to benefits which support one or more of the strategic objectives of the organization. The combined effect of managing benefits at a program level enables us to maximize the benefits to be achieved and ensuring that there is a direct link between the project benefits and the organizational benefit to be achieved. The MSP Method covers benefits in a degree of detail which builds on the approach taken in PRINCE2.

At Portfolio LevelMoP_Benefits

At a Portfolio level, the recent introduction of Management of Portfolios (MoP) sets the delivery of benefits within a portfolio context as well. At this level we are looking to demonstrate how benefits are linked to the achievement of the organizations strategic objectives. This is key for organizations today as more and more pressure is being place on them to maximize their delivery.

The methods give us excellent guidance on approaching benefits at the various levels of change. One thing that all three methods support is that benefits should be defined in measurable terms. This is how we can demonstrate achievement.

So when we are asked ‘What’s the benefit?’ the focus on benefits provides us with the way in which we can demonstrate to our organization why effective delivery using best practice methods is critical in today’s environment.

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