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Managing Benefits – why it matters

By Anne McGrath, Trainer and Consultant at ILX Group | 13 July 2015

Organisations are spending a lot of money on projects and programmes, but many are not seeing the benefit. Even worse, some organisations do not even realise that they are failing to see any return on their investment because they are not measuring the results. This situation is partly the result of programme and project managers second-guessing what they think is needed and failing to translate business needs into change that will result in concrete benefit for the organisation. Without the support, guidance or time they need with the right people in the business, programme and project managers will continue to get it wrong and organisations will fail to see the return from their investment.

That is why it is key that staff at every level work together to understand how they can define and manage the benefits that they hope to get from programmes and projects and how these meet wider corporate objectives. There is help at hand to address this issue in the shape of the APM Group’s Managing Benefits guidance. This framework helps staff at all levels to agree on strategic objectives and the measurable benefits linked to them. Later they can map the benefits back to the programme outcomes, and then backwards to the capability they will need from the programme and the outputs that need to be delivered by the projects that make up the programmes.

Managing Benefits complements and build on Best Practice in portfolio, programme and project management such as PRINCE2®, MSP®, P3O®, MoV® and MoP®. Managing Benefits Is not just a project manager’s baby though – it needs to be introduced at every level. Some forward-thinking businesses have sent staff from all levels on Managing Benefits training courses together, allowing the trainer to use the real-life change the employees are aiming to make together as a case study to demonstrate the use of the framework.

Be prepared for Managing Benefits to revolutionise the organisation. Employees will start to question their activities in terms of “what benefits will we get?” rather than “what will we deliver?” It may lead people to query programmes and projects already underway but that are not clearly linked to measurable benefits that will contribute to the delivery of the strategic objectives of the organisation.

What is the success rate of your current change programmes and projects? Not how many are being delivered on time and within budget, but how many of them are really making a difference to the strategic objectives of the organisation by delivering the correct measurable benefits to the business? If the answer to this question is unclear or worrying then it is time to introduce Managing Benefits.

To find out more about Managing Benefits click here

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