Business cases help secure project funding. But the benefits articulated in the business case are rarely used to help determine whether the project delivered the intended results. A robust benefits realization framework provides the insight needed to gauge performance, recognize success, identify areas for improvement, and improve processes across the organization.
Standardize Benefit Structures & Estimates
To provide the right foundation that consistently captures benefit estimates and tracks results, the organization must first standardize financial and non-financial benefit structures across the portfolio. This ensures that executives have the right information at their fingertips to gauge whether or not their investments are delivering the intended value.
Dynamically Adjust Benefit Estimates Throughout the Project
Benefit estimates within a business case are rarely updated, even though the benefits or value of a particular project can change based on variables or as more becomes known about the initiative. Integrating those benefit assessments directly into the PPM tool ensures that they can be continually refined at key gates. This provides executives with the information they need to immediately assess the impact at project, program and portfolio level.
Accountability is Key
Project managers are responsible for the successful delivery (on-time, within budget and to scope) of the project. But the accuracy of benefit estimates or the actual benefits realized is the responsibility of the stakeholders that recommended the project in the first place. Acknowledging this requires a cultural shift that holds the appropriate parties accountable for evolving benefit estimates, and a robust benefits realization framework to help measure the success of the initiative. The result is increased accountability and a more thoughtful and realistic overall approach to measuring benefits.
Providing the organization with the ability to track actual benefits during or after the completion of the project helps to easily pinpoint variances and identify investments that did not realize their objectives. That’s why it’s important to provide the flexibility that enables the organization to estimate and track benefits at varying levels in the portfolio hierarchy (e.g. Project, Program, Portfolio or even the impacted product or IT asset).
Improve Estimating Accuracy
By capturing and snapshotting benefit estimates at varying approval gates and comparing those to the benefits actually achieved, the organization can make the assessments required to derive the estimating accuracy by department or stakeholder. With an increased level of accountability, the organization is better equipped to continually improve the process and deliver even more accurate estimates.
Derive Metrics & Document Lessons Learned
Powerful post-completion surveys capture data to help document lessons learned. Capturing these lessons helps to provide the empirical data organizations need to improve their governance processes. The organization can also derive, track and measure key portfolio metrics and benchmarks like customer satisfaction, strategic yield realized, financial metrics and more.
Generate Powerful Reports & Dashboards
Powerful business intelligence and dashboards more effectively communicate results and outcomes and quickly identify issues requiring attention. Out-of-the-box reporting and quick-start kits enable enables virtually anyone to produce effective reports and dashboards with minimal effort and time.