Benefits Realisation Framework

The need for a Benefits Realisation Framework

Every organisation engaged in business change should have a benefits realisation framework, to maximise the impact of change, and to avoid common pitfalls of change programmes.

Benefits realisation includes the long-term process of embedding and maximising potential benefits following the delivery of projects.  Benefits are rarely automatic. Often they require behavioural and organisational change.

Benefits realisation goes well beyond project management. Responsibility for benefits realisation should seldom be owned by project managers, or PMOs. They do, however, have a role in facilitating much of the following.

Benefits realisation process

Why do we need a framework?

The following is generic, however, just assuming the following will simply happen will have a serious impact on the effectiveness of change efforts.

The framework should also:

  1. provide any organisation with the evidence to know whether change efforts are making a real difference.
  2. give those people involved in change programmes clear help and guidance around benefits realisation to develop their maturity around this topic, as evidence shows that most people really do not find this an easy thing to do.

Contents of the Framework

The framework should be as lightweight as possible. It does not have to include templates, but it must make this task crystal clear. It must also provide guidance to people who have to contribute towards the benefits element of any project or programme. Using real worked examples can be hugely useful.

It should at least refer to or cover the following:

  • Relating Strategic objectives and priorities to benefits planning
  • Pipeline planning and approval of business cases
  • The one-page business case
  • The benefits cycle (identify, plan, realise)
  • Benefits Identification
    • Types of benefits relative to the organisation’s activities
    • Clear guidance on what constitutes actual benefits in your organisation
  • Benefits planning, including the management of risk relating to benefits, not the project
  • Benefits realisation – focusing on responsibilities
  • Accountability and responsibility for benefits – ownership
  • Measuring and reporting – keeping it simple but visible – common pitfalls around measures
  • Lightweight ‘tools’ to manage the realisation phase, focusing on status around actions

Real evidence of the need:

Finally, if you are still to be convinced of the need for the above, please spend 4 minutes watching the video below.

Having developed the first-ever training and coaching (in 2003) on this subject available anywhere, in 2018 we were commissioned to conduct a formal lessons-learned exercise, the summary of which is captured here (audio is not required):

Email us to find out more


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