Benefits management is a method used when investing both time and resources in a project in order to ensure that positive change happens. In order to do this, it is important to identify, plan, measure and track all of the benefits of a project from the beginning to the end when all of the benefits of the plan should have been achieved. But there are common barriers to benefits management that can prevent the expected benefits from being achieved.
Any project is essentially a vehicle which is used to deliver benefits to the project stakeholders. These benefits may include things like improved quality, better customer service, reduced cost of production and increased customer retention. Having a benefits management plan will allow the project manager to maximise the outcomes of the project for everyone who is involved, including the stakeholders and the organisation, and it is a vital part of any successful project management plan.
You should consider benefits management as a link that connects the successful delivery of a project within change management. So the purpose of benefits management is, in fact, to ensure that benefits drive change management. In this way, you will be able to get the most value from an investment that you make in a project.
Because benefits management is utilised to manage the investments that an organisation makes and ensure that everyone is focused on those benefits as the different business processes are undertaken, it is important that special attention is paid to how this is done.
In instances where there is a lack of communication, then there is every chance that there will be barriers to this happening, and those barriers may cause problems in future processes. It is vital that all members of the project team communicate with each other effectively. As part of your project plan, you should set out ways in which you expect this communication to take place so that everyone knows exactly how and when they should be communicating with each other.
Poor processes are also another barrier to benefits management that you might encounter within your project. Hence, it is really important to ensure that your project plan is well thought out and that you have considered all the risks and issues that might crop up during your project. When you fail to plan for these effectively, you run the risk of going over budget, overrunning your timescales, and even failing to be successful with your project. Having the right processes in place will go a long way towards helping you to avoid this happening.
When benefits management is not taken seriously by senior management or even the members of the team, then there is a good chance that the project manager will struggle to adopt good practices in any project. The realisation of benefits must start at the top, with key consideration given to a suitable culture, effective processes and an overview at a corporate level that ensures projects are done in order to deliver the desired business outcome.