Purpose of this Guide
The main purpose of this Guide is to provide managers and practitioners from multiple disciplines, working in a wide variety of organizations, with generally applicable guidance encompassing benefits management principles, practices and techniques. Specifically:
• An overview of benefits management – what it is, the case for doing it, and some common misconceptions
• Descriptions of the seven principles upon which successful benefits management practices are built
• Details of the five practices in the Benefits Management Cycle relating to individual change initiatives
• Guidance on how to apply benefits management at a collective or portfolio level
• Advice on how to get started in implementing effective benefits management practices and how to sustain progress.
The Guide adds value by:
• Consolidating existing good-practice guidance in one place making linkages between that guidance.
• Expanding on the existing guidance, by illustrating the theory with practical applications, examples and case studies from a variety of settings.
• Filling in the gaps to represent a comprehensive statement of current good-practice guidance.
• Incorporating practices and lessons learned from a variety of disciplines – not only project, programme and portfolio management.
The Guide has sought to capture an approach reflecting:
• Realism in planning based on benefits-led change initiatives, within the context of clearly articulated, but often emergent strategy, consistent portfolio-wide and evidence-based approaches, applied across the business change lifecycle.
• Enthusiasm in delivery based on an active search for benefits, ongoing participative stakeholder engagement, and managed with a forward-looking perspective, based on transparency, insight, learning and continuous improvement.
Defined practices are no ‘silver bullet’ solution. The effectiveness of the benefits management practices depends on a series of enabling factors or principles that represent the foundations upon which successful benefits management practices are built – these principles are:
1. Align benefits with strategy
2. Start with the end in mind
3. Utilize successful delivery methods
4. Integrate benefits with performance management
5. Manage benefits from a portfolio perspective
6. Apply effective governance
7. Develop a value culture
The Benefits Management Cycle is applied at an individual initiative level. These practices are:
• Identify and Quantify
• Value and Appraise
Benefits Management Documentation
The Guide includes examples of typical Benefit Management Documentation, which has been developed from the guidance in MoP and includes typical contents for:
• Portfolio Benefits Management Framework
• Portfolio Benefits Realization Plan
• Portfolio Dashboard Report
• Reference number or identifier.
• Description of the benefit (or dis-benefit).
• Programme or organizational objectives supported and the related observable outcomes from the programme implementation.
• Category or categories that are appropriate to the benefits.
• KPIs in the business operations that will be affected by the benefit, both immediately after realization and for the future.
• Current or baseline performance levels, and improvement or deterioration trajectory anticipated.
• Benefits realization and business change costs.
• Capabilities required for the benefit to be realized: the project(s) within the programme directly related to the realization of the benefit.
• Outcomes that will need to be in place to enable the benefits realization.
• Business changes required for realization (to process, culture, people, policy).
• Related issues and risks to the full realization of the benefit.
• Any dependencies on contributory events, programmes or projects outside the boundary of this programme.
• Who is responsible for realizing this benefit (typically the Business Change Manager for this area of the business).
• Attribution: the benefits owner and the operations area that will receive this benefit.
• Measurement (financial wherever possible).
Benefits Management Roles and Responsibilities
Portfolio-level benefits management: key roles
• Portfolio Direction Group (PDG)/Investment Committee (IC) – the governance body where decisions about the inclusion of initiatives in the change portfolio are made.
• Portfolio Progress Group (PPG)/Change Delivery Committee (CDC) – the governance body responsible for monitoring portfolio progress and resolving issues that may compromise delivery and benefits realization.
• Business Change Director/Portfolio Director – the Management Board member responsible for the Portfolio Strategy and providing clear leadership through its life.
• Portfolio Benefits Manager (reporting to the Portfolio Manager/Head of the Portfolio Office) – ensures that a consistent ‘fit for purpose’ approach to benefits management is applied across the portfolio and that benefits realization is optimized from the organization’s investment in change.
• Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) – the single individual with overall responsibility for ensuring that a project or programme meets its objectives and delivers the projected benefits.
• Programme Manager – the role responsible for the set-up, management and delivery of a programme. Typically allocated to a single manager.
• Business Change Manager – the role responsible for benefits management, from identification through to realization, and for ensuring that the implementation and embedding of the new capabilities are delivered by the projects. Typically allocated to more than one individual and also known as ‘change agent’.
• Programme Office – the function providing the information hub and standards custodian for a programme and its delivery objectives. Could provide support for more than one programme. May include a benefits role (Benefits Manager) to provide a benefits realization support service to programmes, business managers and Business Change Managers.
• Benefit Owner – the person responsible for the realization of a specific benefit. Note that the role may well extend beyond the life of a programme.