Benefits Management defines by J. Ward et al. as 'the process of organising and managing such that potential benefits arising from the use of IT are actually realised'. Instead of reading the academic stuff, look at the image and you instantly understand what the concept of benefits management is and is fighting against.
Avoid ROI by Chance
IT-projects have a project manager, steering group, risk analysis, follow-ups, and escalation to take action if things go wrong. Build an IT solution, show the users how to work with it, and there is where the plan ends. End the project as soon as possible, it just costs money. But since benefits arise when people - staff, customers, partners - behave in new ways or take action, the up-side of the whole project starts after the "IT-project". You leave it as 'ROI by Chance'. There is no project manager, no steering group, no risk analysis, no follow-ups.
Taste it one more time: Your investments probably are based on ROI by Chance. And you should not like the sound of that, should you?
Benefits management - fights against ROI by Chance
Benefits Management ensures your investments are built on the right benefits and requirements, with reliable business cases and prioritisation, and the benefits are visible and measurable, and that they will occur for real. It is the framework you need to incorporate into your IT-department, project management methods, program office, controlling, and business governance. If not, you can stop making business cases too, because they are figures without solid ground.
Are you prepared to do something about it? From now on, you need to build a program scope consisting of two maybe equally major subprojects; an IT-implementation project, and a benefits realisation project. If benefits realisation is new to you and you are in the middle of a project right now, waste no time. The easiest way to implement benefits realisation assurance can be to use your current project management methodology and form a second project beside the IT implementation, the Benefits Realisation Project. A great part of it is the actual business change activities, but also the measurement of results, reporting, governance, and supporting management and staff to carry out the organisational and process change.
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