Try searching the Internet for information on business benefits management and there’s no end to what useful information you can find. Yet, with so much information freely available and with management frameworks requiring it as best practice, why then do businesses still fail to adopt it?
Is it because business benefits management is like testing? Everyone knows it’s important, but as it’s not urgent, it’ll just have to be dealt with later, or later still. Yet, we know it pays to plan ahead.
Is it because the project is sanctioned by someone very senior so thinking about benefits doesn’t matter? But how do you then know whether you’ve achieved the outcomes you intended?
Or is it because the benefits are not readily measureable? It might not be a cashable benefit but there are many ways of measuring change.
The root cause is more likely to be due to either a lack of effective IT governance or a lack of management discipline enacting it. But if we just focus on business benefits management for now, how do you get started? Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Take a gradual approach to adopting business benefits management. This may involve a significant change to the way things are done and require establishing a new set of capabilities and processes in your organisation.
- Retain control of business benefits management in-house. Appoint a champion and draw on the experience of experts. If the role is attached to a project, what happens when the project finishes?
- Work with suppliers to develop the business case for an investment. Use their expertise as the opportunity to serve as a learning example for your organisation.
- Sustain the effort for the long run. Introducing business benefits management can bring about a change in perspectives for all involved, it will take time, and requires everyone involved to understand the context.
You can succeed and we can help. Through the adoption of a benefits management method you can track the progress of delivery through the realisation of benefits to the stakeholders impacted and make future investment decisions based on the realisable benefits ensuring maximum value is delivered throughout.
We’ve touched a number of points here which are all interconnected: Business benefits, business cases, stakeholder engagement, business change management, IT governance. All these won’t be new to you,but when investments in IT don’t achieve their expected outcomes consider what the root cause might be. It might just be the business benefits.