gears

Benefits realisation

Overview

Benefits realisation makes sure the potential benefits of a project or programme of change are achieved.

Benefits realisation helps you identify, define, measure, and monitor the improvements you make when carrying out improvement or change projects.

Also known as

The tool

Stages of a projectQuestions you need to askBenefits review plan
Stages of a project
  • Why do you want to do this project?
  • What is/are the benefit(s) to the project?
N/A
Initiating a project
  • How are you going to measure the benefits?
  • When will the benefits come into being?
Should be developed here.
Implementing a project
  • How has the project scope or the business scope changed?
  • How has this affected the benefits?
The plan and measures should be monitored throughout the implementation stages. Benefits review should be updated at each project stage boundary.
Closing a project
  • Which benefits have been realised?
  • Are there any benefits which will not be realised?
  • What lessons have been learned.
N/A
After the project is over
  • Which benefits are left to be realised after the project closed.
  • Who is going to monitor these?
N/A

The questions in the previous table form the basis of a benefits review plan.

The benefits review plan should take into account the following:

  • The desired benefits of the project.
  • Stakeholders impacted by the benefits.
  • The person accountable for delivering the benefits (their ‘owner’).
  • Dates by when benefits will be delivered.
  • How and when the benefits will be measured.
  • The resources needed to carry out the review work.
  • Baseline measures to enable improvements to be assessed.

Why use it

When to use it

Activity relating to benefits realisation should start at the beginning of any project and continue beyond its end.

How to use it

In the earliest stages of your project, you need to set out what you are seeking to achieve and to establish baselines.

Baselines

By establishing baselines:

  • You can check it is possible to measure the things you want to improve. This is better than waiting until the end of your project and only then discovering you can’t.
  • You will have something to measure and compare against when your project has been completed.

Stakeholders

You should involve stakeholders when you identify benefits. You can do this by mapping the various benefits against different stakeholder groups (see the following table), possibly in a workshop environment. You should also consider disbenefits at this point, looking to see which stakeholders might be disadvantaged by the change you are proposing. (This complements the need to carry out Equalities and Socio-Economic Impact Assessments.)

In order to identify your stakeholders, you will need to carry out a stakeholder mapping exercise, by mapping the benefits/disbenefits [KS – loss?] to each stakeholder group (see following table).

Benefits

Stakeholder group 1

Stakeholder group 2

Stakeholder group 3

Stakeholder group n

Benefit 1

Benefit

Benefit

Benefit

Loss

Benefit 2

Loss

Benefit

No impact

Benefit

Benefit 3

Benefit

Benefit

Benefit

No impact

Benefit n

No impact

Loss

Benefit

Benefit

You should use your Benefits Review plan throughout the lifetime of your project and beyond, updating the plan as required at every stage.

After the project has finished, you should continue to measure and monitor your benefits to check and evidence whether your project has achieved its outcomes and has had the anticipated impact.

Strengths

Weaknesses

Similar to

Use in conjunction with

Complemented by

Example(s)

Additional information