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DIGITAL: Managing Project Benefits
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How many program or project managers remember or have read (and understood) the business case why leadership signed up for the Digital project? How many invest time in drafting measurable project objectives at beginning of project? How many of us draw a blank during Project Closure meeting, when someone in the room pops the question: "Why did we initiate this project?" "What were we trying to achieve?"
Our practitioners utilize the CHAMPS2 method for Benefits management for Digital Programs.
A structured approach to ensuring the delivery of business benefits and
Tracing their journey from identification to benefits realization
Benefits are the difference digital transformation will make for the business and it’s customers
Type of benefits:
Financial benefits or efficiency gains
Why do we need to define benefits in a Digital initiative?
Making a difference: Customers will judge the success of digital transformation by the magnitude and value they see. They need to see a different business, a new business.
Justifying digital transformation: To justify the change program, a Full Business Case must be produced that puts the required investment into an equation with the benefits that will be achieved by the investment. That will allow leaders to make a judgement on whether the investment is worth it.
Proving success: At the end of the digital transformation journey, benefits can be measured and they will be used to prove the success of the change program. Success is not just measured at the end of journey, but progress towards benefits should be monitored
How benefits fit into digital transformational journey?
Benefits drive the digital transformational journey and determine what outputs and changes are needed
The thinking has to start from the strategic outcomes and work backwards
It is common for organizations to start with the solution (such as an IT system or a new process) and then look for the benefits to justify it
This is a fundamental flaw and often a reason for change initiatives failing
Benefits should be embedded into the digital transformation program, reviewed in every project phase and encapsulated in four status stages:
Identified: Benefits defined, value calculated, assumptions documented, measurement
process identified- % confidence value assigned
Validated: Benefits definition refined and value calculated as the level of understanding of the solution increases
Enabled: The solution is ready and benefits are reviewed to check whether it actually gets implemented and the business takes advantage of the benefits - % confidence value evaluated again
Realized: Benefits are converted into savings or improved performance i.e. staff are actually released and budget reduced - % realization value achieved
Benefits management strategy
Each digital program requires a benefits management strategy:
Define the process for reviewing, updating and changing benefit details, including who will be involved, how they will be involved and when reviews will be carried out
Determine the project management approach, establishing whether the benefits realization occurs within the existing delivery project or whether a separate benefits project is required. As a result, the project portfolio will be refined to include the necessary benefits realization projects
Define the process for measurement, assessment and review of benefits and benefits realization, including who will be involved, how they will be involved and when reviews will be carried out
Define the roles and responsibilities required
Exit checklist for Benefits across the digital program
As part of Strategic Business Case: Is the difference the potential digital transformation will make clearly articulated (strategic benefits)?
Does the strategic business case provide a high-level justification for digital transformation i.e. strategic benefits against indicative cost?
Is there a benefits inventory
Have benefits to customers, employees and efficiencies explored
Are benefits measurable and with realistic values
Have assumptions or barriers been identified
Do benefit owners fully understand the link between the changes within their area and the benefits
Is there a benefits realization plan
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