Success & Benefits - Overview | PMQ D3.1a
QA | APM PMQ | Digital
This video will define the different successes and benefits for different stakeholders.
- Project success is a relative concept. It means different things to different stakeholders. For you as a project manager, it could mean delivering the project on time to quality and within budget. For users success is likely to be more about whether the output does what they expect. While success criteria can include benefits, most of the time this isn't the case. As benefits realization is often handled by different parts of an organization. So for our purposes, we need to think of success criteria, earned benefits as two different things. In this video, we'll discuss the differences between success and benefits. Factors that impact the success of projects and benefits management. Success criteria tend to focus on projects delivering their outputs to specific key performance indicators or KPIs. These are things like time, on budget and to the expected quality standards. Projects should be seen as a means to an end. The end is the benefits, but the success of the means is the success criteria. And then not the same as the benefits. Beyond the standard success criteria, there are also a few success factors that might impact a project, including clear goals, good governance, management, commitment, communication, and effective teams. As a project manager, it's your responsibility to look after these success factors to make sure they are optimized for success. Okay, so that's success. Let's move on to benefits now. According to the APM body of knowledge, seventh edition, "a benefit is a positive and measurable impact of change. They are quantifiable and measurable improvements resulting from completion of deliverables that are accepted, utilized and perceived as positive by a stakeholder." I emphasize perceived because some stakeholders might perceive a change as negative, which is also known as a dis-benefit. Ultimately, projects exist to deliver benefits. As a project manager, you need to understand what the expected benefits of your project are, and also work closely with the people who are responsible for realizing those benefits. So that the project achieves success and realizes the benefits. While measurable benefits are always desirable, you can think of benefits in two ways. Tangible benefits also known as hard benefits are easily measurable and tend to lead to things like increased profit, increased turnover and increased new jobs. Intangible benefits, also known as soft benefits are more subjective, and might include things like an increase in the company's reputation, increased staff capacity or increased staff motivation. Regardless of whether the benefits your project should enable a tangible or intangible, you do need a way to try and measure and manage them. You can use five stages of benefit management to do this. First identify the potential benefits and disbenefits of the project. Next, define them using a benefits profile to capture information like the baseline target measures, priority, ownership and resources. Now you can move on to planning for the benefits realization, which shows how you plan to measure the realization of the benefits. This might include things like ownership, roles and responsibilities, and how your manage the benefits dependencies. Second to last you'll need to track the benefits as per the plan. At this stage, you need to report and communicate your benefits realization to the sponsor and any other accountable authority. Finally, it's time to realize the benefits by embedding the change and making sure that the organization has transitioned to using the outputs. Okay, so now that we've dealt with success and the difference between it and benefits, as well as how to classify or measure benefits, let's move on to the final part of this video and talk about the advantages of benefits management. Effectively managing your benefits will help with stakeholder engagement and buy-in, keeps the project in line with the organization's strategic objectives. Make sure that management understand who is responsible for benefits realization. Create a focus for project delivery and understand any threats to your benefits realization. And that's it for this video. Success and benefits are closely linked, but they aren't the same thing. And shouldn't be treated as if they are. Effective benefits realization requires work from the organization. Well, benefits realization isn't the sole responsibility of a project manager. You still need to understand what the benefits of your project should be and do everything you can to help ensure that the projects are both successful and have realized benefits at the end of the life cycle.