Chapter 13. Closing the Project
13.4 Validating the Realization of Business Benefits
All projects are initiated as a way to create value for the organization. This value may be expressed in many different ways. For instance, it can be a tangible benefit such as incremental sales associated with launching a new product or service, or an intangible benefit such as increased employee satisfaction associated with introducing time-saving technology. Further, the project may result in streamlining business processes, which will ultimately result in less staff required to complete the work. There are many more possibilities.
Many organizations create a business benefits realization plan, whereas other organizations include the business benefits realization approach as part of their project management plan. Either way, the following should be considered:
- What are the benefits? In stating the benefits, the SMART principle should be used (see Chapter 2).
- How will the business benefits be tracked? This should be a consideration during solution design as it may be necessary to create the mechanisms for the collection of the required information.
- Who is accountable for tracking and communicating the business benefits?
- Who is accountable for taking the appropriate actions to realize the business benefits? For instance, in projects involving productivity improvements, if the business benefits involve the release of staff, who will be accountable for making this happen?
- When are the business benefits expected to be fully realized?