All projects offer business value. Without business value, the sponsoring organization wouldn’t take up the project to begin with. The business value can be in the form of benefits that are materialized by project delivery.
How and when will these benefits be delivered? Can they be measured?
Benefits Management Plan is the answer to these questions.
Typically, the outcome of a project is its benefit. It could be a product, a service, a result or any other business value. Thus, the Benefits Management Plan must be created early in the project life cycle.
Contents of the Benefits Management Plan
Target Benefits – This is the tangible or intangible (or both) value delivered as part of the project.
Strategic Alignment – This is about aligning the project benefits with business strategies and goals of the organization.
Timeframe for Realizing Benefits – The benefits need not be realized immediately after the project is delivered. There could be short-term or long-term benefits. Some benefits could be delivered in phases and may span over the course of several projects. For example, construction of a factory is a project that has long-term benefits for the organization.
Benefits Owner – Someone responsible for monitoring, recording and reporting the realized benefits throughout the benefits realization timeframe.
This role is gradually falling in the kitty of the Project Manager
Metrics – Metrics is basically measurement. Whatever that you do to measure the project benefits is part of the metrics. For example, the factory construction project would have certain long term financial benefits. The financial value can be a metric here.
Assumptions – Any assumptions made for the realization of benefits
Risks – Any foreseeable risks for the realization of benefits
The development of the Benefits Management Plan is not a one time activity. It is iterative in nature. The Benefits Management Plan also requires timely updates and maintenance. This document complements other higher level documents like the Business Case, Project Charter and even the Project Management Plan. It is thus important that this document remains in alignment with the other complementary documents throughout the life of the project.
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