The shift to Benefits Realization Management

Traditional project managers know how to deliver a project with deliverables and distinct phases. The added value or benefits of each phase was not often mentioned. This situation has shifted the last years as we transition to more complex projects and agile way of thinking.

Why focusing on delivering complete phases of a project and not benefits doesn’t make sense? Because Project managers are part of a corporation, and understanding the pains, and where the company wants to go makes them integral part of the business. A project Manager who is not aligned with the vision of a company and his sole goal is to deliver projects according to the timelines will not build robust products

Managing the benefits of projects and programs is making the old fashioned project manager to realize that the purpose of all the products that he is building is to add value to the business, this value should be measurable and is called benefits.

The Business Case way of thinking

How the traditional project management sees every project is by creating separate business cases for every sub project. However we live in the world of agile and prioritizing the business cases doesn’t make sense when we don’t assign benefits to it.

In old project there was a direct cause and effect relationship between the business case and the outcome of the product. Nowadays this is difficult as the products we build are complex by nature. Take for example an analytics dashboard. The data sources that are used are from multiple departments and multiple KPI’s can be included. The Project Managers cannot create detailed business cases for each capability as the nature of the project is complicated.

It is difficult to realize and estimate the impact a data science project will have. Instead, breaking the project into pieces and assessing the distinct benefits within each iteration makes more easy the prioritization and management of team resources.

A top down approach and benefits allocation of deliverables make the project managers more accountable and connect them with the Business value.

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