Why do you need a Benefits Realization Plan for your Project?

Business projects are undertaken to deliver benefits. However, they are frequently criticised for failing to deliver all or some of those benefits identified at Business Case stage.

Although the reasons for this vary, many of the underlying difficulties relate to a lack of identifying achievable benefits for a project or the failure to assign ownership to an individual who will be responsible for ensuring benefit realization.

Projects are typically considered to be finished when their deliverables, as identified in the Project Charter or Terms of Reference, are complete. However, the benefits associated with a project will often materialise over time after the project has completed. By this time, the project team has been disbanded, leaving no-one responsible for benefits realisation.

Benefits arise from an investment in business change, and not just from an investment in a new or modified information system. No application development projects exist in isolation – they are always part of business change. Such change needs to be managed carefully and also requires good change management skills.

The approach to Benefits Realization Planning is to bring definition, accountability, and measurement through the development of an effective Benefits Realization Plan (“BRP”). Benefits Realization Planning is an essential aspect of effective project governance.

About tomjsmyth
I am Chairman and Managing Director of a company called Consulting Cloud. This company provides IT and business related templates and sample documents over the internet.

One Response to Why do you need a Benefits Realization Plan for your Project?

  1. Pingback: How good are we at lessons learned? « Project Management in Practice

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