It is easy for project professionals to get caught up in schedules or budgets and forget about the actual benefits delivery. Studies show that only 40 percent of projects mostly or always deliver on their forecasted benefits. The benefits management process consists of both project and business-as-usual (BAU) teams, so it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. In this article at the Association for Project Management/APM, James Elliott explains the three common benefits management mistakes to look out for on your next project.
Three Management Mistakes You Should Avoid:
Business owners make one of the biggest mistakes during the planning phase by wildly overestimating what can be achieved. Three factors often come into play:
Optimism bias: There is a natural tendency to favor the best outcome rather than consider all possible outcomes.Poor data: Lack of data makes it challenging to forecast benefits (allowing optimism to flourish again).Corporate pressure: Often, business leaders overestimate their ability to deliver, and this pressure sets everyone an elusive target that is bound to fail.
Many businesses fail to set up comprehensive governance systems to track the project benefits. It is prudent to work with those in your project team and the wider industry who have expertise in measuring business performance. In addition to offering complete transparency into benefits delivery and accountability, this will also provide critical decision-making information and help shape the project’s direction.
Transition & Ownership
Benefits realization typically happens when a change is implemented. As the project team dissolves, ensure the benefit tracking responsibilities make their way into your transition and closure process. A PMO member needs to verify that all the handover tasks are documented and the sponsor has provided final approval and accepts ownership.
Managing and achieving project benefits is a tough discipline to master. Evaluate whether overestimating benefits is justified, then enforce a comprehensive benefits governance framework that impacts both the project team and the business operations.
To read the original article, click on https://www.apm.org.uk/blog/three-common-mistakes-businesses-make-when-managing-project-benefits/