And how Managing Benefits can make a difference?

Huge amounts of time and resource go into delivering projects, but how often do businesses reach the end of a project and realize it hasn’t delivered the outcomes and benefits they set out to achieve? You might be surprised to know that 50% of respondents to a KPMG Survey* of 100 businesses across a broad cross section of industries indicated that their project failed to consistently deliver the benefits they were initiated to provide. It seems that traditional project management methods alone might not be as effective as they should be. Could this failure be down to the fact that only half of all project managers hold a formal qualification? Or even that those with PM qualifications are somehow losing sight of desired outcomes and benefits along the way?

With Brexit on the horizon, now more than ever businesses/organisations are operating in a climate of economic uncertainty and change. This means project managers and change initiators need to ensure they are working smartly with their available resources. It’s about making certain there’s a process in place which ensures projects deliver exactly what you want, even if desired outcomes change due to unforeseen issues along the way. This is where Managing Benefits comes in. With specific learning on how to maintain focus on the benefits of a project, the prospects of ensuring that a project’s deliverables add both value and a decent return on investment to a business are vastly improved. For existing project managers, a benefits management learning and development programme can give you the techniques, qualification and experience you need to deliver the required project outcomes and benefits.

Bristol Management Center (as part of IMD Group) focus on the 70:20:10 learning and development model capability that is based on the primary principle that the majority (70%) of learning and development happens where we spend most of our time, i.e. actually working at the day job. Formal training and tuition forms a relatively small (10%) part of the overall learning and development experience and it is vital that coaching and mentoring is leveraged (via the 20%) to ensure that day job activities are aligned/complementary to the learning and development goals.

70:20:10 Development Model

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Following an APMG International Managing Benefits course, an individual/team should ideally receive coaching by Benefit Practitioners within their organisation that encourages adoption of the new cultures, behaviors and working practices that will work towards achieving the required outcome of the project. This will include boosting soft skills, to build confidence and capability in the individuals and teams, to promote understanding of their working environment and the working communities they operate in.

Additionally, Benefits Management learning pathways should be developed, which define and assist in ‘learning by doing’. This is achieved by applying the new benefits knowledge ‘on the job’ and creating a pathway that brings structure to the transfer of learning direct into the workplace, at the point of work. In each Benefits Management pathway, the learners are given basic scene setting information that is essential or linked to their learning and development. A set of tasks and questions are set which facilitate focusing on the benefits of a project and are designed to trigger activities, practice new skills, prompt conversations and learn from experience and reflection. Throughout these pathways, the learner is accompanied by their internal dedicated Benefits Management mentor or coach.

By providing learning this way and applying the Benefits Management experience/knowledge gained, organisations have found: more projects succeed in embedding and reinforcing desired benefits behaviours, individuals/teams driving a mentoring and coaching culture, an increase in self-directed learning and an overall improvement in the prospect of ensuring that a project’s deliverables add both value and a decent return on investment to an organisation.

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