Let’s be realistic – benefits don’t just happen; benefits don’t just get realized by themselves. In fact, benefits from programs and projects are often not realized unless they and the required business changes are proactively managed during and typically post-initiative closure.
We have all seen it, the dilemma when a program or project is closed out: resources, decision makers and funding are all disbanded, but the benefits are not yet realized. Benefits take time, money and resourcing to be realized. But whose role is it? The project manager is onto the next project, other resources are consumed elsewhere and senior management’s attention is focused on the next challenge.
So yes, we need to get better at understanding and managing benefits, regardless of size or type of organisation. It isn’t about finger pointing but rather recognizing that benefits management is an integral element of strategy, portfolio, program and project management. To be successful it needs to be incorporated throughout the business change lifecycle.