Predict future benefits through effective risk management

imageBenefits management needs to be practiced over the full lifecycle of the project and beyond.

An integral component of benefits management is the regular re-validation of expected benefits. If this is not done, there is risk of continued investment without hope of a valid return based on changes to the assumptions and analysis supportng the original business case.

And that is why effective risk management is critical.
When most teams practice project risk management, their focus is usually on identifying and managing the threats and opportunities to delivering the scope of their projects within approved baselines.

But that is only a part of the story.

Companies invest in projects not to meet the triple constraint, but to achieve expected business outcomes. As such, a myopic focus on delivery excellence can still result in poor returns.

You should recognize that there may need to be different players who will participate in the benefits risk management review. Core team members might still add value to the process, but it will fail if you don’t have active engagement from your business and operations partners. These stakeholders are responsible for the post-project realization of benefits and will usually have the best knowledge of changing conditions within or outside of the company which could positively or negatively impact realized benefits.

You also would likely not want to conduct this re-evaluation as frequently as the refresh of your project delivery risks. The effort required to do a quality job, and the availability of the external stakeholders required to make this exercise a success would restrict it to once a month at most.

Certainly those organizations which embrace portfolio management practices can ensure that inertia does not drive continued investment by conducting such reviews on a monthly or quarterly basis. But even those companies which do not regularly review portfolio spend can do so during traditional annual planning cycles.
The best way to predict future business outcomes is to effectively manage the risks which will impact them.

Categories: Project Management, Project Portfolio Management | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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