Managing benefits and understanding them in the process often happens after the project has ended, and that’s perfectly normal. But on the other hand, it’s also a problem. Why is that?
The one main issue here once a project finishes, governance starts to slip away into the cracks. Tracking, reporting, and managing seem to go disappear as well, there’s no PMO involved, and no meetings to discuss oversights and results.
Managing benefits and their realization are handed down to the people who have adopted the project deliverables. However, it is not their job to track and report results; it’s a key area where the PMO added value and give quality data in regards to the project initiatives.
Managing Benefits Approach
Before you delve managing benefits and realizing them under the flagship of PMO, it’s essential to understandwhat the organization wants in terms of benefits tracking.
Benefits realization is often found in strategic and enterprise-level PMOs seeing that tasks such as tracking and reporting are often connected to portfolio management. If your business doesn’t still have a PMO for portfolio management, you might want to adapt your approach a little bit; ensure that you bounce this back to the senior management so that they have a clear view of the possible benefits in the project lifecycle.
Even if you don’t have a mature PMO, you can still incorporate an approach that can help you in managing benefits. Start this by creating a culture where project managers can see the deliverables used in an actual situation. The organization will find it easier to acquire benefits if the project has the user and end results in mind.
System Set Up
Your benefits system must have come out with data that will help managers make decisions, as reflected in the other systems of PMO.
Tracking benefits should include an immediate flagging of issues within a project. This will give managers ample time to find solutions and deal the problem head-on. But managing benefits and tracking them go a long way. Other than the usual reporting and documenting, there is a need to pull some more weight to be able to effectively manage your resources.
Results Toward the Long Haul
Projects take time to produce so you can’t expect that managing benefits can be shifted overnight. It’s a big step moving to PMO processes and tools that will simplify complex reports.
Start taking baby steps at this point such as:
- Updating your project template to include a detailed benefits data
- Giving balances during the project lifecycle to evaluate whetherthe project is on the right track in order to acquire the stated benefits
- Creating a culture where the organization can benefit from rather than just accomplishing tasks onthe list
These activities will take a long time. Remember that managing benefits is a long-term approach and something that you’re willing to work over time. You might even get some extra help seeing that you don’t have enough expertise and skills in it.
Raising Up Your Benefits
The role of a mature PMO is to aim for managing benefits. If your PMO is not mature enough, you might consider taking a first few steps before delving into managing benefits. And when the time comes, you might consider raising up the bar for your team and processes for you to be able to support PMO benefits management. Prepare your plan of action, software, processes, resources, and a vision supported by the executives.
It always starts small and builds to something bigger and greater.