The Benefits Institute today announced the release of a set of articles to address common issues in projects undertaken by organisations.
The articles have been contributed from around the globe and assembled into Boosting Business Benefits. It is clear that similar issues beset most organisations in the funding of projects. That is, the expected returns fail to materialise.
The major reason for this, according to the two editors, is a lack of focus on benefits management. Too often organisations pay only lip service to post implementation reviews and repeat their mistakes across initiatives. This is disastrous for shareholders and embarrassing for governments. “There are a few fundamental steps which need to be taken to avoid poor investment decisions”, said one of the authors, Darilyn Evans. “First and foremost there must be a clear line of sight from the project deliverables to a strategic objective.
“Secondly, management needs to ask some questions to check that this proposal represents the best value approach for meeting the business objective. They need to make sure all stakeholders are involved. Quite often, the solution is decided and the justification is reverse engineered. The exact opposite should happen so that new initiatives arise from looking at the best way of achieving an objective. The giant retailer J.C Penney was struggling to survive last year following $1B loss of revenue from implementing a new merchandise pricing strategy based on assumptions which were never tested. It would have been easy to trial the strategy in a few stores before adopting it nationally.
“Finally, implement some strict controls around Plan-Do-Check-Act. That is, break the work into stages and check things are still on track to deliver the returns expected. There is no shame in pulling the plug when the business case starts to look different. Better this than the humiliation that will come when good money is thrown after bad.
Often auditors or consultants are called in to report on failed projects. This is too late. Where large expenditure is involved, the cost of intermediate audits is negligible. At the end of last year, after writing off $173M of taxpayer funds for a failed BBC technology project, the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in UK said the project was “a terrible shock and clearly completely shambolic.”
The book is available from the publishers, Palmer Higgs
(http://www.palmerhiggsbooks.com.au/boosting-business-benefits.html) in hard copy or ebook formats and will be released to Amazon and other national and global global bookshops within the next weeks
P3 Practices Pty Ltd
P3 Practices is a management consultancy specialising in value from project investments. The objective is to embed good practice into decision making around projects so that it becomes standard operating procedure. When this is done, investment is made in the right initiatives. Website: http://c
The Benefits Institute is a business of P3 Practices Pty Ltd. The Benefits Institute is a training arm of P3 Practices with the objective of ensuring initiatives are ‘done right’. Website: http://www.benefits-institute.com
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