Who Owns Benefit Measurement?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I guess that some readers will think that this article has nothing to do with PMOs. I can imagine that some of you work for organizations where the benefits realization responsibilities are clearly defined as being owned by the business function that commissioned the project, and thus the PMO has no responsibility in the process whatsoever.

If you are in that situation, then you’re lucky. For many of us, the picture is nowhere near that clear. We all know that projects are undertaken for a number of different reasons, but for the vast majority there is an expectation of a return on the investment. If that expected return isn’t significant enough, then the project will not be approved. Yet for so many projects, there is never any measurement of whether the gain was actually achieved. In this article, I want to look at how the PMO can assist in improving that situation.

The basics
At a fundamental level, “for profit” projects are approved because they are expected to deliver increased revenue, decreased costs or both. The amount of the gain, the time it takes to happen and the cost of the project that will deliver it are all financial variables in determining whether the project will go ahead or be passed over for an initiative with more impressive numbers.

It therefore follows that for the organization to gain from executing such a …

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