Agile Benefits Management

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

Benefits are why we undertake projects. Projects are expensive to undertake and have a risk of failure. So, we need to get benefits from them--or at least think we will get benefits from them--to start projects in the first place.

Often, the benefits of a project are not fully realized until after the project is finished. This is why benefits management is usually the domain of program management. Sitting a level higher than individual projects and operating over longer timelines, programs are better positioned to identify, track and transition benefits from individual projects or groups of related projects.

Agile approaches place strong emphasis on delivering business value. Work is prioritized with the highest business value items done early, and definitions of “done” that focus on acceptance rather than completion of work help ensure benefits are truly delivered. This aligns them well for benefits tracking and management, but there is more to understand to truly integrate agile projects with effective benefits management.

First, let’s take a peek at the established world of benefits management. The PMI’s Standard for Program Management has three program phases:

  1. Program Definition
  2. Program Benefits Delivery
  3. Program Closure

These are shown below along with a breakout of Benefits Delivery steps:

It is interesting to note …

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