Project Management

Reimagining Benefits Realization

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

When an investment is made, it is intended to generate a return. When you go to the grocery store and purchase five pounds of potatoes, it is because you expect those potatoes to provide energy and nutrition to you and your family, and for enjoyment in their taste when you prepare them. You may also value the fact that potatoes are flexible enough to be prepared in many ways, changing the experience of eating them from one day to the next. That’s an investment of money into a series of different returns and you make the decision that the few dollars needed for those five pounds of potatoes are worth it, and that they represent a better investment than some other potato alternative.

Organizations are no different. They select their discretionary investments—projects, programs, digital products—based on the value that they will achieve. For them, the value is measured as greater revenue or profitability, lower costs, reduced risk exposure, and so on. But the principles are no different than your five pounds of potatoes in the grocery store. What is different is how those benefits are measured.

You don’t need to worry about tracking and measuring the benefits of your potatoes. Within a few days they have been prepared, cooked, eaten and enjoyed. But with organizational investments things are more complicated for two main reasons:

   > The timelines are longer. Investments…


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