All of us handle/manage/participate in projects. The most common indicators for project EXECUTION are time/deliverable/cost evaluations, but usually it is very difficult to connect th e deliverables with the actual application of them, to achieve project benefits to the organization.
What we usually do is to include the benefits to be obtained by the company when the object of the projects are implemented, in the Business Case and appoint a person responsible for tracking these results. Usually the Project Manager is long gone after the project product is delivered.
Interested in discussing what methods you use to link project products to actual business results, stemming from their application and use, rather than just measuring the completeness of the project execution. Saving Changes...
Benefits management should happen over the life of the project not just at the end.
At the beginning, we identify what KPIs will be used for reporting benefits and gather a baseline. Over the life of the project, someone (PM, Business Owner) keeps an eye on expected benefits and tracks risks and issues related to benefit realization. Benefits will also be a consideration when evaluating project changes.
If the project is delivering value as it goes and not at the end, it should definitely be feasible for someone to track and report on benefit realization during the project's life.
Finally, at the end, the transition you referenced occurs to whomever will be responsible for tracking & reporting benefits over the measurement duration.
Thanks Kiron for y our input. I would agree with you if the company benefits are attained within the project. But for the most part, these are attained after applying the product of the project.
I have the following take on projects, project products, and benefits. A project product is what is expected when all the activities are executed. Hence, the scope has to be clarified wether it includes or not, activities to implement project products, and wait until they achieve expected results.
With this in mind, I will set one example. A company wants to increase sales by implementing CRM "philosophy" (to call it something!), by implementing some software, and algorithms to assist a call centre in making up sales when customers call for inquiries. Lets assume the benetif for the company is stated as a 10% rise in sales on the first six months of implementation and stabilization thereover.
I would consider the scope of the project to include all the elements necessary to pursue the strategy, (CRM implementation), not necessarily all the operative elements to carry ou the use of the elements to obtain sales.
In this scenario is that I set my question. How to have the project sposor (which ideally would be the final user of what is in place), accountable for the increase in sales.? Saving Changes...
Accountability for business outcomes is a general performance discussion and not just a project-related one. A couple of options are:
1. Tie sponsor compensation (e.g. bonus) to the realization of the sales increase
2. Build in a heightened scrutiny clause for business cases where the sponsor has a track record of over promising and under delivering...
I agree with Kiron that the last question is not project related. The sponsor may indeed be the business leader and key stakeholder for this project, being the 10% increase in sales assisted by the deliverable of the project; the CRM implementation. But the first option listed by Kiron is probably the most logical. Are you asking this question because the realization of the 10% increase somehow shines a positive light on the project;s product? Well in a way the two are related, but not directly. You could have the product work fine but sales people still sit around and not perform. One thing is for sure, if the 10% doesn't happen, watch out for the statement "It's because the CRM implementation project didn't produce what we wanted." Saving Changes...
Great! Bottom line, the projects outcome would be on the limelight if the business results are not attained. Sante puts it well on his last quoted remark. Hence, the origin of the question.
Kiron points are well taken. What we have done to some extent, and has worked partially, is that the proyect justification in the business case, includes exactly what Kiron suggest. The justification is tied to sponsor's compensation in both ways, positive and negative.
To hinder the effect of the last phrase fro Sante, it is clear from the onset, that the requiement definttion towards the product of the project has to come from the sponsor, as well as the final approval of the project products. Doing it this way we have managed to stear the sponsor away from these remarks.
Extending the project deliverables, to include procedures that mitigate risks (like the sales people not performing!), also helps in rounding off not only the risk of not delivering the product, but also the risk of not achieving business results.
At the end of the day, what good is the product of the project, if it does not help reach business objectives (regardless of who is at fault)!
Best regards, and again, thanks for the input! Saving Changes...