Benefits Realization Starts with Accountability

benefits realizationA comprehensive benefits realization process ensures that you are experiencing the anticipated benefits of the projects and programs in which you invest. Having such a process in place seems like a given to improve decision making and maximize the ROI of future investments. However, most companies don’t have such a process in place – at least not end-to-end. Typically, they’re good at the upfront piece, defining the anticipated benefits of an investment, but they don’t close the loop, neglecting to measure the results and their impact.

There are many reasons for this, and they’re largely the same across industries. For example, a lot of companies don’t have the bandwidth or the expertise to carry out the process. Another reason, and this is more often the root cause of the issue, is a lack of accountability.

If no one in your organization is accountable for ensuring the continuous measurement and evaluation of the project or program in relation to the defined list of expected benefits, then it isn’t that surprising that the ball gets dropped. And, when no one is accountable, the finger pointing and blame often begins. This is so common – and fortunately, it’s easy to fix.

The key is to assign a sustaining sponsor for the engagement. Do this at the very beginning, when you’re developing your action plan, creating a timeline, defining the expected benefits, and identifying roles and responsibilities. The sponsor should be the person who owns the part of the business that will be realizing the benefit. The transformation officer or PMO will lead the benefits realization process and check in for updates on a routine basis, but the sponsor is responsible for measuring the progress and sharing the data. For many organizations, instituting a quarterly cross-functional meeting for this purpose is helpful to discuss progress, make adjustments, and generally foster a new mindset.

Our recent engagement with the retail investment group at one of the world’s largest investment companies was a great example of this in action. The group was struggling with benefits realization, and we worked with them to design a Benefits Realization Management framework, which the company implemented internally. As we developed the framework, we made sure to define specific processes that would serve to foster a higher level of internal accountability and ensure that data was collected to measure the impact of their programs and projects.

You can read more about this engagement and how a culture of accountability led to data-driven decision making and maximized shareholder value in our latest case study.

If you want to improve your benefits realization process and ensure that you’re investing in the right programs and projects to achieve your goals and instilling accountability within your team, please reach out to me at [email protected] or 484.383.0606 to learn more.

Rachel Kane, Senior Manager
Rachel Kane

Change Management Done Right
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