Benefit Analysis

How does a business work out what the benefits will be?   Following on from my post on the Benefits Realisation Process,  I devised a method for this.

  • Log the benefit – spreadsheets work well for this
  • Record the value, use of time saved etc
  • Classify the benefit
    • Classification
      • Cashable, non cashable, intangible, enabling
  • Categorise the benefit
    • Cost savings, efficiencies, increased morale, reputation, supporting BAU etc.
  • Probability
  • RAG status
    • It will happen, it should happen, it might happen
  • Rating
    • Mission critical, highly desirable, desirable.
  • Link to departmental / strategic priority

So your spreadsheet will look something like this:




You can log as many benefits as you can possibly squeeze out of the idea – remembering that each one will have a confidence level and a priority.  You might hope that doing X will result in Y but your confidence level may well be low that it will actually happen.   Some benefits will be definite.    Doing X will absolutely lead to Y happening.


I developed a fruitful method of teasing benefits from a team.   Gather a team of people who are affected by the change – at all levels and then play “So what?!”

It helps to have a scribe and a facilitator, lots of coloured pens and post it notes!

This method also works for the Product Breakdown Structure as part of project planning – more on that later.

Start at a high level.  Ask your team – “So, we have a new XXXX – So what?”

Team member 1 “YYY will happen”   – you – “So what?”

Team member 2 “Well, if YYY happens, then we will save ££”  – bingo – your first benefit.

You drill down on the results of your change until you either have cash benefits, non cashable benefits, enabling benefits (sometimes you have to do project 1 in order to do project 2) etc.

Next time, the single most important thing to make your project a success!

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