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
- Cashable, non cashable, intangible, enabling
- Categorise the benefit
- Cost savings, efficiencies, increased morale, reputation, supporting BAU etc.
- RAG status
- It will happen, it should happen, it might happen
- 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!