We are all used to seeing business plans with lists of mouth watering benefits predicted for the project – but how realistic are they? Have they been through a serious scrutiny?
I catagorise benefits in the following ways:
- Green – Green means that there is a high level of confidence and empirical evidence that the benefit can be realised (ie it will happen)
- Amber – Amber means that even if there is a high / medium confidence in the benefit being realised, there is only a logical argument that it will happen (ie it should happen)
- Red – Red means that either there is no confidence that the benefit will be realised or that there is no evidence to support the cause and effect (ie it may happen).
A project may have ten amazing benefits but if there isn’t any evidence or confidence that most of them will actually happen then that should ring alarm bells.
Try running your benefits through those categories – honestly – and then see how beneficial the project now looks. (And if after some soul searching, there really is no evidence that a benefit will happen, and no confidence that it will happen, why is it still on your benefits register?!).
How much money would be saved if we were far more realistic about stopping projects that stand no chance of succeeding?!