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Realising the Benefits Step1 Tutorial

1 Realising the Benefits Step 1

Hello and welcome to lesson 18 of the Managing Successful Programmes Certification course offered by Simplilearn. In the previous lesson, we focused on ‘delivering the capability’. In this lesson, we will discuss ‘realising the benefits’, which is one of the six transformational flows. The purpose of ‘realising the benefits’ process is to manage the benefits from their initial identification to their successful realisation. Let us begin with the objectives of this lesson in the next screen.

2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to: ? Describe the inputs, principle controls, key roles and outputs of the process, ‘realising the benefits’ ? Explain the steps involved in ‘manage pre-transition’ In the next screen, let us discuss the position of ’realising the benefits’ in MSP® Framework.

3 MSP Framework

‘Realising the benefits’ is placed in the innermost ring of the MSP® framework. ‘Realising the benefits’ incorporates the planning and management of transition from old to new ways of working while maintaining the stability and performance of operations. This process works very closely with ‘delivering the capability‘ process. Both these processes are being governed by ’managing the tranches‘, which provides high-level direction, guidance and control. Let us now focus on ’Realising the benefits’ process in the next screen.

4 Realising the-Benefits Introduction

‘Realising the benefits’ process is about managing the benefits from their initial identification to their successful realisation. The activities of this process are repeated as necessary for each tranche of a programme. The inputs of this process are the management, boundary and governance information baselines. In addition, the outputs from ‘delivering the capability’ constitute the inputs of this process. Even before the capability is delivered, the preparation for transition is started. The principle controls in this process are Programme Board monitoring which constantly and closely monitors the progress of realising the benefits; benefits realisation profiles and plan forecasts obtained from benefits realisation plan support the Programme Board monitoring; assurance and audit reviews that ensure the process is on track; business performance monitoring; and dependency management. The other principle controls are business performance monitoring and dependency management which ensure smooth transition to a new process. Now let us discuss the key roles in ‘realising the benefits’ process. The key roles in this process are played by the Senior Responsible Owner or SRO (read as S-R-O), the Programme Board, the Programme Manager, the Business Change Manager or BCM (read as B-C-M), the Programme Office and the business change team. ‘Realising the benefits’ process comprises three distinct sets of steps such as: ‘manage pre-transition’ which involves the analysis, preparation and planning for business transformation; ‘manage transition’ which helps to deliver and support the changes; and ‘manage post-transition’ which reviews progress, measures performance and helps in adapting to the change. We will focus on ‘manage pre-transition’ in this lesson. The other two steps are discussed in detail in lessons 18.1 and 18.2. But first, let us review the outputs of ‘realising the benefits’. The major outputs of this process are updated management baselines, transition prepared and completed, benefits measurement reports and business performance reports. Benefits reviews are conducted and it is ensured that new operations have been stabilised. All the planned outcomes have to be achieved for the transition to be successful. All the legacy working practices and systems that are not required after transition are removed to ensure that people don’t revert to them. In the next screen, we will discuss the step, ‘manage pre-transition’.

5 Manage Pre-Transition

Managing pre-transition is focussed on preparing and planning the business operations for upcoming capabilities. The first step is to establish benefits measurement which ensures that measures are defined for each of the benefits profiles and overall benefits in the benefits management strategy. It also identifies the information needs and performance baselines to measure benefits realisation. The second step is to monitor benefits realisation. This step focuses on managing and controlling the benefits with same degree of rigour as that of projects. It ensures that during the programme, benefits realisation will be reassessed and readjusted, with new change or opportunities. The third step is to plan transition which includes detailed planning to ensure that the upcoming transition is smooth. The fourth step is to communicate the change which is taking the affected business areas and individuals through the engagement cycle for planned changes. The purpose here is to raise awareness and ensure support. The final step is to assess readiness for change. This step involves assessing the capacity of an organisation to make the changes. This will help the organisation to implement the changes successfully. In the next screen, let us focus on the first step, that is, ‘establish benefits measurement’.

6 Establish Benefits Measurement

The main focus of a programme is benefits realisation. It is important to ensure that this is achieved by implementing relevant and reliable measurement processes. These measures are defined in each benefits profile and overall benefits management strategy. The information that assists in measuring benefits should be current, which means that data should not be out of date as it will lead to inaccurate decisions. On-going reporting must capture current data. The information should be accurate as in, it should not be based on unreliable or volatile sources. Preferably, there should be a second source of data to cross-check. The information should also be relevant, brief and effective. If there is too much information, critical evidence might be missed. The Business Change Manager should regularly test the validity and authenticity of the information provided. To measure the improvements resulting from benefits realisation, the ‘as-is’ or the current state needs to be provided. Without this, it will not be possible to assess the ‘to-be’ measurements. To achieve this, business performance baselines to compare the benefits are needed. These baselines should be established early, preferably in ‘identifying a programme’ as part of the ‘as-is’ section of programme brief. In the next screen, we will focus on monitoring the benefits realisation process.

7 Monitor Benefits Realisation

Throughout the programme, progress is monitored against business case, programme plan, benefits realisation plan and blueprint to identify potential improvements and enhance benefit achievement. In some cases, for example, when external circumstances have changed affecting the future course of the programme, adjustments might be needed for benefits realisation. Monitoring and collaboration between projects should be benefit-focused. This can include assessing designs, prototypes and so on. Focus should also be given to how well project outputs will work in a fully operational environment. This will help in realising if there is enough improvement to produce the desired benefits. Benefits and costs are of primary importance to the success of a programme. During a programme, there might be opportunities to maximise the benefits and minimise dis-benefits. Change control needs to be established in business sections that are impacted by blueprint. This will have an effect on benefits realisation. Any change in these sections should undergo strict scrutiny and analysis for impact on the benefits. Performance indicators that show changes at strategic level include profitability, lost bids, legal actions, media coverage, insurance premium costs and revenue. The positive performance indicators show that the organisation strategy is working well. Performance indicators that show changes to operations include staff turnover, productivity, customer satisfaction, process performance, service/product (Read as service or product) quality, staff morale, and so on. The positive performance indicators help in assessing the progress of benefits realisation. In the next screen, we will focus on the next step, that is, ‘plan transition’.

8 Plan Transition

Change in an organisation needs to be planned and managed carefully. Transition plans often include more details than any other parts of a programme plan. While preparing a transition plan, consideration should be given to the staff and their working practices as unlearning old habits is difficult. There should be proper motivation and support to ensure that they adapt to new practices. Information and technology might be impacted by new benefits and care should be taken to upgrade them, if required. Temporary facilities for personnel managing the transition will help them to work more effectively and closely with the programme. The level of stakeholder support and engagement in areas to be changed should also be kept high. Cultural and infrastructural migration needed for the transition should be properly planned and executed. Maintaining business operations during transition is paramount as day-to-day operations cannot be stopped. Back-out arrangements should be planned in case the change fails and there is a need to exit. In the next screen, we will discuss how to communicate the change.

9 Communicate the Change

A programme communications plan provides the basis for effective communication. The risk register, vision statement, benefits realisation and other plans as well as blueprint provide key information for the communication required when reviewing and planning change activities. Change must be communicated well before the actual transition. Delayed communication is likely to result in significant resistance. It is necessary as it takes affected business areas, operating units and individuals through the transition cycle for planned changes. The purpose is to raise awareness and interest, and to get them involved. In the next screen, we will focus on the step, ‘assess readiness for change’.

10 Assess Readiness for Change

The Business Change Manager and the change management team play an important role in assessing readiness for change.Implementing change is the critical responsibility of Business Change Managers and change management team. They need to be fully engaged with project teams and business operations to ensure smooth transition. The Business Change Managers and change management team are responsible for planning and assessing viability before implementing changes. The Business Change Manager is responsible for recommending whether the delivered capability meets the requirements of the business and if the business is ready for transition. Getting help from other organisations that have undergone similar changes will enable the organisation to prepare and avoid problems in pioneering changes. There are important aspects that need to be considered when assessing the change capability of an organisation. The first aspect is recent track record and experience of change in the organisation. If this is a new experience and track record shows that change is not readily accepted by teams, transition will be difficult and needs to be planned accordingly. The second aspect is the availability of resources to support the change. It needs to be ensured that the resources to support the change are available in terms of volume, competency and experience. The third aspect is the need to analyse how the intended change fits into the organisation’s culture and values, that is, whether it is more than a change to the way of working. The fourth aspect is the need to ascertain the effectiveness of supporting systems that can enable change. These supporting systems can be communications channel, process maturity, etc. The fifth aspect is identifying the skills and mobility of workforce. This will help in understand how quickly and effectively the transition can be completed. The next aspect is identifying the third-party supplier performance and alignment with change. If a supplier is unable to work in the ‘to-be’ state, alternative arrangements have to be made. Finally, the service management’s ability to support the organisation through transition and in its new operational state must be analysed.

11 Summary

Let us summarise what we have learnt in this lesson: ? ‘Realising the benefits’ process is about managing the benefits from their initial identification to their successful realisation. ? The inputs of this process are the information baselines and outputs from ‘delivering the capability’. ? The principle controls in this process are Programme Board monitoring, assurance and audit reviews, dependency management and so on. ? The key roles in this process are the SRO, the Programme Board, the Programme Manager, the BCM, the Programme Office and the business change team. ? The major outputs of this process are updated management baselines, transition prepared and completed and so on. ? The steps involved in ‘manage pre-transition’ are establish benefits measurement, monitor benefits realisation, plan transition, communicate the change and assess readiness for change. Next, we will focus on the second step in ‘realising the benefits’, that is, ‘manage transition’.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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