Thursday 2 October 2008

Benefits Register

Now to get into some Project Management (PM) stuff.
Benefits is really about getting from your work what you set out to get.
How many projects have all of us been involved in where the "benefits" were just some fiction to get granted the money; the moment the money was granted all pretense at measurement, evaluation, reporting or even achieving the benefits flies straight out of the window.
A project is deemed to be a success if it hits all its milestones - it delivers on time and on budget with few casualties. Rarely is it (in practice) measured against what it sets out to achieve.

Keeping a Benefits Register across the organisation or across a whole group of projects could put an end to this sloppy thinking.
In the Benefits Reister we record once and for all the definition of each measure, each benefit, who's interested, who's neck is on the line, how it will be reported, and if a number of projects report on the same benefit, how the total will be aggregated.
This means that each individual project doesn't have to scrap around for benefits to include in the bid for funding. Each project picks up to 6 Benefits from the Benefits Register that they believe will be the best way to show progress on their project. Then if the benefits they've picked are measured corporately, eg smoking prevalence in the most deprived wards of the city, the individual project doesn't have to go in search of the figtures, they've registered an interest and every time there is an update it goes to all projects which registered an interest.
I'll go into more detail.

Suffice to say in this blog that the result will be richer and more meaningful milestone reports coming out from projects, more likely to engage staff and service users, and because of this more likely to inspire stakeholders and sponsors!

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