Sunday 18 January 2009


The initiative is already started, the money has been committed, staff are in post, and the PID is already gathering dust on a shelf.
Yet there's still a nagging doubt - exactly why are we doing this?  
The sponsor knew, but their interest is on the next initiative.  the Project Lead knew, but examined in the cold light of reality they aren't so sure anymore.  The aims certainly weren't Specific, measurable, ambitious (and agreed), realistic or timed.  The staff know what they have to do each hour of each day, but now nobody's quite certain how to demonstrate that the project has been a success.
I encounter this situation regularly, and I'm sure you do too.  All too often, the Benefits File for a project was only produced to tick the right box and unlock the funding.  Staff want too make a difference to service users, but nobody really knows "what good looks like".  Remedial action - retrofitting the project into a benefits framework - is needed so everyone (staff, service users, the public, sponsors) can see what's being achieved, and focus their effort on making a bigger difference.
I've covered elsewhere the concept of the Benefits Framework; it isn't new (in case you've forgotten, the Framework will apply to all services in an organisation, or all projects in a major workstream, so they all use one or more of the same benefits measured and defined in the same way).
A good Benefits Framework allows you to aggregate benefits across a number of different projects and across the whole organisation, and demonstrate actual progress towards delivery of the strategic goals; it means staff and the project board can take pride in what they have achieved/ are achieving, in context.
It isn't difficult to retrofit, it just takes a bit of determination. But then, getting people to measure what they do and seek benefits takes a bit of determination too.

No comments: