Benefits realization is the process of capturing the actual (tangible and intangible) benefits of a project after it has been completed. Benefits realization frequently entails tracking the project’s quantitative benefits (e.g., financial, operational, etc.) so that senior leadership can answer the question, “Did we get the benefits we expected from the project?” Projects have inherent value, and benefit realization is an important aspect of the accountability framework for ensuring that companies get the expected advantages from completed projects.
Project benefits are also used to confirm how well the portfolio governance team chose the proper initiatives. Too often, we assume that if we complete the project, we would receive the benefits that were identified at the start. This is a fallacious assumption based on wishful thinking (remember, hope is not a plan). It’d be the equivalent of making a financial investment without ever hearing about the return. No one does this with their personal money, but businesses do it all the time with project money.
For numerous reasons, developing a benefits realization plan with a benefits realization process is critical.
Also, See: Baseline
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