Major Local Government, Information Services Division
The implementation of a Benefits Realization Management Framework across a $110million ICT-enabled change portfolio
IS Division manages centralized ICT services for the entire Local Government organization (approximately 7000 staff), and leads the ICT project portfolio, delivering new ICT-enabled capability to the organization, its public and business user base.
The organization had previously attempted an implementation of benefits management; however adoption was not universal or sustained and pre-emptive financial claw backs left the business units distrustful of the process and its value. Pressure was mounting to incorporate Benefits Realization Management (BRM) as part of the delivery discipline in order to prove the value of ICT initiatives as part of the organization's wider portfolio. Simultaneously a high-profile, complex initiative was asked to immediately address its weak benefits case and resubmit itself for investment decision making within a tight timeframe.
Other key challenges included:
- Limited available resources (people and budget) to support a large-scale framework definition and implementation.
The Pcubed Solution
The Pcubed solution approached delivery in two parallel streams: one focused on guiding the program through the practical application of BRM, the second designing a BRM Framework suited to the organization's maturity and needs, whilst harvesting the BRM products produced under the program stream as practical examples.
The BRM Framework specifically encompassed:
- The overarching BRM Framework, setting out scope, governance and relationships with other frameworks, policies and standards
- A benefit Eligibility, Classification and Quantification guide directing what can be claimed as a benefit within the organization and how it should be quantified and measured
- A detailed and practical how-to BRM Methodology, providing practitioner-level instructions and templates for applying BRM
The Pcubed solution also provided the organization with an Implementation Roadmap, taking project management maturity and practical resourcing levels into account while setting out the necessary steps in achieving a sustained adoption of BRM across its portfolio.
The solution delivered the following for the program:
- A Benefits Dependency Network that clearly presented the business benefits in relation to the program's strategic drivers and budgeted scope. This artifact continues to provide value in scoping, change control and deployment planning discussions.
- A Benefits Register and detailed Benefits Profile for each business benefit; capturing the metrics and quantification of each benefit's value, as well as dependencies, organizational change and project enablers required to enable benefits realization.
- A Value Model used to calculate each benefits value and produce a visual executive summary of the benefits case for inclusion in the program business case.
- A Benefits Realization Plan detailing all activities, owners, dependencies and target delivery dates related to executing the business change required for benefits realization, as well as the monitoring, tracking and reporting of benefits realization.
Key elements of the client engagement included:
- Engaging with key senior stakeholders to help build an appetite for BRM and understanding the relevance and value to their respective areas of expertise.
- Designing a BRM Framework that would operationalize an industry-standard methodology and be suited to the organization's needs.
- Guiding a key program through the practical application of the BRM Framework, mentoring program staff and stakeholders whilst concurrently producing a robust benefits baseline for inclusion in the program's business case.
- Conducting structured knowledge transfer with the BRM Framework custodians to facilitate ongoing ownership and ability to deliver onward practitioner training.
The outcome for the client was a practical, proven BRM Framework that draws on industry expertise in benefits management but focused effort on designing a solution fit for purpose within the client's specific environment.
Through practical application of the BRM Framework on a key initiative, the client also gained valuable first hard experience of the new management discipline and avoided costs in relation to the initiative potentially failing another investment gateway through a poorly defined benefits case.
Seen as a success at both the program and framework level, the BRM Framework was endorsed for organization-wide adoption across all major programs and projects, not limited to ICT-enabled change programs.