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  • Gary Pine

A Guide to Benefits Realisation Management

Updated: May 30, 2023

Benefits Realisation Management (BRM) is a systematic approach to ensuring that the potential benefits of a project or investment are realised in a timely and effective manner. BRM has been widely adopted across a variety of industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, government, and telecommunications.

BRM involves identifying, tracking, and managing the benefits of a project, and making data-driven decisions to optimise its impact on the business's goals and objectives; crucial for technical organisations as it helps to bridge the gap between technology investments and business outcomes.

Challenges of BRM

While BRM has many benefits, there are also challenges and reservations when implementing BRM. Some of the common reservations include:

  • Lack of buy-in from stakeholders: BRM requires the involvement and cooperation of both IT and business stakeholders, which can be difficult to achieve if there is a lack of buy-in from either side.

  • Inadequate data and reporting capabilities: BRM rely on data-driven insights to track the benefits of technology projects, and organisations may not have the necessary data and reporting capabilities in place to support this.

  • Difficulty in measuring the impact of technology projects on business outcomes: One of the challenges of BRM is accurately measuring the impact of technology projects on business outcomes, which can be difficult to quantify.

  • Limited resources for BRM: Implementing BRM requires resources, such as staff time and budget, and organisations may not have the resources available to allocate to BRM activities.

  • Resistance to change: Some organisations may be resistant to changing their existing processes and ways of working, which can be a barrier to the successful adoption of BRM.

Using Benefits Realisation Management

The BRM process involves four key steps:

  • identifying benefits,

  • planning benefits realisation,

  • tracking benefits realisation, and

  • managing benefits realisation.

Identifying Benefits

The first step is to identify the potential benefits of a project or investment and to define how these benefits will be measured; a crucial step in the Benefits Realisation Management (BRM) process. The following steps outline the process of identifying benefits using BRM:

  • define the project or investment,

  • identify the stakeholders,

  • identify the potential benefits,

  • define the benefits,

  • prioritise the benefits and

  • assign ownership.

Planning Benefits Realisation

Next, a plan is developed to realise the benefits, including a timeline, resources required, and stakeholders involved. You may choose to conduct a gap analysis to determine the potential benefits of the project, considering the current state of the organisation and the goals and objectives of the stakeholders.

You may also want to create a benefits map that outlines the benefits and the order in which they will be realised. This can help to ensure that the benefits are realised in a logical and sequential manner; an opportunity to redefine the benefits in a clear and measurable way, considering the importance of each benefit to each of the stakeholders involved in a language that they all understand.

Tracking Benefits Realisation

The third step is to track the realisation of benefits, using data-driven insights to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Here are some best practices for tracking benefits in a BRM exercise:

  1. establish the metrics,

  2. provide regular reporting,

  3. regularly review progress with stakeholders, track any changes and,

  4. celebrate success together.

Managing Benefits Realisation

Finally, the benefits are managed to ensure they are realised as planned and to optimise their impact on the organisation's goals and objectives. By following this process, organisations can ensure that the benefits of their technology investments are realised in a timely and effective manner.

Despite these reservations, many companies and institutions have found that the benefits of BRM outweigh the challenges and that by overcoming these challenges, they have been able to improve the return on investment from their tech projects and align their tech investments with business goals and objectives.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash


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