The only reason an organisation makes an investment is to obtain some benefit. This is the prime consideration of investment decision-makers when considering an investment proposal.
People seeking new funding for their proposed investment must articulate the benefits the investment is expecting to deliver.
Once funded, with the inevitable challenges and stresses that occur as the investment is implemented, the focus on benefits is often lost.
This is exacerbated by the historic difficulty in measuring and tracking benefits and evaluating the real effectiveness of an investment.
Benefits of using this practice
The use of these practices will:
- drive more benefit from a funded investment;
- validate the success of a completed investment;
- provide lessons that will inform the shaping of future investments; and
- support better decision making.
There are two steps involved, however they do assume that a benefit management plan was previously developed using the practice Shape a new investment.
- Problem definition (assumed to have been completed)
- Benefit definition (assumed to have been completed)
- Strategic response (assumed to have been completed)
- Solution definition (assumed to have been completed)
- Investment review
- Benefit reporting
The outputs of these steps are amendments to or validation of the:
- Benefit management plan
This specifies the benefits an investment will need to deliver to successfully address an identified problem and the measures to be used as evidence. It defines key dates, who is responsible for delivery and how the benefits will be reported.
- Investment logic map
Depicts the logic that underpins an investment. It represents an agreed investment story that is created in an informed discussion.
- Benefit report
A report for the investor that depicts the status of the delivery of the benefit compared with the original expectations.