Benefits Management is used to plan the benefits (or goals) you want to achieve for your organisation, programme, project or sub-project; and to track the progress on achieving those benefits. Benefits management is also known as Benefits Realisation.
To achieve a particular benefit (or goal) you may need to achieve some intermediary measurements (or sub-benefits) first. Those benefits may themselves have further sub-benefits. This can be represented as a tree of benefits (or a Benefits Map) as illustrated in the image on the above.
The red circles represent the final outcomes (or benefits) you want to achieve for your organisation.
The pink circles represent the intermediate measurements (or sub-benefits) that you need to achieve to get to the final outcomes.
Initiatives are the activities you undertake to achieve the intermediate or final benefits. These include your programmes, projects and sub-projects.
Many times there are assumptions associated with benefits, or even with initiatives. These assumptions need to be tested regularly to ensure that they still hold true.
Psoda Benefits Management
The following paragraphs describe how benefits management has been implemented in Psoda:
A benefit must have a clearly defined target that can be measured. Here are some example targets:
- Reduce costs by 25%
- Increase output by 500 units per month
- Reduce carbon footprint to 20000tonnes CO2 per annum
The benefit baseline is the starting value relative to the target. For the examples above the baseline values may be:
- The starting cost reduction is 0%
- The starting output is 100 units per month
- The starting carbon footprint is 50000tonnes CO2 per annum
Sometimes it is possible to directly calculate a benefit’s current value based on the values of it’s sub-benefits. This is called aggregation.
There are a number of different ways to aggregate:
|None||No aggregation, i.e. this benefit’s current value is entered manually|
|Count||Count the number of sub-benefits|
|Sum||Sum together the current values of all the sub-benefits|
|Average||Calculate the average of the current values of all the sub-benefits|
|Minimum||Calculate the minimum of the current values of all the sub-benefits|
|Maximum||Calculate the maximum of the current values of all the sub-benefits|
|Multiply||Multiply together the current values of all the sub-benefits|
|Expression||Use an expression to calculate this benefit’s current value based on the values of it’s sub-benefits.|
An expression can be used to perform an arbitrary calculation on the values of the sub-benefits to determine the current value for a benefit.
Before you can use an expression you must set a codename for each sub-benefit you want to include in the expression. A codename is similar to a variable name in most programming languages. It must start with either an underscore, a lower-case letter or an upper-case letter. The rest of the codename can contain underscores, letters or numbers.
Below is an example expression:
In this example that are two sub-benefits with codenames “a” and “b”. (Remember to put a $ in front of your codename in the expression.) This expression adds the current values of benefit “a” and benefit “b” together.
Here is a more complex example:
This example calculates the percentage of benefit “a” relative to benefit “b”.
Psoda automatically tracks the changes of a benefit over time. These values can then be used to plot a time chart of the benefit as shown below:
(Click on the chart for a full-size view)
A benefit can be added from the organisation, programme, project or sub-project view pages. You can also add a sub-benefit (or sub-goal) to an existing benefit.
Benefits can be linked together to form additional networks, for example linking a project-level benefit as a sub-benefit to a programme-level benefit. The linked benefits can then participate in any aggregation calculations.
Benefits should not be linked in a circular network. This could potentially cause an infinite loop. The system will attempt to prevent circular links.
Assumptions can be added as notes to benefits. You can also add a workflow to regularly review these assumptions.
Find out more about Benefits Management in Psoda.