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Benefits Management 101

Benefits Map

Introduction

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.

Benefits tree

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.

Final outcomeFinal outcomes

The red circles represent the final outcomes (or benefits) you want to achieve for your organisation.

Intermediate measurementsIntermediate measurements

The pink circles represent the intermediate measurements (or sub-benefits) that you need to achieve to get to the final outcomes.

InitiativeInitiatives

Initiatives are the activities you undertake to achieve the intermediate or final benefits. These include your programmes, projects and sub-projects.

AssumptionAssumptions

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:

Benefit target

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

Benefit baseline

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

Aggregation

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:

Aggregation Description
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.
Expression

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:

$a+$b

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:

100*($a/$b)

This example calculates the percentage of benefit “a” relative to benefit “b”.

Time charts

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:

Benefit Chart

(Click on the chart for a full-size view)

Adding benefits

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.

Linking benefits

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

Assumptions can be added as notes to benefits. You can also add a workflow to regularly review these assumptions.

More information

Find out more about Benefits Management in Psoda.

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