Benefits or Value: Shaping the great debate
The APM Benefits Management SIG is looking to canvass views on whether we are at a decisive point in the relationship between benefits and value or simply debating semantics?
In recent years, there has been increased senior management focus on the benefits or the value realised through investment in change. Fundamentally, senior managers are now asking what exactly am I getting for my investment in change? This hypothesis is being driven by increasing maturity in project, programme and portfolio management, the state of the economy and operational managers now having a greater stake in the delivery of change to ensure the right outcome. It is no longer acceptable to deliver a project or programme and expect the benefits to be realised without effective business leadership and emotional engagement across the organisation.
Within the context of investment in change, value and benefits are subjective terms meaning different things to different managers. Is it value for money? Is it achievement of strategic objectives? Is it improvement in performance? Is it increased stakeholder satisfaction? Is it all of these? In response to these questions, we are now starting to see organisations integrate strategy, business planning, performance management, benefits realisation and value techniques. This may reflect increasing maturity recognising that many approaches relating to management of benefits or value have emerged from within specific sectors or industries e.g. benefits management, value engineering etc.
Are we reaching a stage of maturity where all of these approaches are coming together to answer the fundamental question that senior managers are asking about change or are we simply debating the meaning of words?