Banging on about benefits
Geoff Reiss of the APM Programme Management SIG recently had a letter published in Project magazine on the subject of benefits. The letter is reproduced below.
APM should bend its proverbial elbow and give itself a small pat on the back.
APM, and especially its Programme Management Specific Interest Group (ProgM), has been banging on about benefits for ages. Weve often said that all programmes, especially those in the public sector where we tax payers pick up the bill, should be assessed in terms of both the investment and the return. We have long recognised that returns are often expressed in terms of improved health, education standards or other measures of success.
The more recently formed Benefits Management SIG now carries that baton.
Trivial is the only suitable word for the benefit statements of some recent, high cost, publicly-funded projects. So it is especially rewarding to see a major infrastructure programme like HS2 putting benefits right in the forefront of its proposal.
The benefits of any such long-term programme are very arguable and some have been expressed without the essential timescale. Even so, benefits are much more prominent than has been the case for many years. We now have a public debate about the benefits of HS2.
We have some way to go with our management and understanding of benefits but APM, ProgM and the Benefits Management SIG have played, and should continue to play, a significant role in this important improvement.
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