Benefits Management 2015 survey results

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Posted by APM on 23rd Mar 2016

In December 2015 the APM Benefits Management SIG undertook its second annual survey of members, to find out how benefits management is viewed in the organisations that members work for. The results of the survey can be accessed here and are summarised below, including comparisons with the 2014 survey.

The 2015 survey obtained 57 responses out of a SIG membership of over 1,300. The number of respondents in 2014 was 44. It might be assumed that members who were interested enough to undertake the survey were people with a particular interest in benefits management and a resilience to ‘survey fatigue’. Therefore the sample is a small one and the results may not be representative of the Benefits Management SIG membership as a whole.

The respondents were almost all based in the UK, and worked in a wide spread of industrial sectors. The category with the highest representation was ‘public administration, including defence’, which accounted for 25% of the 2015 respondents. Most of the questions asked were essentially the same as for 2014, enabling comparisons to be drawn between the two surveys. The table below summarises the key results.

Response 2014 (%) 2015 (%)

Benefits management is very relevant to the key challenges facing my organisation in using P3M to achieve its goals

66% 69%
Benefits management fits quite easily or very easily into the way that my organisation undertakes P3M. 47% 31%
There is a consensus throughout or in most parts of my organisation that benefits management should be an integral part of P3M. 43% 38%
My organisation finds benefits management to be very useful or of some use in practice in improving the contribution of P3M to organisational goals 65% 56%
There is a strong or very strong benefits focus in the wider approach to management in my organisation, from strategy to operations 36% 24%

These results suggest that although benefits management is highly relevant to the project challenges facing organisations, in many cases it has had limited impact on organisational practices. This overall conclusion comes across even more strongly from the 2015 results than for those from 2014. 

The 2015 survey included a new, open question, on which, if any, recognised methods from the guidance on benefits management have directly influenced the approach in the respondent's organisation. 34 responses were received, of which six indicated that no methods are currently used. The most frequently referred to sources were Managing Successful Programmes (mentioned seven times) and the APMG Managing Benefits Guidance/Qualifications (mentioned four times). Some of the replies referred to specific techniques, such as benefits mapping (four mentions).

A further open question invited participants to add further comments to explain their answers. These varied tremendously in the subjects covered, but many of the responses referred to the immaturity of benefits management in their organisation, linked to a lack of understanding of benefits management and/or a lack of rigour in the approaches used.

The survey suggests to the Benefits Management SIG Committee that there is a need to investigate in more detail why benefits management has not had more impact, including what the barriers are to its adoption and embedding in organisational practices and wider organisational cultures. 

Richard Breese
Benefits Management SIG committee member

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