Most people see the business case process as a form of medieval torture administered by accountants. They also, with some justification, question the quality and value of the business case once created.
Benefits Summit 2016 - Delivering Major Projects in Government
Posted by Finlay on 19th Oct 2016
Joanna and Chris from the National Audit Office (NAO) delivery team gave a convincing presentation on the challenge of demonstrating how major projects had realised forecasted benefits.
As was the case with many people attending our Summit, Chris managed to arrive just in time to support Joanna, despite the awful flooding that London was experiencing which disrupted many travel services and flooded many properties. Well done to all those that didn’t turn around and head home!
Joanne’s forensic review of the millennium dome – its history and eventual morphing into the O2 arena - demonstrated to all the difficulty of forecasting the eventual value of some of our iconic national programmes. She built on this with a reference to Charles Babbage whose difference machine, considered to be the world’s first computer , was never built in his lifetime but has literally reshaped the world we know today.
Joanna emphasised the imperative of describing a vision for the project, to gain stakeholder buy-in, such that they are able to understand it and work together towards achieving the required outcomes.
The enormity of the costs of delivering the Government’s Major Project Portfolio (GMPP) - more than £500bn over their respective lifetimes - was explained. Those charged with delivery must be accountable for providing value for money to stakeholders - the UK population. However, too many projects still fail to do this. The NAO’s Delivery Confidence Assessment tool is used to expose projects whose status is deemed to be amber/red or red, i.e. ‘successful delivery is in doubt or unachievable unless action is taken. See Delivering Major Projects in Government: A Briefing for the Public Accounts Committee (Jan 2016)
Joanne and Chris informed the delegates that the challenge was increasing and that we had better sooner rather than later ensure our nation’s investment in change achieved its outcomes. The role that measures played in setting, monitoring and tracking investment performance was described and the factors that made evidencing the value realised through our investments were described:
- Data on projects’ progress towards benefits collected not published
- Projects leave the Portfolio before benefits are delivered
- Different accountability for benefits and project delivery
- Departments often don’t report on benefits
- They may not be delivered for many years
Joanna and Chris outlined what the NAO was looking for when it came to assuring effective benefits management was being undertaken.
A great keynote presentation that set the tone of the day – there is much to do but we are getting on and making sure that it done.
APM BM SIG Chairman
- Benefits Management in an Agile World keynote session write up.
- Addressing the common challenges of Benefits Realisation Management workshop 1 session write up.
- A practitioner's guide to evaluating benefits in business cases workshop 4 session write up.
- Challenges and lesson learnt at DVLA case study write up.
- Measuring and reporting non-financial benefits using the social return on investment (SROI) framework workshop 6 session write up.
- Network Rail: Offering Rail Better Information Services (ORBIS) programme benefits realisation case study 1 write up.
- Outcome Relationship Models session write up.
- Quantifying the Benefits of Meteorological Services session write up.
- The Synergy between Benefits Management and Change Management workshop 2 session write up.
- Why are you here? - workshop 5 session write up.
Share this page
How to optimise our investment in change initiatives and achieve business benefits - particularly when applied as a complete package.