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Benefits management: Lost or found in translation

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This article looks at the spread of knowledge about benefits management and its adoption by organisations; the global development of benefits management; and translation processes at the organisation level.

The article’s authors undertook literature reviews and drew on their own extensive practical experience. They used translation theory to analyse the development of benefits management and to draw conclusions about its current use.

Keywords

  • Benefits management
  • Benefits realisation management
  • Translation
  • Agile

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What does the paper cover?

Developed as a management idea in the 1990's benefits management has developed from an initial means to address the failure of IT projects to deliver value.

From the late 1990s, benefits management attracted the interest of government departments and professional bodies for both project management and IT.

It became incorporated into guidance manuals and standards, initially in the English-speaking world, but increasingly on a global basis.

The mid-2000s onwards has seen the development of networks for best practice and maturity models for organisations to benchmark their progress against. 

Research findings:

  • Evidence shows that using benefits management practices can increase the likelihood of projects and programmes achieving their goals.
  • Uptake of these practices remains low across all countries covered by previous research, including the UK. The full potential benefits are often elusive even when practices are adopted.
  • Focusing on benefits management could help to address the persistently high failure rate of projects and programmes.

 

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