What is benefits management?


Benefits management is the identification, definition, planning, tracking and realisation of benefits. Benefits realisation is the practice of ensuring that benefits are derived from outputs and outcomes. 

(Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition)


In order to facilitate benefits realisation during the extended project duration, benefits management is needed as an additional activity required to translate requirements that have been expressed in terms of benefits.

Benefits typically have a tangible value, ideally expressed in monetary terms to justify the investment. They are often realised sometime after transition into use, hence accountability for benefits realisation resting with the sponsor.

Illustration from Body of Knowledge 6th edition

What is project success?


Project success is the satisfaction of stakeholder needs and is measured by the success criteria agreed at the start of a project. Success is a relative concept, judged by stakeholders and the role of the project professional is to:

  • explore perception of success and benefits;
  • facilitate an agreed position, as far as possible

(Definition from APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition)

All projects are designed to bring benefits to the investing organisation, but the success criteria for many projects excludes benefit realisation as this is handled by another part of the organisation. Benefits therefore are different to success criteria.

Success criteria is the satisfaction of stakeholder needs for the deployment of a project. This is a different performance measure to benefits which are focused on the strategic intent and delivering beneficial change. Success criteria are agreed with stakeholders as early as possible but can be changed at any time in the project life cycle, subject to approval through change control.


Achievement of project management success criteria is known at project handover and accountability for achieving the project success criteria rests with the project manager. Project professionals ensure that here is a clear linkage between benefits, project success criteria, project objectives and project requirements.

Read Conditions for project success

Further reading

The APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition is a foundational resource providing the concepts, functions and activities that make up professional project management. It reflects the developing profession, recognising project-based working at all levels, and across all sectors for influencers, decision makers, project professionals and their teams.

The seventh edition continues in the spirit of previous editions, collaborating with the project community to create a foundation for the successful delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios. You can read more about benefits management and project success in chapter one and four of the APM Body of Knowledge 7th edition

APM Body of Knowledge online

APM Benefits and Value SIG

The Benefits and Value SIG (BV) is here to help members, the project management profession, and the public to enjoy successful projects.

APM Benefits and Value SIG

Could you be a project manager?

A good place to start is to visit our careers section; this provides you with the tools and resources to begin your project management journey.

APM Careers

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