Benefits will be realised once you develop a habit of benefits tracking, of measuring how much you are achieving.
Measurement, and in particular measuring achievement of benefits, is one of the most satisfying things anyone can do. Unfortunately most people think of measurement as a pain, something done for someone else, a complete waste of time. You set out to achieve something with this project, but you won't know if you are achieving it, if you aren't measuring. More to the point, if you know where you are succeeding and where you aren't, you can adjust the programme or project as you go along.
The Benefits Tracking process is the plan or definition of how you are going to do this:
Who is going to perform the measurements (I'd recommend the person nearest to service delivery)
Where they will get the information from (it can come from organisational information sources, external sources, or of course measuring what's happening: How many, how much, what quality)
How the measurements will be processed after they've been collected, so as to show what you want to see
Who will receive reports of what's been achieved (I'd recommend certainly staff and stakeholders, whereas usually reports only go up to the Workstream Board or PCT board where they won't be read)
What authority those collecting the measures have - are there any sanctions if the information is not forthcoming?
the Measurement strategy
What do you want to know? What are the primary benefits: this is what you want to know. How are you going to find this out? All of this information can be collected in a [Benefits Framework workshop].
Once you've identified the benefits, then you need to work out what you CAN measure which will show you whether you're making progress, and what's EASY to measure. You'll also need to work out what you need to do with the results of your measurement so you can tell what progress you are making. For example, if your benefit is to reduce the amount to time spent inputting data manually, you might want to measure:
Time spent inputting data manually (but do you know when most people multi-task)
Amount of data added to the system per day/week
Total pay bill for the admin (data inputting) staff
In each case the figure is pretty useless all by itself - you need to be able to compare the current status with the situation before or when the project started, and you need to know that you want less time spent inputting data, to know whether the constraint on the amount of data added is because there's only that amount of data or if staff resources have been the bottleneck. How much data per £ spent on salary, for example.
The Benefits Tracking Document
will contain a number of headings with detail completed, to define the way that Benefits will be measured and reported. Suggested structure:
A statement to the effect that this is a dynamic document that will need to change as the project evolves
Repeating the Benefits identified for the Programme or Project (this section will need updating when the benefits change)
A matrix showing which measurement techniques and sources of information will be used to demonstrate achievement of which benefits
Who's responsible for:
Performing the measurements
Processing the measurements into meaningful results
Who gets to see and approve the reports
What happens when results are excellent and benefits realised. What happens when benefits aren't realised.
An example will be posted shortly
Benefits Management Strategy
Benefits Tracking Process
Go back to the Benefits Management Strategy