Book review: A senior manager’s guide to managing benefits by Stephen Jenner

default.aspxBenefits Management is still a weak spot in many organizations. Methods like PRINCE2 with the Benefits Review Plan or MSP with the Managing Benefits theme or Realizing Benefits process are of help in this perspective, but it looks like that it’s not enough. There is now a new standard Managing Benefits including a Foundation and Practitioner examination from APMG.

To understand this standard there are two books. The practitioner guide Managing Benefits and A senior manager’s guide to managing benefits (optimizing the return from investments). Stephen Jenner wrote both books.

I just finished A senior manager’s guide to managing benefits. A small booklet (51 pages) aimed at senior managers and addresses benefits management from a strategic perspective. For the details you have to look into the practitioner guide Managing Benefits.

In this manager’s guide you find an explanation about benefits and benefits management. Benefits management is positioned within the organizational context and the benefits management cycle. This cycle from Identify & Quantify – Value & Appraise, Plan – Realize and Review is comparable with the MSP benefits cycle Identify – Plan – Realize and Review.

A separate chapter focuses on the need for benefits management and what you will get for it.

Four barriers to success are explained and how to overcome them:

  • Common misconceptions about benefits realization
  • The knowing – doing gap
  • Cognitive bias
  • Organizational pressures

As in many other methods the foundation for benefits management is based on seven principles:

  • Align benefits with strategy
  • Start with the end in mind
  • Utilize successful delivery methods
  • Integrate benefits with performance management
  • Manage benefits from a portfolio perspective
  • Apply effective governance
  • Develop a value culture.

A nice chapter is about problems and issues, which can impact the effectiveness of benefits management. For each one you will get one or more relevant techniques to cope with them.

Finally you will get a simple benefits management health-check assessment with 10 questions.

Conclusion, this small booklet gives a good overview of the Managing Benefits practitioner guide and will help you to get a better understanding what it means to use benefits management practices and techniques within your organization.

More information can be found at:

3 responses to “Book review: A senior manager’s guide to managing benefits by Stephen Jenner

  1. Hello Henny,

    I’ve just read your blog and your list of recent and current responsibilities. Good heavens! What do you do in your spare time?? 😉

    I grabbed a copy of your chart (labeled dial.jpg) but unfortunately the resolution is not sufficient to make it readable. Do you have a PDF version of your original file?

    Why do you call it “Management Product Model”? It looks to me to be about project management and not product management – the latter will depend on the technology involved.

    Best regards,

    R. Max Wideman

    • Hi Max,
      On most of my posts you can also download the PDF, the jpeg is just to show the picture on the blog too. Management Products is a PRINCE2 term. It refers to project management document.
      Best regards

  2. Pingback: Revue du livre “A senior manager’s guide to managing benefits” de Stephen Jenner |

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