Guest blog from Dr. Harold Kerzner: Value Management and Benefits Realization

valueI received a request to accommodate a guest blog from Dr. Harold Kerzner. Dr. Harold Kerzner is Sr. Executive Director for Project Management, The International Institute for Learning.

He is known among other things as an author of many books in the field of project management. I asked him to write a blog about Benefits Management.

Years ago, in the early days of project management, most project managers came from the technical ranks of the company. Project managers were allowed to make technical decisions, within limits of course, and the majority of the business decisions were made by the project sponsor who normally resided at the upper levels of management. 

Project managers focused heavily on producing a deliverable as outlined in the statement of work or the contractual documents. While this became the norm, there was always the question as to whether or not the final deliverables actually created value. Today, the definition of a project is the creation of sustainable business value.  The definition of success on a project is when the sustainable benefits and business value are achieved within the competing constraints.

Simply stated, the project manager has been converted from a technical manager to a business manager where decisions must be made not only on the technology of the project, but the importance of creating sustainable business value. This means that the traditional metrics of time, cost and scope are no longer sufficient to track the project’s performance. Metrics related to benefits and value must also be included. The establishment of a portfolio project management office will certainly be helpful in this regard.

The attached white paper shows some of the changes that are now taking place. In simple terms, “Why work on a project where the outcome is not to achieve some form of business value and benefits?”


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