Tag Archives: benefits management

Do we need electroshocks to create transparency?

IMG-20150416-WA0000Last week I published a post regarding transparency. Today I gave a presentation at Fortes Best Practice seminar at Groot Kievitsdal, Baarn. Fortes managed to have a nice audience of about 150 people.

The title of my presentation: “The PMO as a flywheel for pragmatic programme management”.

In this presentation transparency was among other things one of the topics. When a project or programme manager reports a green status, it must be green. As a metaphor I used a melon. A melon can be green from the outside but red inside. Many project or programme managers make use of this melon indicator and hiding the real status. In one of the next slides a showed a picture of Jack Nicholson eating a melon. He wasn’t really transparent when he played his role of a madman in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. We know the end, when they used electroshocks and he really became a madman. Will this be the next tool for a PMO or portfolio manager to get transparent and correct project or programme status reports?

To download: PMO fly wheel (Fortes pres, 150416) v0.8

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?”


Lost in standards

Dia1In the last “projectie, edition 04-2014”, the bi-monthly magazine of ipma-nl, I published a Dutch article about the many methods and frameworks that are available in the field of portfolio, programme and project management. To download: Verdwaald in het standaardenbos IPMA Projectie magazine 04-2014 I created a sort of quick reference card with available standards and frameworks (It’s limited, there are many more). To download: standards-qrc-170129-v1-9

In the middle of the quick reference card you find a generic model with portfolio, programme and project management as horizontal boxes. Behind these boxes you will find vertical boxes with PMO, IT, benefits management, value management and risk management to support project, programme and portfolio management. And as the background I used two triangles representing the people and maturity of project, programme and portfolio management. From this model I made connections with several well-known organizations that develop and own standards. E.g. Axelos as the owner of PRINCE2, MSP, MoP, MoV, MoR, P3M3 and ITIL or PMI as the owner of PMBoK, The standard for Portfolio Management, The standard for Programme Management, OPM3, etc. You will also find AMPG, APM, IPMA and several suppliers of Agile/Scrum as well as some ISO models. dia1 In the Dutch article, I focus on the usage of these standards. It’s not that simple that you only have to select a project management method. Je must be aware that it will not be possible to implement all your ideas and ambitions. You have to select the right initiatives. This will ask for a portfolio management method. To realize your strategic objectives, you need more than only projects. You will run programmes too, asking for a programme management method. Besides temporary project and programme offices you probably need a permanent portfolio office as well as a centre of excellence to communicate, support and train staff to use these standards and best practices.

At a certain moment you want to know were you are from a maturity view, in comparison with others, and based on your own ambition you would like to know the gap you have to bridge. It will be beneficial for an organization if all these models or frameworks are connected to each other. As a rule of thumb, I would advice an organization to choose for either Axelos or PMI as the starting point and combine your choice with the competence baseline from IPMA. If you choose e.g. for PRINCE2, it makes sense to choose for MSP and MoP for your programme and portfolio management. For maturity scans you look at P3M3 because that’s in line with these standards. Your temporary and permanent PMO will be supported by P3O, etc. For supplementary techniques you could make use of the PMBoK from PMI.

Or, when you started with the PMI family, it makes sense to combine this with the project or programme board approaches from PRINCE2 and MSP and the usage of business cases as described in PRINCE2 9789401800068_CoverLR-541x850I am one of the authors of the book Global standards and publications, edition 2014/2015, Van Haren Publishing. You can download a free copy of this book. http://www.vanharen.net/file/PDF/9789401800068.pdf Please let me know if you are aware of new standards that are worthwhile to mention in this QRC.

for a comparison between PRINCE2 and PMBoK see the overview from KnowledgeTrain: Comparison PRINCE2/PMBoK


  • 17/01/29: Added PM2 Project Management Methodology from The European Commission
  • 17/01/29: Added Scrum @ Scale from Srcuminc.com
  • 16/01/23: Added Nexus (Scaled Professional Scrum) from Scrum.org
  • 15/10/04: IPMA ICB3 replaced with ICB4
  • 15/07/07: Added new Axelos framework PRINCE2 Agile
  • 15/05/27: Added Change mgt vertical + CMBoK (Change Management body of Knowledge) + CHAMPS2
  • 15/04/24: Added ISO 21500 project, 21503 programme, 21504 portfolio, 21505 Governance, 21506 Vocabulary
  • 15/02/24: Added CCPM (Goldratt), CMMi, Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards (GAPPS)
  • 14/10/21: Added Exin Agile Scrum from EXIN
  • 14/09/29: Added Agile Programme Management (Agile PgM) from APMG
  • 14/09/29: Added PRiSM™ (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods) from GPM
  • 14/09/29: Added Portfolio, Program & Project Sustainability Model (PSM3) from GPM

Boek recensie: Batenmanagement draait om mensen

UnknownUnknownNet het boek Batenmanagement draait om mensen, hoe je veranderinitiatieven naar duurzaam succes stuurt van Michiel van der Molen gelezen. Het boek is vlot geschreven en heeft een verfrissende opmaak. Gebruikmakend van zijn eigen in het boek vermelde tweet is het boek als volgt samen te vatten: “Batenmanagement verbindt mensen om de voordelen van een verandering te realiseren: gericht op het doel maar wendbaar in de uitvoering.”

Het boek is onder te verdelen in een aantal blokken. Het eerste blok geeft inzicht in de essentie van batenmanagement. Hoe realiseer je financiële en niet-financiële baten. Hoe overbrug je de kloof van strategie naar uitvoering, hoe laat je verschillende disciplines met elkaar samenwerken en focussen op het doel van de verandering. Het tweede blok, de kern van het boek, gaat over het toepassen van batenmanagement op een veranderinitiatief. Het omvat een drietal hoofdstukken waarin Michiel je aan de hand neemt om vanuit het doel en de belanghebbenden via (eind)baten, veranderingen uiteindelijk bij producten (als output van projecten) te komen. De visuele weergave hiervan wordt het batenmodel genoemd. Vervolgens wordt aangegeven hoe je van het batenmodel naar de batenrealisatie kan komen. Op verschillende plaatsen in het boek geeft Michiel aan waar handig gebruik gemaakt kan worden van workshops en welke vragen aldaar gesteld kunnen worden. Het derde blok gaat in op het belang van bateneigenaarschap en hoe je batenmanagement in je eigen organisatie kan invoeren en welke rollen, waaronder de benefits facilitator, daarbij onderkend kunnen worden. Ten slotte laat Michiel de aansluiting zien met de standaardwerken op het gebied van batenmanagement: Benefits realisation Management.  Practical guide to achieving benefits through change (Bradley, 2010) en de uitgaven in de best practice reeks: Managing Successful Programmes (MSP, 2011) en Managing Benefits (MB). Optimizing the return from investments (Jenner 2012). In een bijlage krijg je een aantal tips om batenworkshops te leiden.

Door het gehele boek heen wordt gebruik gemaakt van een casus Intereurope Insurances waarin de link tussen theorie en praktijk wordt gelegd.

Naast het boek is er ook een los aan te schaffen werkset Batenmodellering verkrijgbaar. Deze werkset geeft je een kaartje met tips voor interactieve batenmodellering en een 200 zelfklevende memobriefjes (100 groene Benefit/Baat, 20 rode Disbenefit/Last, 50 witte Change/Verandering en 30 gele memobriefjes Enabler/Product). Eerlijk gezegd, vind ik deze werkset wat teveel van het goede. Post-its in verschillende kleuren werkt net zo goed. Neemt niet weg dat het boek Batenmanagement draait om mensen het aanschaffen meer dan waard is. Ben je betrokken bij een transformatie of ander soortig programma of sta je op het punt om batenmanagement in je organisatie in te voeren dan is dit boek een must.

In bijgaand plaatje heb ik een stelling uit het boek ter harte genomen. ‘Wat je niet eenvoudig hebt gemaakt, kun je niet duidelijk maken en wat niet duidelijk is, zal niet gedaan worden.’ (Bungay): batenmanagement (batenkaart, 130526) v1.0


Bestellen:Batenmanagement draait om mensen

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: http://www.apmg-international.com/en/qualifications/managing-benefits/managing-benefits.aspx