Tag Archives: Managing Benefits

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

Managing Benefits QRC, a helping aid for those who will go for practitioner

MB (QRC, 130818) v0.1

Dia1In one of my previous blogposts I showed you how to add tabs to the official Managing Benefits manual. See Managing Benefits Manual Tabs.
I created a Quick Reference Card too. Based on a first version of Oppidum, I developed a card showing the Benefits Management cycle with the five practices: Identify & Quantify, Value & Appraise, Plan, Realize, an Review. I also added the 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 and Develop a value culture. You can also find the key techniques to be used within the different practices. If you go for your Managing Benefits Practitioner exam I wish you a lot of success.

To download: MB (QRC, 130818) v0.1

MB manual supporting tabs, a helping aid to pass your MB practitioner exam

photoDia1I am happy to announce that as of now, Managing Benefits (MB) practitioner candidates can make use of a simple aid to quickly find your way in the official MB manual during e.g. your exam. These tabs (place marks) are developed in line with the successful tabs I developed for the PRINCE2 and MSP manuals. I am discussing with the Best Practices User Group if they want to be the publisher of this aid.

Please have a look and give me your comments or references you would like to include. If you want to use it right now you have to print it on a sticker A4 paper. MB (tabs_2012_EN, 130704) v0.1