An Executive Perspective on Project Sponsorship

Over the past decade or so, I have been involved in project work performing a variety of roles. I have led the enterprise PMO and played the role of an executive sponsor, yet there still exists a wide spread perception that executives do not do enough to support the delivery of projects.

The gap between perception and reality regarding strong executive sponsorship for project work is closing but not fast enough. I’ll be the first to admit that executives can do much more to play an instrumental role in seeing projects through to the very end. But project teams must appreciate and understand that executives have a tough job at hand.

In addition to project work, C-level executives in general have to manage corporate strategy and departmental plans, commercials and contracts, financials and budgets, people and technical resources, administration and logistics, and last but not least office politics. Striking the right balance between project sponsorship and these activities is extremely demanding, and all too often the work load takes its toll.

Nonetheless, this should not serve as a pretext for executives to become inactive spectators when sponsoring projects. On the contrary, it can be argued that by managing the company’s work in terms of projects and programmes, executives can optimize how to manage their work load better.

In this article, I would like to address some important points based on my experience that can help executives become good sponsors by providing the right environment for project teams to deliver successful projects and programmes 

  1. Sponsorship must be limited to a few key projects
    The practical reality of active sponsorship requires executives to be engaged in less not more project work. Challenging projects and programmes are often taxing on executive time as they involve several meetings to resolve key issues, make intelligent decisions and provide guidance to project teams. This means that executives at best can get directly involved in two or perhaps three— at best—large projects or programmes at any given time. To expect executives to take on more than this runs the risk of executive fatigue, disengagement and in the worst case lip service. To mitigate such situations the company has to strike a fine balance between its aspirations and its capability to deliver. By introducing a proper project portfolio management methodology and recalibrating the mindset of the company to do less, executive sponsorship will invariably improve.

  2. Learn to use the right language to communicate project work to executives
    One of the persistent challenges that project managers and their teams fail to overcome is ineffective communication with the executive audience. A parlance that is heavily laced with project management terms can be quite off putting and only serves to entrench misunderstandings regarding projects. Likewise content that is heavily immersed in details produces the same negative connotations. Project managers and project teams must communicate in a language that the executives can understand. This should not be misconstrued as using only financial terms to communicate project status updates. Instead, project managers should present project updates by employing terms that the collective executive audience is comfortable with. For example the chief technical officer (CTO) is in a better position to understand project information if the content employs technical terms that the CTO is familiar with. Similarly, the chief financial officer (CFO) will be more receptive if financial terms are used to convey the project information. Hence it is vitally important for project managers and their teams to get to know their executives and how they think and communicate. This will help in the reduction of the communication gap, and through experience, project managers should be able to communicate effectively with the executives.

  3. Thoroughly prepare for executive meetings
    There is nothing more annoying to executives than to attend project steering meetings and discover that the content is not thoroughly prepared or well researched. Poor content means that executives will be turned off, vital decisions will get delayed and projects will not move forward. Additionally, when issues are discussed it is always helpful to show the root causes accompanied by several solutions. All of this helps executives arrive at decisions swiftly thereby minimising the need to have lengthy meetings to clarify the content and explore solutions from first principles.

  4. Always assume executives need to be educated on project management
    Project managers and their teams make the mistake of assuming that executives are fully conversant with the discipline of project management and are aware of the latest trends such as adaptive project management. Nothing could be further from the truth. Executives need to be constantly educated about sound project management concepts, tools and techniques. For instance complex projects require a slightly different approach to conventional projects. Executives will to understand the importance techniques like tracking known unknowns or the rolling wave plan.

    Where appropriate, executives should undergo professional training to enable them to speak and understand the same language as their project teams. Training could be in the form of industry professional project management courses such as PMP or PRINCE2, or customised in house courses specifically design to instil project management concepts within the operating environment of the company. Project managers should exploit every opportunity to encourage executives to learn more about project management. Strong persistence in this matter will eventually pay off.

These are just some of the points that I believe will help both executives and project teams improve executive sponsorship. In the end, executive sponsorship is a two way process that requires strong participations from both executives as well as project teams. This is a long journey and there are no easy short cuts.

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Benefits Management – the Key to Success in Project Management

As mentioned on the official APMG description of PRINCE2, one of the things that makes PRINCE2 stand out from other project management methodologies is the focus on continuous improvement and the importance of the viability of a project – the project lifecycle doesn’t stop when the product is delivered.

Benefits should be included in the business case of a PRINCE2 project, but are often a tricky factor to define and manage. The reason for their importance is because, although the project is undertaken to produce a product, what the business actually wants is the benefit of that product. E.g. if it’s a new product for sale, the benefits are the sales from the product. If the project is to develop a new content management system, that system needs to make the business more efficient and therefore save money.

Documenting clearly defined benefits can also help ensure buy-in from everyone working on the project – team members’ doubt in its value can be damaging.

It’s crucial that a project manager questions the customer on the benefits they expect once the product is delivered, and moving forward from there. Delivering a successful project blind to expected benefits could mean miscommunication and, ultimately, undeserved damage to the project manager’s reputation in the eyes of the customer.

Consider this story, we’ve all heard similar tales but this one in particular was relayed to me by one of the delegates on our PRINCE2 training course just last week. They had been asked to manage a project developing a new CMS and were given very specific requirements for how they’d like it to work. The project manager delivers this product as specified – but it transpires that the new system is harder for the users to manage which means none of the assumed benefits are achieved. The customer blames the product and, by association, the PM.

Now, this individual came on our course for all the right reasons – they realised that working under a specific project management framework would mean that issues like this could be avoided. But it got me thinking about benefits and the responsibility of the PM to manage these. In essence, benefits realisation management is about outcomes as opposed to outputs.

How to Realise and Manage Benefits in PRINCE2

A useful way of helping the Customer or Senior User to identify expected benefits is by using the 5 Whys method of root cause analysis, a technique used in Lean Six Sigma. Asking the Customer what they want (a new product), why (they don’t sell this but others do), why (if other people sell it, it must be in demand) why etc.

Usually, the Senior User will specify and defend the benefits – this will form the basis of the business case. They will be in line with the business’s high-level strategic objectives, and any benefits management done as part of programme management where relevant. The inclusion of the end user in the PRINCE2 process is another key to its beauty and popularity.

In PRINCE2, the Benefits Review Plan is put together by the Project Manager in the initiation stage of the project. This will document the following:

  • The expected benefits as outlined in the Business Case
  • How these will be measured objectively – and against which base line value from before the project was initiated
  • Who will measure the benefits (usually the Senior User)
  • When they must be measured (sometimes some benefits will be achieved while the project is still ongoing) The Project Board must agree on how far along the line the benefits will be measured once the product has been delivered.
  • Tolerances
  • Dependencies
  • Disbenefits

Once created, the Benefits Review Plan will be submitted and approved by the Project Board. It is revised at the end of each stage within the project, usually with separate benefits for each stage of the project.

During the final benefits review, the Senior User will identify and evidence benefits that have been gained.


It’s a clumsy term but is used in the PRINCE2 manual to describe how benefits must always be managed alongside expected negative outcomes. For example, perhaps the new CMS will run much more quickly but require more maintenance. A very common dis-benefit is a reduction in productivity during the time taken for users to learn to use a new software product.

Dis-benefits are not the same as risks. Risks are outcomes that might occur, and dis-benefits are outcomes that have been identified and accepted as very likely or certain consequences of the project and its product. Of course, dis-benefits should be analysed to ensure they will not outweigh the benefits!


Benefits of a product will always depend on more than just the delivery of the product by the project. The benefits will depend on such things as effective implementation of this product, which may or may not fall within the project remit.

Dependencies are very important when it comes to identifying where the line of responsibility is drawn. Other individuals or organisations are often dependencies, e.g. the supplier providing the right goods at the right time, or appropriate trainers being available if the project is delivering a new piece of software.

Why Benefit Management is the Key to Project Management

No matter how closely you follow the rest of a project management methodology such as PRINCE2, if the ultimate goal is misguided then it will be hard for anybody to consider the project a success.

Project Managers need to be remembered and reemployed for delivering results, not just products, so it makes sense for responsibility for benefit realisation and management to fall within their hands.

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Project Management: How has it Changed after the Recent Global Financial Crises?

FEATURESept26thChanges in professions arise from a culmination of many factors, including advances in technology, responses to changing markets and the wider economic environment, alterations in demographic trends, and customer-driven demand, to name just a few. As well as industry-driven advancements, major shifts in the global economy and global events can have a profound, structural effect on a multitude of professions. Major global changes bring about a realization that “We cannot continue to do what we have always done.”

The full impact of the global financial crisis that began in 2008 on all aspects of the economy may take years, or even decades to fully understand. It is arguably true that the crisis has “left its mark” on attitudes towards the project management profession (as it has on many other professions). Some changes have been challenging at an individual level, such as the struggle for many to maintain gainful employment. Other changes have spurred positive adjustments to the way the profession operates, such as fostering a drive for advanced project management processes and a general realization of the importance of project management to controlling outcomes with scarce resources. In this article, we review what some of the post 2008 changes on the project management profession have been.

The post 2008 global economic downturn has been a catalyst for organizations to rethink their processes. The approach to project management (plus program and portfolio management) has, for many organizations, been part of this overall rethink. In many cases, the outcome has led to project management being recognized as a valuable way to provide surety and control of initiatives undertaken. This has led to opportunities and also some challenges for those of us in the profession.

We categorize the key impacts on project management brought about by the financial crisis into three areas: Changes to the Profession, Changes to Methodology, and Changes to the Professional.

Some key changes to the Profession

  • The need to control risk and provide a greater certainty and control of project outcomes has led to an increase in the awareness of project (and for that matter, program and portfolio) risk management. The benefits of effective project risk management are well- documented. Organizations that were previously unfamiliar with project risk practices, or had immature processes in place, have started to explore the benefits of implementing a thorough and rigorous approach to project risk management.
  • A related effect is a greater emphasis on portfolio planning of projects (for whatever industry the organisation is in – construction, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, NGO, IT, etc.). This has created a positive opportunity for those professionals skilled in portfolio management practices.
  • There is an increased interest in credentials and certifications to complement experience. Competition for jobs is fierce, and experience remains as vital as ever. Many professionals are adding credentials and/or certifications to their resume to make themselves more appealing in a tight job market, and in response to more and more job advertisements asking for a minimum of credentials from interested applicants. This change is having several effects on the profession. As more professionals seek credentials and certifications, project management has become a career option open to more people. The ripple effect is providing a positive impact on the wider economy, with the “economic multiplier effect” of more employment in training, preparation and exam administration to support this up-skilling need. Several government and not-for-profit organizations offer financial assistance for job training, which provides underemployed/unemployed with educational opportunities, while further extending the benefits to the training providers.

Some changes to the Methodology of project management

  • There is a greater emphasis on ensuring that projects have genuine “governance with teeth”, and Limits of Authority are being more tightly controlled for authorising expenditure, budgets, scope changes, etc. Savvy Project Managers need to leverage this because it is good for their control of projects, and, in order to do so, they must understand how to make governance effective. They must prepare governance properly and ensure it is run like clockwork.
  • The approach to risk management (mentioned above) has become more sophisticated, particularly for large projects. Project Managers need to capitalise on this and ensure they know how to practice risk management in a way that involves all project stakeholders (it is not just about having a better risk register, it’s about pro-actively managing risk).
  • Thresholds for change controls and performance metrics are tighter. Competent project professionals are striving; those at the lower end of the talent pool will find it a challenging environment in which to operate. 
  • Resources for projects are expected to do more with less, so the project manager is expected to better manage those resources to achieve success. In such tight environments, the project manager’s skills in leadership are more important than ever and the methodology chosen has a major impact on how resources are managed.

Some changes to and impacts on the Professional

  • Many people are taking jobs at levels of pay that are lower than before 2008 because of what the market and employers are currently offering. With double digit unemployment prevalent in many countries, it has become a “Buyers’ Market”, leading to lower salary costs to organizations. Many professionals who are qualified for senior level roles are taking lesser roles. Underemployment, while not optimal to the professional, can yield benefits to those employers that acquire and leverage top talent.
  • It is probably true that today, more contract and temporary positions in project management exist in proportion to full-time positions. Professionals that once had traditional, full-time, stable roles may be forced into contracting, which can be less secure. However, this can also provide many people the opportunity to broaden their experience and build a stronger resume, as well as gain more autonomy in their work-life balance.
  • People in career transition between gainful employment probably carry out more volunteer roles as it helps to fill the employment gap in their resume.
  • Social networking is growing in importance for career management – look at the increase of LinkedIn and Facebook membership.
  • Faced with career challenges, some PMs are changing careers and exiting project management to do something else.

In conclusion, this article touches on a few salient points of how the global economic crisis of 2008 has led to changes in the project management profession. As has been the case for many other professions, the crisis has led to many shifts, some positive and some negative. The lessons we learn from the economic downturn can help prepare us individually as well as organizationally for the next major shifts that occur.

It is important for us all to be prepared for continued change. Louis Pasteur once said that “chance favors the prepared mind.” H.G. Wells is quoted as saying: “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” We must prepare ourselves for continued change by constantly honing our processes, developing professionally, and being willing to adapt. Those individuals and organizations that are prepared and that embrace the opportunities presented are the ones that are set to continually strengthen their position. 

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Gareth Byatt has 15+ years of experience in project, program and PMO management in IT and construction for Lend Lease. Gareth has worked in several countries and lives in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted through LinkedIn. Gareth holds numerous degrees, certifications, and credentials in program and project management as follows: an MBA from one of the world’s leading education establishments, a 1st-class undergraduate management degree, and the PMP®, PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP® & PRINCE2 professional certifications. Gareth is currently a Director of the PMI Sydney Chapter, he is the APAC Region Director for the PMI’s PMO Community of Practice and he chairs several peer networking groups. He has presented on PMOs, portfolio and program and project management at international conferences in the UK, Australia, & Asia including PMI APAC in 2010.

Gary Hamilton has 16+ years of project and program management experience in IT, finance, and human resources and volunteers as the VP of Professional Development for the PMI East Tennessee chapter. Gary is a 2009 & 2010 Presidents’ Volunteer Award recipient for his charitable work with local fire services and professional groups. He has won several internal awards for results achieved from projects and programs he managed as well as being named one of the Business Journal’s Top 40 Professionals in 2007. Gary was the first person globally to obtain the five credentials PgMP®, PMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP® , CAPM® . In addition to these, Gary holds numerous other degrees and certifications in IT, management, and project management and they include: an advanced MBA degree in finance, Project+, PRINCE2, MSP, ITIL-F, MCTS (Sharepoint), MCITP (Project), and Six Sigma GB professional certifications.

Jeff Hodgkinson is a 32 year veteran of Intel Corporation, where he continues on a progressive career as a program/project manager. Jeff is an [email protected] Expert and blogs on Intel’s Community for IT Professionals for Program/Project Management subjects and interests. He is also the Intel IT PMO PMI Credential Mentor supporting colleagues in pursuit of a new credential. Jeff received the 2010 PMI (Project Management Institute) Distinguished Contribution Award for his support of the Project Management profession from the Project Management Institute. Jeff was the 2nd place finalist for the 2011 Kerzner Award and was also the 2nd place finalist for the 2009 Kerzner International Project Manager of the Year Award TM. He lives in Mesa, Arizona, USA and is a member of Phoenix PMI Chapter. Because of his contributions to helping people achieve their goals, he is the third (3rd) most recommended person on LinkedIn with 570+ recommendations, and is ranked 55th most networked LinkedIn person. He gladly accepts all connection invite requests from PM practitioners at: www.linkedin.com/in/jeffhodgkinson. Jeff holds numerous certifications and credentials in program and project management, which are as follows: CAPM®, CCS, CDT, CPC™, CIPM™, CPPM–Level 10, CDRP, CSM™, CSQE, GPM™, IPMA-B®, ITIL-F, MPM™, PME™, PMOC, PMP®, PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP®, PMW, and SSGB. Jeff is an expert at program and project management principles and best practices. He enjoys sharing his experiences with audiences around the globe as a keynote speaker at various PM events.

Is Accountability a Key Component for Project Management?

FEATUREAug22ndIs accountability a key component to project management? Only if you want to succeed!  I often make the mistake of assuming that project leaders and team members understand the critical value of accountability (as I believe it is bedrock to success); however, it isn’t necessarily true.  Recently I received feedback about the importance of accountability and the focus on results, and so I thought it prudent to focus on the why and how of accountability.

Without accountability, there’s no reason to lead a project or be on a project team as you’re doomed for failure.  Yet this isn’t nearly as easy to achieve as it might seem.  Often, the members of a project team report to a different organizational leader, and so direct authority can be non-existent.  Also, often, project tasks are considered 2nd priority to day-to-day responsibilities.  Thus, how do we ensure accountability for project management?  A few keys to success include:  1) Set expectations.  2) Track progress.  3) Integrate with performance management processes.


  1. Set expectations:  In my 20+ years of experience across multiple industries, I’ve found it is easy to assume that project expectations and goals are clear when they are vague at best.  How can they be vague when you have a written document with tasks and accountabilities?  Just ask yourself a few questions: 1) If a mini-crisis arises (such as a potential late shipment or a machine issue), will your project lose focus?  2) If a team member’s direct manager needs a report or action item completed, will your project lose focus?  3) If your project comes into conflict with department priorities, will your project lose focus?

    Most times, I see these issues derail projects.  It’s the rare exception where a project manager and executive sponsor think through the potential conflicts, determine priorities and communicate clearly upfront.  In these cases, not only is the projects successful but typically the other needs are addressed as well.  Think about the 80/20 – which of these types of situations are most likely to occur?  How will you handle them?  Bring the team and all related parties into the loop as to the priorities, reasoning and process for resolving issues.  Miraculously, your project will exceed expectations.

  2. Track progress:  Tracking project progress sounds like motherhood and apple pie; however, what could be more integral to success?  If you don’t know how you are doing, how will you know what to adjust?

    How do we accomplish this?  It is not sufficient to wait to track progress until the project results timeframe.  Instead, track the progress of milestones especially critical path milestones.  The 80/20 of your effort should be on these key milestones as they will drive success.  If you aren’t sure how to track progress without the end result, ask questions.  Find out how core team members or project recipients would “see” progress.  If critical path milestones are too far out, find out which tasks along the path to the critical path milestone are most likely to run into a roadblock.  Be all over it!

    Don’t just track task timing.  Review the level of quality / result of the task.  Review costs.  Review service levels.  Ask for feedback.  Ask your customers.

  3. Integrate with performance management processes:  People focus on what’s measured.  Does their performance on your project make a difference to their career success?  How can you ensure integration with the performance management process?

    There are several approaches to achieving this objective:  1) Publish and communicate metrics on a frequent basis – preferably weekly.  2) Partner with the organizational leaders associated with your project team members.  Make sure the project objectives are a part of each team member’s regular performance management process.  3) Make sure the priority of your project is clearly understood in relation to other projects and day-to-day responsibilities.  If this means your project is 2nd priority, address upfront.  What backups exist?  How else can you fill gaps?  4) Clearly communicate the value to the project team members and the rest of the organization.    5)  Provide continual feedback (both positive and constructive) and back up with rewards, recognition and performance discussions.

Without a doubt, those companies who consistently deliver project results will outperform their competition. Accountability plays a vital role in ensuring success.  Will you put forth the effort to institute accountability practices in your project?

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Realizing Benefits – It’s What Projects Are For!

Co-authored by Jeff Hodgkinson

Realizingbenefits4_mainWe believe a simple methodology can be applied to attain Benefits Realization. You can achieve true project success by ensuring that:

  • Project benefits are clear, concise and relevant in ‘value creation’ terms from the Business Case onwards, and that they directly relate to your organisational strategy
  • People are held accountable for achieving these benefits
  • Benefits stated in a Business Case are actively measured throughout the entire initiative, ie:
    • During the project lifecycle (particularly if it is released in phases)
    • After the project is closed
    • When the product/output starts to be used
  • Appropriate action is taken if required to alter direction (i.e. the organization changes course and the intended project benefits are no longer relevant)

Simple Process Flow for Project Benefits Realization


It Starts with a Good Business Case!

In the project management community, it is generally accepted that a project starts in earnest once a business case has been agreed to and various other initiation tasks are complete. The question now is, “Does your business case remain a core reference document throughout the project’s lifecycle?” or does it go into the project files, to be reviewed only if, say, key stakeholders request a change order or when project auditors visit?

Business cases vary in size and complexity. A business case, and the process to agree to it, should include the following elements relating to benefits realization:

  • Clearly show how the initiative contributes to the organizational strategy including the core reason for the initiative. There must be measurable benefits that specifically relate to the organization’s goals and objectives
  • People must be named as accountable for ensuring the benefits are achieved (and they must know and accept this accountability)
  • People must agree to these benefits being monitored over time, with appropriate adjustments made when necessary

Our Three Main Points

1. Contributing to the Organizational Strategy

Circulate your proposed business case benefits with all key stakeholders to ensure they “stack up”, and a ‘governance’ control group should oversee and approve key project decisions regarding agreed benefits, including business case approval. Remember, it can be all too easy to inadvertently omit certain stakeholders from the loop. From the beginning, ensure benefits monitoring is built into your project – it will keep you on track to deliver what your cstomer needs. It is most useful to include the strategy for tracking benefits in the business case. This can be high-level or it can be a detailed explanation, depending on the circumstances. One word of warning: benefits tracking can mean many things, and can be subject to lack of clarity without the right level of rigor being applied. The sample extract from a business case below shows benefits, accountabilities, metrics (if applicable) and the proposed timeframe for realization:


When assessing benefits, and following through in the post-delivery phase, one should talk to people across the organization vs. taking one person’s opinion as the complete story. Ensure that the focus is on creating value, and that it is realistic. For example, drawing up “use cases” of real-life scenarios of how people will perform activities with the new deliverables in place can help to define the realistic benefits. This is what may be termed “active planning” for change, rather than “passive planning” as it means you will understand the true value creation process. It can help ratify the scope and intentions of your project, which should mean the people nominated as accountable for achieving the benefits are confident of their delivery (and hence they should be comfortable in signing up to them).

A business case may not always state specific financial benefits. Projects can be charted to contribute to a strategic objective of an organization where:

  • Clear-cut financial returns are not directly evident.
  • Are Implemented as control measures in response to statutory requirements or legislation.

It is wise to include financial metrics in a Business Case only if they can be substantiated; financial justifications should not be included if you cannot justify and measure them (but track financial improvement in future if possible).

2. Assign Accountable People for the Benefits in your Business Case

The governance group you establish for your project plays an important part in ensuring benefits are measured once the project is closed and the operations or sustaining teams start to use the deliverable.

Assigning key people as accountable for realizing stated benefits should give a business case the importance it needs to ensure those benefits are traceable. The key to success is to make sure the benefits are realistic and measurable.

To link business case benefits with ongoing benefits realisation, we have found it useful to clearly state in the business case that a benefits realisation plan will be implemented to track the proposed benefits over the initiative’s total lifecycle. We have found it can be helpful to include the proposed benefits realisation plan tracking mechanism as an addendum to the business case.

One example format (many exist) is shown below:

View Larger

3. Monitor Project Benefits Over Time

Successful project delivery is an important first step to achieving business benefits – completing a project on time, budget and to expected quality levels sets the platform for ongoing success. However, what we are most concerned about in benefits realization is to ensure the deliverable that the project provides generates benefits as intended (or perhaps new, unforeseen ones) over its lifecycle.

Sometimes project deliverables need to be adjusted before the project is complete or at a point in time after project closure. For example, as circumstances change, unexpected external impacts arise, or new opportunities result in a change of organisational strategy. This is often true for long duration projects. Such changes need to be fed into the benefits realisation plan, so that it is kept up to date and is ready to be used as soon as the project closes.

We have found that benefits realisation plans can be structured in “layers” – that is, specific project benefits can be measured regularly and aggregated at a program and/or portfolio level for overall benefits assessment and tracking.

Our Conclusions

The realisation of project benefits can be considered to be dependent on the following five principle factors:

  1. Business case benefits should to be clear and concise, and relate to the organisational strategy
  2. Give your business case importance by assigning the people who will be accountable for achieving stated benefits in your business case (after obtaining authority to do so). Make sure the business case signatories agree and understand that benefits will be tracked and corrective actions will be taken in the event of a change or direction, or failure to realise the stated benefits
  3. The benefits stated in a business case should be actively measured through continuous participative engagement after project closure in a benefits realization plan
  4. Action should be taken if a benefit is not being realised (for example, if the organisation changes course or the project deliverables are no longer relevant)
  5. Lastly, giving people a continued focus on benefits throughout a project helps keep it on track, and for the “big picture” to be maintained. It is from this vantage point that we can ensure projects deliver the benefits they were intended for.

Summary Extract

Today, more than ever, project benefits need to be achievable, then realized and then sustained (maintaining relevance) when your project is complete and its output goes into use. Adopting a simple ‘project benefits realization tracking method’ starting from the project’s business case onwards can help you achieve this…

Mini Glossary:

Terms Used

Brief Description

Benefits Realization

What the project intends to deliver to the customer/stakeholder upon completion.

Business Case

Why the project is being done and what justifies the resources being used.

Project Lifecycle

The phases a project goes through between start to finish. Typically 3 to 5.

Project Benefits

What will be the long term results or gain derived after completion of the project.


Management group that approves the project charter and subsequent phases if needed.

Strategic Objective

High level business objective which the project has inclusion to achieving it.


A result gained either during or at the completion of a project.

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Gareth Byatt is Head of the IT Global Program Management Office for Lend Lease Corporation He’s a PgMP and PRINCE2 practitioner, and holds an MBA and first-class undergraduate management degree. Gareth has worked in several countries, and is currently located in Sydney, Australia. Gareth has 13 years of project and program management experience in IT and construction. Gareth can be contacted through LinkedIn.

Jeff Hodgkinson is the IT Hosting Transformation Program Manager. He is a 29-year veteran of Intel Corporation with a progressive career as a Program/Project Manager. Jeff holds numerous certifications and credentials in project and program management including PMI’s PgMP (Program Management Professional) credential. He obtained his PMP (#713) in 1991. He is located in Chandler, Arizona, and also volunteers in various support positions for the Phoenix PMI Chapter. Due to simply helping people, ‘Hodge’ as referred to by his many friends is one of the most well networked and recommended persons on LinkedIn.

Gareth and Jeff met through LinkedIn and share a common passion for program and project management theory and practices. Though they live half a world away from each other collaborate and co-author articles. Together they bring over 40 years of experience into their subject writing for the benefit of their colleagues worldwide.