Project Business Case Benefits – Part 2
Project benefit measurement points
Against each quantifiable benefit that you have listed within the business case, of when it should be measured. It is a common misconception that all benefits are measured after the end of the project.
Think carefully about what measurement points are appropriate for your project within the context of the benefits that you need to measure and when they will come on-stream.
Here is a summary of the main benefits review points within your project:
Benefits during the project
Some benefits may come on-stream during the project, for example if you replace a high maintenance machine with a new low maintenance machine early in the project, you’ll start to see savings in the maintenance budget even during the life of the project.
Benefits at the end of the project
This is particularly true where you have a closure stage off to the final delivery stage of the project. The benefits from that delivery stage may be measurable before the project shuts down. In such a case the benefits realization can be included within the project completion report.
Benefits after the end of the project
Some benefits might not be clear for some time off to the end of the project and so cannot be measured until that point in time.
As an example, staff working on the newly introduced business procedure may not be working at normal speed for a few weeks while they get used to the new approach. It is only when things have settled down that you can take a meaningful measure of the savings in staff time.
Interim and final Benefits
You might decide to use the lost two points in combination. You could take an internal measure at the end of the project to give organizational managers and the project board an early indication of the level of a benefit – then do a later and final one to give a more precise measure.
Benefits at the end of the linked projects
Where your project is linked to others, possibly as part of a programme, it may be that some of the benefits of your project cannot be fully measured until off to other projects have also delivered their products and the combined effect comes into play.
Sometimes you may find it hard to identify it all the areas of benefits and you will miss some benefits out there by understating the justification for your project.
To help you think through whether you have covered all the possible benefits, I have created the following list under two main areas of savings and gains.it is important that you tailor this list to suit your project as you may identify the new benefit area that applies to it.
Benefits Smart List
A lot of business projects involve making savings in one form or another, so here are some examples for you to consider:
Staff time. Staff time is expensive and possibly one of the largest expenses you will need to consider. Will your project mean that it will take fewer staff HRS than the existing approach used to operate a business or operational function?
Ease of use
It could be something known needs fewer expert staff and your staff costs could be reduced.
Check to see within you a quick meant will be easier to maintain. There are three areas where you could find savings:
The number of staff and was needed for maintenance work
Service Materials related to maintenance such as replacement oils and servicing kits
The amount of downtime being reduced because maintenance is faster and/or because it is less frequent.
If appointment will last longer it will not need replacing so often, and that may be a significant saving.
If the final disposal costs of any new apartment would be reduced, perhaps because it is constructed of less hazardous material, and related to the previous point, because of less frequent replacement.
Legal and compliance
Reduction in compliance inspections or for example no longer needing an annual license for something.
If you are bringing in a new design for a product, or something like new product packaging, you may get a saving on materials and thus on production costs.
Check whether your project will save on consumables such as with electronic long-term records reducing consumption of paper, ink and toner.
See whether your project will reduce waste. That could bring two potential benefits, the first being a better “green” image for your organization, and second, a reduction in waste disposal costs. Both benefits are even more significant if the waste is hazardous.
Check if your project will make a saving on energy costs, or could be altered to do so. With escalating energy prices, this benefit is not only financially significant that also very high profile.
Improved cash flow
Things that will get money in more rapidly such as faster issue of invoices because your project is introducing electronic invoicing.
Travel and overnight accommodation
Reducing the need for staff travel and accommodation for example with a communications improvement project that provides video conferencing. Or this benefits may be linked to improve product quality with better reliability means fewer service visits.
Check to see if your project will reduce the demand for space, such as reducing the need for storage. Remember that accommodation saving may be very much greater it for example your project is an office move to a new headquarters in a less expensive and out of town area.
Consider savings on accommodation carefully. Suppose your project frees up a large storage room even though it won’t save any money since an empty room is not any cheaper to run than one filled with files.
If, however, you convert that space into office accommodation, removing the need to buy more real estate for office accommodation, then your project has offered real benefit. Also, be careful about forcing staff to sit Closer to say floor space as you may find staff performance levels drops thus and end up as a cost rather than a saving.
If your project is there to solve the problem, solving the problem is not the benefit – The benefit is the elimination or reduction of the negative impacts that the problem was causing.
However, for the business case to make sense to the organizational managers, you will usually need to describe the benefits in the context of the original problem.