The Benefits Management plan will describe how the benefits of the project will be delivered and when they will be delivered. The purpose of undertaking any project is to provide some type of benefit as a result of delivering the products of the project. The types of benefit are variable and there can be several types of benefit for a project, here are some examples:
- Reducing business costs through the automation of a process
- Increasing the sales of a business with new or improved products
- Meeting the requirements of a legislative or regulatory matter
Benefits can be broadly categorised as tangible and intangible benefits. A tangible benefit is something that can be measured, for example, a reduction in operating costs. An intangible benefit is something that cannot be measured accurately, although the effects of this benefit can be seen, for example, brand awareness.
The inputs to the Benefits Management Plan come from the Business Case for the project, which should detail the actual benefits that are expected of the project in order to justify the project.
In order to measure the delivery of some benefits such as cost reduction, a baseline study of the current costs within the business is needed so that a comparison can be made following the delivery of the project.
The Benefits Management Plan itself will contain the following key items:
- A description of the benefit that is expected to be delivered
- A schedule for delivering the benefits
- The owner of the benefits
- How the benefit will be measured including baseline measures if appropriate
- Assumptions and risks considered in determining the benefit
The Benefits Management Plan will be reviewed regularly throughout the project to ensure that the declared benefits are still on track for delivery. Some benefits are delivered over a period of time long after the project delivery so the tracking and measurement in the plan may extend beyond the completion of the project, and in this case, the owner of the benefits will continue to track throughout this period.