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Benefit Realisation Framework


In our previous post we gave an understanding on what benefit realisation is, the responsibility and importance of this piece of work. Now we will take a look at the frameworks for implementing benefit realisation for your next project.

What is a framework?

A framework will create a structured approach to how benefits are identified, categorised, planned and realised in your projects. Creating a framework helps to identify a standard approach to working, saves time and ensures procedure are followed and the task is repeated for all projects going forward.

It also helps to align the project benefits with the strategic aims of the business and help ensure all project work is being undertaken for the right reason and stays on that track. It can be very easy to see the benefits of an individual project but if it doesn’t align to the business aims there should be questions on why this is being undertaken.

Conducting this mapping process between the project and strategic aims helps to demonstrate the benefits of projects management and the need to change in order to achieve the overall aims and success within the company.

A benefit framework will generally consist of three stages:

  1. Identify

  2. Execute

  3. Sustain

Let’s delve into these three areas in more detail.


The benefits should be identified at the start of a project to enable a baseline to be taken. It is crucial that a baseline is taken before the change is implemented so you have something to measure against.

Going through the business case for the project is a good place to start to see if there are expected benefits that started the piece of work. This information can also help to start conversations and the development of a benefit workshop with the project team.

Though benefit workshops we can generate awareness and bring everyone together to a joined-up approach. We all need to understand the project scope in the same manner and define what we think the top-level benefits are.

From here we can start to categorise the benefits and align them with the strategic aims of the business. We will understand from the time and money invested what we expect to achieve in return. The final benefits plan needs to be signed off by all stakeholders before we begin the execution stage.

Good practices at this stage include:

  • Develop meaningful metrics to measure planned benefits against the actual delivery.

  • Establish process and responsibility for monitoring and tracking each benefit.

  • Start to understand timings of the benefits and when you should start to see these – short, medium and long term.

  • Ensure the projects communication plan includes progress reporting on benefits.


At this stage your benefits should be clearly agreed and signed off so the project can commence. Here is where you would start to take your baseline of the current status and will become your “as is” state. This gives us something to formally compare against as the project is implemented into the “to be” state.

Its essential the project team have a clear and detailed understanding of each benefit and how project activities contribute towards these. Regular project reviews should be undertaken to check against the progress of the benefits and any impact it might have.

As well as the planned benefits we are monitoring, the project team need to be able to identify new and undiscovered benefits that come to light. This is where a value drive culture is essential within a business to spot these opportunities. This is discussed in greater detail within the benefits overview.

Good practices at this stage include:

  • Recording progress and report to key stakeholders

  • Ensure the project remains aligned with the business strategic aims

  • Evaluate and monitor any risks that may come from the benefits introduced


As the project is coming to a close, we need to ensure that benefits are sustained and transition in business as usual (BAU). A review of the benefits work should be undertaken and any lessons learned captured. Its possible at this stage none of the benefits can be fully identified until the project is in BAU for a given time period. This is OK and quite normal however we need to ensure the work is continued to evaluate and track progress.

A clear handover needs to be managed to demonstrate the work done so far and what is to be tracked. It may be members of the project team that are kept on just for this final piece of work. Once all benefits are captured the outcomes need to be communicated and verified against the original plan.

Good practices at this stage include:

  • Monitor actual benefits against the targets set out

  • Implement processes to continue the benefits work and monitoring performance

  • Share information on the project and overall business success

  • Any lessons learned should be recording and utilised for future projects and continuous improvement


In this article we have looked at the framework for capturing, defining, monitoring and realising the benefits within a project. We have looked at the best practises for each stage and the levels of communication required to ensure success.

For your next project ensure you and your team work together to identify benefits from the business case. Ensure you get approval and take a baseline before the work begins. Benefits should be constantly monitoring throughout a project and a value driven culture is essential for success. And last of all ensure you learn and evaluate the outcomes.


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