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Project Manager : Project Manager Apr May 2013
16 Project Manager Bentley believes the one person who shouldn't be responsible is the project manager, adding that the specific role of a benefits manager is emerging. "The project manager is responsible for measuring the outcomes of their project, so there needs to be a benefits manager, whether that be the Sponsor or some other line manager who should be tracking and making sure the benefits are accumulated," she says. Munro's role at the Clean Energy Regulator is an example of such an emerging position, and he agrees that project managers can't be expected to track the long-term outcomes of their projects. "This responsibility has to vest in the business," he says. "Projects have a defined life span and are only for a finite period, then the project manager moves on to the next project." Keep on talking According to Scroop, tracking bene ts is an essential part of modern project and program management, and it is something he actively encourages his clients to do, largely because it allows him to revisit projects with the client and ensure everything is on track to meet the broader strategic goals. "It becomes a tool for expanding communication, rather than just communicating about budget and timeframes," he says. "It's linking the project back to the strategy of the organisation -- that in turn helps the client address issues about quality, risk and resourcing." Munro agrees that client communication -- and active engagement with business owners from the very beginning -- is key when it comes to tracking bene ts. "A lot of the time, project managers write the bene ts into the business case and then, at the end of the project, the business owner says, 'I don't really understand what that means' or 'I didn't ask for that'," he says. "If you can get that early engagement, and get an understanding of what the business owners are expecting from the project in terms of long-term bene ts, it makes the relationship more about value than just building a product.” ••• STEPS TO TRACKING BENEFITS • Maintain constant communication with the client or business owner: is the project still in line with the overall strategy? • Keep it simple: ensure the benefits are realistic and transparent, and avoid using methods that are overly academic. • Develop a program management plan that clearly articulates the desired outcomes, and how certain projects will help realise those outcomes. • Merge benefits realisation into organisational KPIs: the risk/reward factor means project managers are more likely to buy-in to the longer term view of their projects. • Take a helicopter view of programs and portfolios: how does each project fit into the overall strategy? • Adopt and experiment with benefits tracking software. •THOUGHT LEADERS A BENEFITS MANAGER SHOULD BE TRACKING AND MAKING SURE THE BENEFITS ARE ACCUMULATED
Project Manager Feb Mar 2013
Project Manager June July 2013