Do projects actually deliver desired business benefits?

The research found that while some 84 per cent of respondents said that benefits management is ‘mostly’ or ‘always’ critical to their organisation, some 87 per cent also indicated that the actual handling of benefits management is ‘poor’ or ‘average’.

Even more surprising, less than 5 per cent of respondents said that their projects achieve the nearly all (i.e. 75-100 per cent) of the anticipated business case benefits. 36 per cent said less than half of the benefits were achieved, whilst some 42 per cent indicated they didn’t know.

Furthermore, accountability for achieving these benefits remains ambiguous at best. Only about 24 per cent of respondents indicated that there was clear ownership within their organisations for delivery of project benefits, with nearly 76 per cent reporting that accountability was only partly clear or not clear at all.

John Roberts, Director of myProteus, explains: “Whilst the crucial role that benefits management plays, as a key component of determining a project’s success, is crystal clear and well accepted, this is not mirrored by the resources or attention which is put into appropriately defining success and benefits at the outset or monitoring what is achieved. When we consider that a large proportion of transformations and change projects cost organisations in excess of £100m, this becomes even more staggering.

“By taking a different approach organisations can better define success and benefits at the outset and improve stakeholder confidence that benefits stated in the business case will be achieved – key ingredients for organisations to have more successes than failures.

“Furthermore, by all parties across the organisation – from Executives to sponsors, from the strategy department to the finance department, from Corporate Project Offices to the wider project community – having a relentless focus on achieving benefits as part of success, the likelihood of delivering faster, better and more relevant results for almost any type and scale of project can be dramatically improved.”