Benefits realisation management
Benefits realisation management (BRM) (also benefits management or benefits realisation) is one of the many ways of managing how time and resources are invested into making changes that people want to see happen. The popularity of BRM has grown recently in the UK with the inclusion of BRM by the UK Government in their standardised approach to programmes, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP). The idea behind BRM is that an investment is only successful if the benefits stakeholders were hoping to get are actually realised (actually happen).
As with all project management methodologies BRM has clear roles and responsibilities, processes, principles and deliverables. BRM is used to manage the investment by organizations in procurement, projects, programmes and portfolios. BRM is also used to ensure the organization maintains a benefits focus during continuing business operations.
Outcomes are changes identified as important by stakeholders and can be strategic or non-strategic. A benefit is a measurable positive impact of change. A dis-benefit is a measurable negative impact of change. Successful BRM requires accountable people, relevant measures and proactive management.
A generic BRM process is to:
- Identify the investment outcomes
- Define benefit measures for each outcome
- Collect current benefit measure data to have a quantitative basis for decision making
- Agree a tailored BRM approach for this investment
- Plan the new or changed capabilities necessary to realize the benefits
- Plan the investments needed to make the changes necessary to create or change the capabilities
- Optimize the plan to reduce waste and have acceptable levels of resource, risk, cost, quality and time
- Implement the plan
- Review the impact of the plan implementation on the Benefit Measures and use insights to improve
- On completion of the plan, ensure BRM continues to sustain the capabilities and realisation of benefits
A technique used in 'identify the investment outcomes' is the creation of a pictorial view of the outcomes of interest on an outcome map (also called a results chain, benefits dependency network  or benefit map). This technique supports agreement of the outcomes sought as it shows the outcomes and relationships between them on a single page. They can be agreed upon and communicated clearly as a result.
Data can then be captured either separately or within a suitable modelling tool for each outcome that will include the benefit measures used for each, ownership and accountability information and information to support realisation management.
- OGC (2003) Managing Successful Programmes, London, The Stationary Office.
- Thorp, J. (1998) The Information Paradox – realizing the business benefits of information technology, Toronto, Canada, McGraw-Hill.
- Ward, J. and Murray, P. (1997), Benefits Management: Best Practice Guidelines. Cranfield School of Management, Information Systems Research
- Bradley, G. (2006), Benefit Realisation Management – A practical guide to achieving benefits through change, Gower, Hampshire.