The penultimate chunk of Embed is Benefits.
Although you’ve achieved a lot and you might have met your exit criteria, the benefits of the changes you’ve made might continue to be realised as time goes on and beyond the project closure time.
In case you thought:
“Well, I thought we just handing over. Isn’t my job done?”
Yes, it might be, but there could be ongoing benefits that need tracking.
A lot of effort got it this far and the Sponsor spent a lot of money, so they will be keen to ensure that any ongoing benefits are realised even after the project is closed.
Although the project team will be standing down, somebody needs to be assigned to do this job.
If there is a change team or a project office, they might be the obvious home for this. Sometimes I’ve seen benefits tracked in finance teams and places like that. It really depends on your organisation and what suits them best.
As long as someone does it and you agree who before Handover is complete. It won’t be the project team because they’ve all gone. It’s part of the roles and responsibilities that we mentioned in the Document section of Embed.
Your project governance meetings are going to be finishing, so benefits tracking is probably going to transfer into business as usual governance meetings instead. So, it’s important to identify what those benefits are, like the purple box says above. And, just like all our other criteria in this method, make sure that they’re quantifiable and that they’re SMART.
You know by now that this stuff doesn’t happen by itself, so use those new skills that you’ve learnt to plan the next change or tweak. Make sure you’ve got agreement as to who’s going to do what. Then hopefully you’ll start to realise your benefits.
Remember what gets measured gets done.
So, maybe there’ll be a dashboard of benefits or some sort of list or report that you’re doing. Make sure that gets put into the BAU governance meetings that it’s transferring into so that reporting on benefits can continue after you’ve gone. Then the results of those benefits should get reviewed regularly. You’ll be asking yourself, “Are we getting there? Are we still improving?” Benefits can continue after project closure. So someone needs to keep an eye on them.
Lastly, if you’ve achieved some benefits or made some progress, you might want to do some kind of comms about your success. You might now be reporting better overall performance against KPIs, so you might want to be shouting that from the rooftops. In your comms, don’t forget you might want to be drawing those messages back to your high-level strategic aims too. If you had a strategic aim that said, “We are going to double our turnover in the next year,” you might have a project or an initiative that contributed towards that turnover. So always try to link your comms back to the bigger picture and what you’re trying to achieve as an organisation. There might also be an opportunity for some customer comms too.