The UK’s leading statistics report considered benefits realization management as this year’s most difficult process to embed. More than 50% of project experts participating in the 2017 State of Project Management Annual Survey are skating on thin ice when it comes to delivering expected project benefits. It’s still difficult to investigate the feasibility of projects and make assumptions about the potential of projects to generate revenue. Experts simply don’t know what their chances are within the drama of budgets, schedules, and quality. What actually prevents CEOs from sustaining and executing expected benefits? A truth that runs deeper is project planning.
The First Step to Realizing Project Benefits
The above-mentioned statistics are a timely reminder that business leaders have not yet discovered an efficient way to create a baseline for their projects. Benefits realization management always implies changes in managing your business in a direction that will produce desirable organizational outcomes. The challenge is knowing how much time and how many resources to invest in pursuing your goal. But what if we’re simply incapable of planning several years ahead, especially when the scope of a project includes thousands of tasks?
Dutch researchers Albert Ponsteen and Jan Willem Tromp noticed a bewildering level of complexity in multi-project environments when interviewing 4,000 business experts. The results of their investigation show that project experts tend to face overhead due to replanning. At the same time, being on the same page with detailed plans every single day is not what the CEO-suite is capable of. Fifty-five percent of organizations say they can’t track their performance in real time. Senior managers are rarely able to provide answers concerning their company’s whereabouts in a project, especially if they run a whole portfolio of projects.
Ponsteen and Tromp are convinced that to manage project benefits, business experts need a special analytical lens. Only by making effective planning projections can they recognize critical constraints and bottlenecks instead of hiring professionals or losing their heads in planning reports. Intelligent project planning software, for example, Epicflow, can provide you with a nano-vision. This PM tool is designed to analyze and predict whether it’s profitable to embark on new projects. In simple terms, it shows you where there’s room for improvement. What’s most significant is the philosophy behind the solution, which is exactly what CEOs need when driving their long-term project campaigns.
An Up-Close View on Multiple Projects
Businesses can be profitable when their project plans are continuously fulfilled – when their plans are put into action on time and their projects stay within budget expectations. Knowing what you’re doing day-to-day is the first step to understanding what you’ve already overcome, where you stand, and what lies ahead. Two lessons to learn from companies that show considerable success in realizing project benefits is that you should determine whether you’re acting according to your plan and should figure out the key constraints that upset the balance between expectations and reality.
A plan is not just a formality – it’s a roadmap for realizing benefits. The inability to follow a plan is fatal for business value. Being able to set your sights on critical tasks and constraints is the only way to really know what’s going on. The key is to use software for planning that involves a circulation of thousands of project tasks. It helps business experts analyze projects so they can know each project’s strengths and weaknesses. Our tool allows you to translate planning information into projections with a future load graph so CEOs can see historical progress and can be confident about the future of their projects.
The Impact of Overload
Business executives don’t have to go deep into project management theory and practice to see what hinders benefits realization management, though. The truth is lying just in front of them – in the eyes of overworked employees who have lost focus long ago because too much was placed on their shoulders. Excessive working hours rarely lead to benefits realization; what they can do is create a myth that a company is delivering the expected results. You should maintain a balance between your teams’ time and their workloads. To avoid overload, senior managers should split the energy of their employees based on efforts, ensuring that employees are not pressured to overcommit. It’s a good idea to implement an adaptive strategy that considers the optimal workloads for your teams. Today PM tools, including Epicflow, can help you instantly recognize which of your employees need help to avoid the project red zone so you can take immediate action. As a matter of fact, they also make it simple to transform top management objectives into task priorities.
An Efficient Way to Resolve Resource Conflicts
Experts writing in the Harvard Business Review are convinced that “few organizations can afford to have their employees focus on just one project at a time and sit idle between tasks.” But there’s another side of the coin – when teams begin to multitask across several projects, resource conflicts spread across an organization. To successfully multitask, employees need a list of priorities so they can end the tug-of-war between project managers. If everyone knows what’s urgent today and the workloads are perfectly transparent, CEOs can achieve smooth flow for their projects while ensuring their teams work proactively.
Use intelligent project management software to speed up the process of benefits realization. Due in part to this approach, in 2015, Pilz, the leading international company in safe automation, won the National Business Success Award as the most innovative company in the security systems sector, and credited it to Epicflow. Integrating with Jira, MS Project, Clarity, and Primavera, the tool simplifies the work routine for nearly 100,000 users worldwide. It’s a helping hand for CEOs who want to see where they stand and what is projected for the future.
To streamline the process of benefits realization, sign up below for a free Epicflow demonstration. Today, successful delivery is not a myth – it’s possible with intelligent project management software that has the capacity to answer all the questions that come up in the process of project planning and project management.