This series of papers has been developed from our work in upgrading TenStep's PortfolioStep™. For more information on TenStep's internal consulting methodology, please visit http://

Published here April, 2008.

PART 7 | Benefits Harvesting | Benefits Realization Management 
The Role of Executive Sponsor | Benefits Reporting | Portfolio Summary Review 
Portfolio Flexibility | Changing Strategic Direction

In this Part 8 we will cover:

Benefits Harvesting

With today's intense focus on "new" products for the survival of an industry, especially the IT industry, this survival obviously depends on reaping tangible benefits. These may take the form of increased output for a given input, decreased input for a given output, increased sales and services, increased profit margins, and so on. The point is that this all depends on improvements in beneficial outcomes and because survival is at stake, this activity should be "managed". Moreover, it should be managed as a part of, or closely associated with, portfolio management.

Every project represents an investment by its sponsoring organization, and the investment is made with a view to obtaining benefits. In fact, a project can be defined as a unique piece of work designed to deliver beneficial change, so that managing project benefits underpins all aspects of project success. When your products deliver benefits, your clients and customers are much more likely to be satisfied, project sponsors get their return on investment, and project team members can see that their job has been well done.

Conversely, if your projects that deliver enabling products do not ultimately deliver benefits, the would-be beneficiaries are disappointed and the originating project or projects can be listed as a failure. Consequently, managing benefits is receiving close attention these days, and unless you include this within your portfolio responsibility, your mandate will not be complete. This new management area is frequently referred to as "Benefits Realization Management" or "BRM".


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