Selecting and evaluating a benefits management method for IT projects

Divendal, Kelvin (2011) Selecting and evaluating a benefits management method for IT projects.

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Abstract:Whenever large resources will be used in a project, most organizations develop a business case to justify the required investments. The investments are justified by estimated future benefits resulting from the project. However, only 30% of IT projects delivers the expected benefits. Heineken Netherlands wants to manage its IT-related projects using the expected benefits as guidance, and review progress during the project and following its completion. The goals of the IT department are to increase the amount of realized benefits and to make the added value of the department more explicit. Benefits management is the approach to identify, plan and manage the delivery of benefits. Several benefits management methods have been developed in research and practice, but it is unknown which one is best suited for Heineken. Therefore, the goal of this study is to find the best benefits management approach for Heineken and to learn from its execution in practice. The best benefits management method for Heineken is selected from seventeen methods found in a systematic literature search. Based on criteria from interviews at Heineken and criteria from a case study at Philips, the Cranfield method is selected. The method is subsequently evaluated in two pilot projects, resulting in the following findings:  Full benefits management for must do projects (legal, fiscal or technical) is not feasible, but taking a moment to identify potential additional benefits is still very useful.  A workshop facilitator should make sure that all participants have a good and shared understanding of the definitions used.  In contrary to results from the Philips case study, the pilot participants want to assess benefits realization during project execution. They value the benefit ‘thinking’ process.  The Benefit Dependency Network helps people who created it with reasoning about a project in other meetings. It provides a better overview than benefit templates.  Individual benefits are useful to guide project execution, not to evaluate project success. Project success should be evaluated using the combination of all benefits in a project. Following the evaluation of the Cranfield method, a deployment plan for benefits management in IT projects at Heineken is developed. The deployment plan contains one-time activities for adopting benefits management and recurring activities for using benefits management. The lessons learned from the evaluation and from feedback of Heineken stakeholders are included in the deployment plan. The plan is approved by the IT department’s management team and will be included in the department’s strategy for the coming years. Due to the active involvement in the organization, this study has also paved the way for adopting benefits management. Only a few small steps have to be taken to include it in HNL’s current practice.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Heiniken
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/63018
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