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Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS and IT Investments

Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS and IT Investments

John Ward, Elizabeth Daniel

ISBN: 978-0-470-06249-4

Sep 2010

418 pages

Select type: E-Book


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Although organizations have been investing heavily in information systems and technology (IS/IT) for over thirty years, surveys continue to show that the majority of organizations are failing to realize the full business benefits available from those investments.  Based on extensive research, Benefits Management discusses how value can be extracted from the IT function. It details the importance of aligning organizational strategy with IT investments?and how to identify the benefits available from different types of investments, made in a variety of organizational contexts. With numerous examples, cases, checklists, and templates, this valuable guide offers sound guidance on improving the realization of value in IT, using a wide range of investments.
About the Authors.

Series Preface.



1. The Challenge of IS/IT Investments.

The Development of IS/IT within Organizations.

The New Economy.

Productivity Gains from IS/IT.

The Generic Benefits of IT.

Tangible and Intangible Benefits.

Emergent Benefits.

The Disbenefits of IS/IT.

Net Benefits: The Measure of IS Success.

Current Investment Appraisal Approaches.

The Need for a Fresh Approach: Benefits Management.

The Importance of a Common Language: Information Systems and Information Technology.


2. Understanding the Strategic Context.

The Competitive Forces and Resource-Based Views of Strategy.

Ends, Ways, Means.

PEST Analysis.

Industry Attractiveness and Competitive Forces Analysis.

External Value Chain Analysis.

Internal Value Chain Analysis.

Balancing the External and Internal Contexts: The Dimensions of Competence.

Linking Business, IS and IT Strategies.

Balancing the Portfolio of Investments: The Applications Portfolio.

Organizational Information Competences.

The Challenge of Implementation.


3. The Foundations of Benefits Management.

The Need for Another Process for Managing IS/IT Investments?

The Origins of the Benefits Management Approach and Process.

An Overview of the Benefits Management Process.

Identifying and Structuring the Benefits.

Planning Benefits Realization.

Executing the Benefits Plan.

Reviewing and Evaluating the Results.

Establishing the Potential for Further Benefits.

What is Different about this Approach?


4. Establishing the Why, What and How.

Why: Identifying Business and Organizational Drivers.

Strategic Drivers, Dimensions of Competence and the Nature of Change.

Establishing Investment Objectives.

Linking the Investment Objectives to Drivers.

What: The Business Benefits.

How: The Benefits Dependency Network.

Measurement and Ownership.

The Nature of Benefit and Change Ownership.

Benefit and Change Templates.

Worked Example: Improved Control within a Food-Processing Organization.


5. Building the Business Case.

Arguing the Value of the Investment.

A Structure for Analysing and Describing the Benefits.

Observable Benefits.

Measurable Benefits.

Quantifying the Benefits: The Major Challenge.

Financial Benefits.

Cost Reductions.

Revenue Increases.

Project Cost Assessment.

Variations in Benefits and Changes across the Application Portfolio.

Risk Assessment.

Completing the Business Case.


6. Stakeholder and Change Management.

Assessing the Feasibility of Achieving the Benefits: Stakeholder Analysis.

Stakeholder Analysis Techniques.

From Analysis to Action.

Completing the Benefits Plan.

Approaches to Managing Change.

Matching the Management Approach and Stakeholder Behaviours.

The Nature of IT-Enabled Change Management: Is it Different?

Alternative Change Management Strategies.


7. Implementing a Benefits Management Approach.

Rationales for Introducing Benefits Management.

Initiating and Managing a Benefits-Driven Investment.

The Project Sponsor.

The Business Project Manager.

The First Workshop.

The Second Workshop.

Inclusion of the Benefits Plan in the Management of the Project.

Evaluating the Results and Establishing Potential for Further Benefits.

Monitoring the Benefits after Implementation.

Fit with other Methodologies.


8. The Importance of Context.

Factors to Take into Account.

The Public Sector.

Small Businesses.

Multiunit Businesses: Replicated Deployments.

Variations across the Applications Portfolio.

Different Application Types.

Information Management.

Customer Relationship Management Systems.

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems.

Enterprise Portals.

Infrastructure Investments.

Non-IT Projects.

Different IS/IT Supply Arrangements.


9. From Projects to Programmes to Portfolios.

Defining Programmes.

Types of Programme: Planned and Emergent.

Programme Dependency Networks.

The Management of Programmes.

Governance of the Investment Portfolio.

Setting Priorities.

The Applications Portfolio for Priority Setting.

Links to Drivers.

Including Emergent Investments in the Management of the Portfolio.


10. Creating a Better Future.

The Continuing Challenge of IS/IT Investments.

Characteristics of the Benefits Management Approach.

The Value of the Process.

Going Further: Using Benefits Management to Formulate and Implement Strategy.

The Purpose of Strategies: To Deliver Benefits to Stakeholders.

Incorporating Benefits Management into Strategic Thinking.

Examples of Benefits-Driven Strategies.

Future Trends in IS/IT and their Implications for Benefits Management.

Having it All: Productivity and Agility Benefits from IS/IT.

A Final Word or Two.




  • The book will be replete with examples, cases, check lists and templates for improving the realisation of value from the range of different types of investments.
  • The examples used in the book are based on recent experience of working with a wide range of organisations applying the approach across a variety of projects.
  • The ‘Benefits Management’ approach has been adopted by over 100 major organizations in all sectors in the UK and to some extent Europe and the US
  • The authors teach this topic to 500+ students over the course of a year and have access to an alumni network of 1000s people who have taken this course