Are you delivering business value in your projects and activities?
What is Business Value?
The source of Business Value in a project or improvement activity does not necessarily come from a single route, it can be from a variety of improvements, depending on the organisational aims and objectives and where they are in their journey to value.
The combination could include:
- Increase: Revenue, Profit, Productivity, Customer Satisfaction
- Reduce: Inefficiencies, Cost, Staff Attrition
- Improved: Decision Making and Availability of Information to Customers Value Add Services or Internally for Customer Service or other departments
The question to ask is “What Business Value is to be Achieved Over What Period?
Generating business value from your project activity is a key driver that supports the critical reason to act and is part of the business case for your project.
5 Steps to Business Value Delivery
Below is a 5 step plan on focusing projects around measurable business value
Understand the Vision.
In my view the business value to be gained should be known at the outset, when creating the business case.
The sponsor of the project should therefore be able to identify and communicate the vision for the project, the value it will deliver and how it will be measured.
This information should also be documented in the project charter.
Consider how you will baseline or benchmark the current situation to enable measurement to take place.
Clarity of Business Value
Your project manager needs to understand of how the vision translates into true business value.
Ideally in monetary terms, however non-monetary benefits are often realized and identified as part of delivery of a project.
The project manager will also need to understand how the value will be measured during the project.
It is important for the project team to believe in what they are doing. The project manager’s responsibility is to evangelize the vision and business value of the project to the team members & provide details of how they will be measuring delivery of the business value during the project.
It is important for the progress towards the target business value be visible, think Funding Raising Thermometer outside a Church. If people can easily see the progress it will be easier to keep that in their thoughts on what they are doing and most importantly why!
An inspirational quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: – French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
This is how you want your team to be motivated.
Effectively Deliver Value
With the team fully behind the vision and business value that the project will deliver, it is the responsibility of the project manager to foster an environment of trust that will enable the team to deliver efficiently.
Just like a sports team, when they get to a point where everyone on the team knows their responsibilities and there is trust, the team delivers great results.
The project manager must serve the team and remove any roadblocks in their way so that team efficiency thrives.
Measure the Realization of Value.
This step actually occurs throughout the project. It should be agreed at the outset – How often reporting of business value should occur, in what format and whom will be responsible for measuring and reporting.
Depending on the nature of the project, the final realization of the increased value might not be measurable until sometime after the project has been completed. When ongoing measurements are required, the organization should continue to measure the increased value of the project’s impact as long as those measurements are valid and required by the business. Creating a feedback loop to manage and resolve any challenges or when business value comes off the tracks is important to enable you to get back on track towards the planned value delivery target.
- Understand & be clear about the business value of the project.
- Evangelize the vision and business value to the project team.
- Foster a team environment to effectively deliver value.
- Measure the realization of the business value.
A project can only be considered successful if it delivers the predetermined business value to the customer.
When businesses look at project success in terms of business value, they will make better decisions about which projects to execute, prioritise and will focus on what is important.
When we focus on delivering business value – we become more valuable to our organisations, clients and customers.
Happy Value Delivering!…