Date: 14-Sep-2019

Venue: National Archives, Abu Dhabi.

The UAE Chapter organized the Benefit Realization Management Event on the 14th of September, 2019 at NCDR, National Archives, Abu Dhabi. Following the agenda, registration of participants commenced from 10:00am which was trailed by the Chapter presentations and announcements, an exposition that celebrates the 50 years anniversary of PMI; volunteering with the chapter, detailing the strategic focus on students, professionals and entrepreneur as well as the benefits of being a member in the foregoing listed capacities. Coffee break was observed followed by the main session on Benefits Realization Management by Mr. Ahmed Fikry.

He started at 12noon with the quote of Warren Buffett: “Price is what we pay, Value is what we get”. Sequencing his discuss in the pattern: What is BRM? Why BRM? BRM Case Study Treatment and concluding with Winning BRM.

What is BRM?

He defined BRM either direct or indirect as a gain realized by the organization and beneficiaries through portfolio, program and project outputs and outcomes, the net result of realized benefits less of the cost of achieving these benefits is the value, which can be tangible or intangible this is mathematically described as Value = Benefit – Cost. He listed examples of benefits that organizations may realize which include improved cost control, improved market competitiveness, increased productivity, increased customer satisfaction and so on. These benefits can be objectively measured as such are termed Tangible Benefits which includes monetary assets, increased revenue while Intangible Benefits are not objectively measured and include brand recognition, customer satisfaction, strategic alignment and reputation.

Why BRM?

Statistics shows that Companies that have mature BRM practices in place are 1.6 times more likely to realize project objectives and three times more likely to meet or exceed their target ROI on individual projects, this value of BRM helps create visibility and insight, serves as a compass that points to true north, highlights deviations between project objectives and outcomes and strategy, helps give leaders the opportunity to course-correct at a point where small changes can still have a big difference, ensures senior leaders can take decisive action to support those projects that most directly link to strategy.

BRM Case Study Treatment

Embracing BRM is an essential element in achieving Project Management and Business Success and a transformational culture shift is fundamental to showing the importance of an engaged and educated C-Suite, this importance includes: aiming for cultural change and being prepared for the consequences, embedding BRM in strategy making and portfolio management from the start, communicating and experimenting and preserve. He further explained that the right approach to BRM is to identify, manage and sustain.

Identify Benefits to determine whether projects, programs and portfolios can produce the company’s intended business results.
Execute Benefits management to minimize risks to future benefits and maximize the opportunity to gain additional benefits.
Sustain Benefits to ensure that whatever the project or program produces continues to create value.

The first case study was the Joint Venture of three largest financial institutions in a western country. The value of Benefit Identification for the financial institution includes: investing in initiatives that add to the bottom line, alignment with business’s strategic goals and objectives, more fluid, accurate and real prioritization of ideas based on ROI, looking retrospectively and adding to lessons learned to improve future projects. The values of Managing and Sustaining Benefits include, transitioning benefits to stakeholders and approved by them, benefits realized were measured with appropriate KPIs and delivered within the timeframe of project plan, while communicating positive and negative lessons learned. Two other case studies were reviewed including Dubai Metro which cost $11.1b and added an estimated $18b to Dubai economy by 2016, projected future returns are set to exceed 4 times its cost by 2030, other benefits includes ease of raising foreign investment, reducing mobility/vehicle operational cost, curbing carbon emissions, decreasing traffic accidents, boosting employment prospects, cutting road maintenance costs.

Winning BRM

To ensure winning BRM, he expatiated the reasons projects fail to deliver benefits so often, which includes Business Cases not actually containing specific benefits in a manner that can be clearly understood and implemented, poor definition of business goals of projects, too much emphasis on deliverables and no mechanism to manage realization.

Managing project, program or portfolio all involves identification, execution and sustenance of benefits so as to keep winning in BRM. This however have critical success enablers which include

Establishing Clear BRM Roles and Responsibilities
Developing the Right BRM Culture
Building the Right Skillsets
Embracing Flexibility
Strengthening Governance and Risk Management
Establishing Benefits Tracking

In conclusion, BRM is a continuous journey in which organizations learn by doing and improving their performance over time rather than one-time approach to managing projects. This can enable generation of significant benefits through incremental steps in BRM to launching quick-wins for rapid growth in experience.

The session ended with a lot of questions/answers at 1:00pm followed by photoshoot with participants and volunteer members. Thereafter, a befitting lunch paved way from 1:15pm for quality networking between industry experts.