G01 - Evaluate the benefits
This management activity belongs to the post-project management activity group: a 3- to 6-month cycle of activities that start after the project ends and continues for 1 to 5 years. This activity group may be merged with that of other finished projects in a central portfolio management system.
The same person who was the sponsor for the project is responsible for this cycle, unless this responsibility is transferred to someone else.
The sponsor (or someone on their behalf) should spend a few hours in every post-project cycle, measuring the benefits realized from the project.
Besides the expected benefits, the sponsor should be actively looking for unexpected benefits, potential benefits, and dis-benefits as well.
We should evaluate the benefits of the project for the following reasons:
- It’s a reminder for the sponsors and other stakeholders that projects are done to generate benefits.
- It helps us understand our environment and become more realistic in future projects.
- It helps us find ways to increase benefits (G02).
You can avoid some of the commonest issues by considering the following:
- The sponsor may have someone else evaluate the benefits, but the sponsor should have complete supervision over them and regard this activity as an important management activity that belongs to the higher management levels.
- A vague, wordy description of the benefits doesn’t serve any purpose. The result may be high‑level and probabilistic, but it has to stay meaningful and capable of being used in G02.
- Remember that benefits are not limited to monetary ones, and other benefits such as reputation, market share, opportunities, and gained knowledge should also be considered.
The following principles play a significant role in this management activity: