“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
– Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
Across both private and public sectors, we are facing a great deal of pressure to spend money efficiently. But what does this really mean? Is it about spending less? Is it about only investing in the projects and programs that will give you a greater return on investment in the long run? The truth is it may mean any of these things depending on the context. But no matter what “efficiency” means for you and your organisation, the bottom line is that decisions about which projects or programs to do, and which to not do, need to be thought-out, and need to be supported by hard facts. It means that business cases don’t just mention which strategic objective the project aligns to, they detail exactly how, and when, the project will tangibly contribute to the strategic objectives of the portfolio. By assessing project and programs against strategy, you will know what is important to do when.
At Benefit Management, we are committed to making sure that the systems, structures and processes are in place that will support you to make informed investment decisions. We have experience in developing investment appraisal processes, establishing agreed criteria through which to conduct project prioritisation, and mapping out governance frameworks that support clear lines of decision making.
We have successfully implemented these capabilities with several clients across a range of industries. This success has been through focusing on how taking an investment approach to project selection and approval is a change in the way of doing business, not just a process to be implemented.
Challenges We Find
- Ad-hoc approaches to investment decisions
- Collectively, projects do not appear to be contributing towards strategic objectives
- ‘Pet projects’ exist
- It’s unclear who is responsible for making investment decisions
Examples of how we can help
- Developing criteria for investment decision making
- Developing agreed business rules for the prioritisation and sequencing of initiatives
- Ensuring clear roles and responsibilities for investment decision making
- Developing investment logic maps, value chains and benefit dependency networks to assess and measure project and program contribution to the portfolio