“We found that a lot of project
plans came with long wish lists
and hypothetical bene;ts,
but they weren’t thought
through,” he says.
Teams had no methods for
clearly de;ning their projects’
bene;ts, linking those bene;ts to
strategic goals or even tracking whether
that value was ever achieved. ;at meant projects with little business value were
launched, and even when bene;ts were achieved, there was
no way to measure them.
Mr. Guran’s team began by
requiring project sponsors to
agree to a list of clearly de;ned
bene;ts, including relevant metrics, in every project proposal. ;e new
processes also stipulated that project managers not
be the ones responsible for measuring the project’s
value, given how invested they are in its success.
Instead, “it has to be someone in the business who is
impacted by those bene;ts,” Mr. Guran says.
;e team also created a portfolio board, made up
of the executive directors of all the service areas, to
review the project plans to determine whether the
proposed bene;ts were realistic, measurable and
linked to corporate objectives. Projects could not
move forward without the board’s approval.
;ose process improvements delivered immedi-
ate bene;ts to the project selection process, Mr.
Guran says. “In the past, projects were created in
isolation and no one measured the business out-
comes. Now they do.”
He also had his own metrics to measure the suc-
cess of the initiative, and so far the data have been
promising. Although the number of bene;ts cited
per project plan has been going down, he attributes
that to project sponsors becoming more realistic
r even tracking whether
oject proposal. ;e new
about their projects’ impact. And the portfolio
board reports that the quality and measurability of
bene;ts have increased.
In addition, Mr. Guran’s team has begun collecting anecdotal evidence about the impact this
change has had on the business.
“It’s hard to measure everything,”
he says, “but we have quanti;ed
;nancial savings to the business and
increased user satisfaction.”
HELP ME HELP YOU
No matter what improvement
is being implemented, gaining the
needed support means putting in
place a strong communication plan—
one that involves all stakeholders.
“You have to have regular conversations with all
of your stakeholders about what you are doing and
why, or they won’t support you,” says Lindsay Mac-
“You have to have
with all of your
what you are doing
and why, or they
won’t support you.”
—Lindsay MacDonald, PMP, Monash
University, Melbourne, Australia