People tend to
be fixated on
single value and often
forget to complement
it with a range
within which that
value may lay.
—Stefan Scholtes, Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Judge Business School, Cambridge, England
“Other organizations might have
taken a very different approach, looking
at the probability of an outage, the revenues that might be lost during it, and
then potentially not made the investment,” says Ephraim Reischer, B&H’s
manager, project delivery. “That’s not
the thinking here.”
At software and IT consulting company
MindTree in Bangalore, India, intangible benefits are built right into
the project metrics, says Vishweshwar
Hegde, senior vice president and head
Mr. Hegde is responsible for establishing and running the organization’s
project management councils that aim
to share project-related best practices
around the business. So he certainly
knows a thing or two about the battle
between measurable results and the
other, often more nebulous benefits.
Within Mind Tree, a project’s ROI is
measured on five dimensions: revenue,
profit, customer satisfaction, employee
satisfaction and the intellectual capital
it might create.
“It’s not enough to measure revenue
and profit,” Mr. Hegde says. “You need
to look at the other dimensions as well.
Have we become a better company?”
Companies have to focus on the big
picture—even if it may not always be as
crystal-clear as they would like, warns
William Ibbs, Ph.D., a professor of
engineering and project management at
the University of California at Berkeley,
Berkeley, California, USA.
And that’s where project managers
have a role to play.
“Sometimes a project is a platform
or prerequisite for a later project,” Dr.
Ibbs says. “The first project’s ROI may
not be an attractive one, but the second project’s ROI definitely is. Yet
many project managers don’t do a
good enough job of conveying that
linkage to top management and subsequently see their request for the first