Blog Posts Process Analysis

What Best Practice Looks Like

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

What Best Practice Looks Like

Systems & Management Teams finalise & sign-off benefits case

  • The benefits case illustrates the potential range of benefits available from addressing the customer’s issue. It is indicative rather than prescriptive and is based on hypothesis and assumptions. It is used as a decision making tool for the executives.
  • The benefits case during the is an integral part of the customer buy-in process by appealing to the rational side of the business decision by quantifying deliverables.
  • Customer validation and sign-off is important throughout the project
  • The project team will produce a full audit trail for benefits case calculations. This will include:
    • hypotheses made
    • assumptions made
    • extrapolations from sample data
    • sign-off by Organisation
    • anticipated timings of benefits
    • steps to realise benefits
    • confirmed baselines

The project team discuss with the customer what constitutes an early success (e.g. time-frame, value) and agree priority opportunities

Confirmation from BP&I (Business Process and Implementation) Lead regarding feasibility of delivery of benefits

  • The BP&I Lead is accountable for delivering the benefits in the benefits case
  • The Team Lead must therefore take an active role in the development of the benefits case
  • Key role for BP&I Lead is:
    • validation of savings
    • acceptance of achievability in BP&I

Handover of benefits case to BP&I Team

  • Only top level figures should be presented offering a range of benefits and leaving flexibility to find the different proportions of benefits from each work-stream
  • No benefits are included which are unclear or inherently undeliverable
  • All finalised benefits will be robust:
  • agreed baseline numbers
  • detailed assumptions behind the cost and benefit quantification
  • evidence to support assumptions, calculations and observations
  • risks attached to the realisation of each benefit
  • clear indication of the Organisation sign-off and validation
  • the programme plan and benefit linkages
  • The findings and benefits case must be clearly documented and backed up with a detailed and referenced audit trail indicating how figures have been computed and what assumptions have been made
  • The BP&I does not start until the BP&I Lead accepts the benefits case. Once having taken over the S&M benefits case, the BP&I Lead has full accountability for its delivery. That accountability will be delegated to the Workstream Leads for their workstream’s contribution to the overall benefits case
  • Handover of the benefits case should start early (ie well before the end of the S&M) otherwise the benefits case becomes a ‘fait accompli’
  • The S&M Benefits Case Lead will work with the BP&I Lead and Benefits Tracking Lead until the benefits case is accepted
  • Risks associated with each potential early success are investigated

Set up tracking and reporting mechanisms

  • Benefits tracking and reporting is essential for those work-streams that are identified as producing quantifiable benefits (financial and non financial)
  • Benefits tracking and reporting highlights and quantifies successes and stimulates continuous improvement
  • Benefits tracking and reporting ensures expectations of performance improvement are met by:
    • building commitment and buy-in to goals
    • focusing management on removing barriers to achieving benefits
    • driving change
    • encouraging enthusiasm from achievement
    • helping to move resistance to change from the emotional to the rational level
  • Tracking and reporting of benefits should also include tracking and reporting on the risks associated with achieving the benefits

Plan, implement and communicate early successes

  • Realising the early successes with minimal distraction from the main BP&I effort
  • Early successes are consistent with the project’s overall and long term aims
  • The planning of early successes should consider:
    • whether they can be implemented all together or in sequence
    • whether they are linked or are discrete
    • how the implementations are affected by resources or time
    • the optimal phasing of implementation i) to maximise £ benefits and ii) to get the best possible emotional and political combination
    • whether an early success is temporary or permanent. If temporary, what the implications are for the remainder of the BP&I
  • Confidence that all the consequences of implementing have all been thought through and dealt with
  • The Sponsor has the authority to implement the early successes
  • Detailed planning for communication before, during and after early successes are implemented. This should include catering for the different outcomes (early success benefit on target, exceeds target and less than target

The characteristics of early successes

  • They can be temporary or permanent e.g. providing a short term fix before a full scale implementation
  • They may be one-off (quick hits) or recurring (early wins) e.g. sale of stock is a one-off cash benefit while utilising the space it leaves in the warehouse may be a recurring profit benefit if it saves paying for space elsewhere
  • They will be relatively easy to implement because they must be implemented within the first few weeks of the BP&I
  • They must have an impact visible to the Organisation
  • They are preferably quantifiable but do not have to be, eg more positive behavioural attitudes
  • They must have a relatively low cost of implementation

What are the reasons for using early successes in a BP&I?


  • Release funds
  • Learn about the Organisation’s:
  • resistance to change
  • implementation issues
  • joint team members
  • sponsorship


  • Get BP&I off to a good start – avoid any “buyers remorse”
  • Demonstrate that we are task oriented and results focused
  • Help build the joint team
  • Symbolise change


  • Demonstrate intent in the organisation
  • Give the CEO something to say
They assist in the mobilisation of the Organisation organisation

What best practice looks like

Develop and deepen the benefits case

  • Throughout BP&I the focus and details of the benefits case will evolve
  • Benefits management during the Blueprinting phase is concerned with refining the ranges of benefits that come from the benefits case and moving towards a target figure (“scoreboarding benefits”)
  • The benefits case is not dependent on any one solution and various options will be considered during Blueprinting some of which may be more risk-averse than others
  • Developing and deepening the benefits case takes place through gap assessment (between the ‘To-Be’ and ‘As-Is’ states) and then a quantification of the improvement opportunity (how much of the gap can be closed and how quickly)
  • The benefits case will contain details of all the benefits that completion of the BP&I will bring to the Organisation (these may be considerably more than just the quantified financial benefits (the ‘business case’)
Benefits Management will work with the Workstream Leads on ‘shared benefits’ to ensure they are tracked and recorded

Identify other benefit opportunities

  • Benefits management includes the process for recording and tracking other benefits identified during the BP&I phase
  • Organisation expectations should have been managed so the Organisation recognises that other benefits may be identified during the BP&I phase which will then be incorporated into the benefits management process
  • Other benefits that are identified must be categorised and prioritised by the BP&I Lead together with the Enterprise System Group (ESG)
  • Identify other early success opportunities because:
    • the opportunities for monetary benefits identified in the S&M may be insufficient
    • there is evidence that further early successes give the BP&I momentum
    • the Organisation’s need for funds may require it

Track and report benefits

  • The Organisation Finance Director should present the benefits case to the ESG . The ESG must have confidence that:
    • the improvement opportunities are real
    • the value of the opportunities is realistic
    • the overall presentation of the benefits is computationally sound
    • the investment is still worthwhile even if only the worst case outcome is achieved
  • Prior to commencing any implementation work, it is important that the Organisation formally approves the benefits pertaining to the implementation
  • Benefits management during the Implementation phase is concerned with monitoring the realised benefits and costs against plan
  • The tracking and reporting of benefits must simultaneously record the movement from projected benefits under the S&M through the agreement of a target figure for the benefit (score boarding) to the achievement and realisation of the benefit
  • Benefits tracking includes agreement on how and when the benefits will be recognised

    Final sign-off of benefits

  • The customer agrees the benefits that have been realised during the course of the BP&I
  • The Organisation agrees the targets for benefits that have been ‘scoreboarded’
  • The Organisation formally takes over the responsibility and accountability for realising the remaining benefits in the benefits case

Leave a Comment

Get the BPI Web Feed

Using the HTML code below, you can display this Business Process Incubator page content with the current filter and sorting inside your web site for FREE.

Copy/Paste this code in your website html code:

<iframe src="" frameborder="0" scrolling="auto" width="100%" height="700">

Customizing your BPI Web Feed

You can click on the Get the BPI Web Feed link on any of our page to create the best possible feed for your site. Here are a few tips to customize your BPI Web Feed.

Customizing the Content Filter
On any page, you can add filter criteria using the MORE FILTERS interface:

Customizing the Content Filter

Customizing the Content Sorting
Clicking on the sorting options will also change the way your BPI Web Feed will be ordered on your site:

Get the BPI Web Feed

Some integration examples