Benefits Management Plan

Benefits Management Plan gives you the tools to deliver on the project’s goals and objectives in terms of what the business will get out of it. Essentially, a benefits management plan informs the business about which benefits the project should provide, how to measure if those benefits are delivered, and how those benefits will be realized and quantified if they are realized.

What is a Benefits management plan?

The definition of the benefits management plan is an organized summary of how a business expects to improve over time by implementing or delivering its products or services, and how it will measure those improvements. A company’s benefits management plan describes all proposed work activities, as well as expected changes resulting from these activities. These changes are generally expressed in terms of costs, impacts, and risks. The ultimate goal is improved return on investment (ROI). 

Benefits management plan is one of the two business documents used in project management along with business case. It is largely used in the initiating phase of projects while developing project charter, identifying stakeholders, in some planning actions such as determining budget, and preparing procurement management plan. While closing a project, benefits management plan should be taken into consideration to determine if the planned benefits are realized or not.

The benefits management plan provides a detailed description of what should be accomplished and how success will be measured. It also identifies who is responsible for each activity and when they are due. This type of planning helps managers determine if there is adequate justification for undertaking new projects, and if so, helps them manage their resources effectively during implementation. The benefits management plan may also identify any potential conflicts between proposed project activities and existing operations or other projects within the organization. Finally, it can help ensure that projects have appropriate end-dates that take into account any interdependencies with other projects being implemented at about the same time.

Key Elements of Benefits Management Plan

For each benefit identified, benefits will be defined, success criteria established, anticipated benefits owners, and metrics communicated. Risks associated with realizing benefits will also be assessed and mitigated where possible. It is important that both positive and negative outcomes be considered so that project partners can determine appropriate investments in contingency plans in case of deviations from expected benefits. The PMP® credential requires that an understanding of benefits management is demonstrated on the exam through at least one integrated practice scenario question involving benefits awareness.

Benefits Management Plan vs Business Case

A business case covers the scope of a project along with what happens if risks emerge and potential solutions. Details about related assumptions and constraints are also included.

A benefits management plan documents when and how various benefits will be delivered, whereas a benefits plan typically lays out who benefits and what. Measures, too, are detailed as opposed to risks and assumptions.

See also: Business Justification Analysis