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How to Manage Project Risks, Part 7: Benefits Delivery Risks

How to Manage Project Risks, Part 7: Benefits Delivery Risks

The key question that needs to be answered is, “What are the risks/threats to my project successfully delivering the benefits expected?”

As change management is too often seen as a sub-stream of the main project, and business benefits as 'something that comes later', risks to the successful delivery of the project's business outcomes and associated benefits tend to be neglected.

There are 10 systemic benefits delivery risks that every project needs to consider, even if they are managing 'compliance' or 'infrastructure' projects. The key question that needs to be answered is, "What are the risks/threats to my project successfully delivering the benefits expected?"

How to evaluate your Benefits Delivery Risks is provided in www.manageyourprojectprofile.com.

Most of the categories are seen by too many project managers as outside of their control. Yes and no. While you may not be able to manage them you can at least highlight them to ensure action is taken where possible.

Use of both the Project and Benefits Delivery risk profiles separates out the threats to benefits delivery from the threats to the project's delivery, ensuring the project manager is not held accountable for managing all of the benefits delivery risks.

The 10 systemic benefits delivery risks are:

1. Vision riskHow well known is the 'big picture' of what is being planned, what is to be achieved?
2. Change acceptanceHow well is the need for change accepted by those impacted by it?
3. Urgency riskHas a compelling case for change been made so that the project can generate the necessary focus, urgency and commitment?
4. Change leadershipIs who is leading the change clear and do they have a reputation for successful change?
5. Union riskAre unions involved and are they supportive?
6. Change agents riskAre there people in the organization primed, capable and willing to manage the necessary change?
7. Cultural climate riskIs the organization used to change or is this a novel or even feared experience?
8. Change process riskIs the process by which change is implemented known and seen to be effective?
9. Change experienceHas this organization/part of the organization experienced successful change?
10. Support riskAre the support functions -- HR, Finance, IT, etc - actively involved and supportive?

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