Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS and IT Investments / Edition 1

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The successful management of investments in information systems (IS) and information technology (IT) continues to be a challenge to most organisations.  Studies repeatedly show that the majority of projects, even if they are implemented on-time and on-budget, are still judged to be unsuccessful - as they do not yield the benefits that the organisation was expecting.

This book explores the causes for lack of benefit delivery and the reasons why new approaches to the management of IS/IT investments are needed.  It then presents a comprehensive process, including a set of tools and frameworks that many organisations are using to increase the benefits realised from their investments. The approach enables business and IS/IT professionals to combine their collective knowledge, in order to develop integrated benefit delivery and change management plans, including realistic and achievable business cases. It demonstrates how these benefits plans can be used to improve the evaluation and implementation of investments and hence increase the ability of organisations of all types to obtain greater value from the use of IS/IT.

Written in the same practical, straightforward way as John Ward’s previous highly successful book, Strategic Planning for Information Systems (also in this series), Benefits Management: Delivering Value from IS and IT Investments will prove valuable and informative to business managers and IS/IT professionals as well as academics and students.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

John Ward is Professor of Strategic Information Systems and Director of the Information Systems Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management. Prior to joining Cranfield, he worked in industry for 15 years and he currently acts as a consultant to a number of major organizations. As well as publishing many papers and articles, he is co-author of the book Strategic Planning for Information Systems, now in its 3rd edition. He has served two terms as President of the UK Academy for Information Systems and has been a member of its board since 1994.

Elizabeth Daniel is Professor of Information Management at the Open University Business School. Prior to joining OUBS in 2005, Elizabeth worked in the IS Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management where she researched and taught in the fields of e-business and IS strategies and benefits management. She has a particular interest in IOS and IS in marketing and supply chains. She has published many papers in leading academic journals and a number of management reports. Elizabeth has a first degree and PhD in Physics and an MBA from London Business School. She has spent over 10 years in industry, starting her career as a medical engineer and subsequently working as a strategy management consultant.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.

Series Preface.



1. The Challenge of IS/IT Investments.

The Development of IS/IT within Organizations.

The New Economy.

Productivity Gains from IS/IT.

The Generic Benefits of IT.

Tangible and Intangible Benefits.

Emergent Benefits.

The Disbenefits of IS/IT.

Net Benefits: The Measure of IS Success.

Current Investment Appraisal Approaches.

The Need for a Fresh Approach: Benefits Management.

The Importance of a Common Language: Information Systems and Information Technology.


2. Understanding the Strategic Context.

The Competitive Forces and Resource-Based Views of Strategy.

Ends, Ways, Means.

PEST Analysis.

Industry Attractiveness and Competitive Forces Analysis.

External Value Chain Analysis.

Internal Value Chain Analysis.

Balancing the External and Internal Contexts: The Dimensions of Competence.

Linking Business, IS and IT Strategies.

Balancing the Portfolio of Investments: The Applications Portfolio.

Organizational Information Competences.

The Challenge of Implementation.


3. The Foundations of Benefits Management.

The Need for Another Process for Managing IS/IT Investments?

The Origins of the Benefits Management Approach and Process.

An Overview of the Benefits Management Process.

Identifying and Structuring the Benefits.

Planning Benefits Realization.

Executing the Benefits Plan.

Reviewing and Evaluating the Results.

Establishing the Potential for Further Benefits.

What is Different about this Approach?


4. Establishing the Why, What and How.

Why: Identifying Business and Organizational Drivers.

Strategic Drivers, Dimensions of Competence and the Nature of Change.

Establishing Investment Objectives.

Linking the Investment Objectives to Drivers.

What: The Business Benefits.

How: The Benefits Dependency Network.

Measurement and Ownership.

The Nature of Benefit and Change Ownership.

Benefit and Change Templates.

Worked Example: Improved Control within a Food-Processing Organization.


5. Building the Business Case.

Arguing the Value of the Investment.

A Structure for Analysing and Describing the Benefits.

Observable Benefits.

Measurable Benefits.

Quantifying the Benefits: The Major Challenge.

Financial Benefits.

Cost Reductions.

Revenue Increases.

Project Cost Assessment.

Variations in Benefits and Changes across the Application Portfolio.

Risk Assessment.

Completing the Business Case.


6. Stakeholder and Change Management.

Assessing the Feasibility of Achieving the Benefits: Stakeholder Analysis.

Stakeholder Analysis Techniques.

From Analysis to Action.

Completing the Benefits Plan.

Approaches to Managing Change.

Matching the Management Approach and Stakeholder Behaviours.

The Nature of IT-Enabled Change Management: Is it Different?

Alternative Change Management Strategies.


7. Implementing a Benefits Management Approach.

Rationales for Introducing Benefits Management.

Initiating and Managing a Benefits-Driven Investment.

The Project Sponsor.

The Business Project Manager.

The First Workshop.

The Second Workshop.

Inclusion of the Benefits Plan in the Management of the Project.

Evaluating the Results and Establishing Potential for Further Benefits.

Monitoring the Benefits after Implementation.

Fit with other Methodologies.


8. The Importance of Context.

Factors to Take into Account.

The Public Sector.

Small Businesses.

Multiunit Businesses: Replicated Deployments.

Variations across the Applications Portfolio.

Different Application Types.

Information Management.

Customer Relationship Management Systems.

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems.

Enterprise Portals.

Infrastructure Investments.

Non-IT Projects.

Different IS/IT Supply Arrangements.


9. From Projects to Programmes to Portfolios.

Defining Programmes.

Types of Programme: Planned and Emergent.

Programme Dependency Networks.

The Management of Programmes.

Governance of the Investment Portfolio.

Setting Priorities.

The Applications Portfolio for Priority Setting.

Links to Drivers.

Including Emergent Investments in the Management of the Portfolio.


10. Creating a Better Future.

The Continuing Challenge of IS/IT Investments.

Characteristics of the Benefits Management Approach.

The Value of the Process.

Going Further: Using Benefits Management to Formulate and Implement Strategy.

The Purpose of Strategies: To Deliver Benefits to Stakeholders.

Incorporating Benefits Management into Strategic Thinking.

Examples of Benefits-Driven Strategies.

Future Trends in IS/IT and their Implications for Benefits Management.

Having it All: Productivity and Agility Benefits from IS/IT.

A Final Word or Two.




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