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When it comes to programme delivery, the Cabinet Office has stated that benefits realisation is the single most important strategic driver for programmes:
"The fundamental reason for beginning a programme is to realise benefits through change"
The Cabinet Office goes on to inform us that...
"It is only possible to be sure that change has worked if we can measure the delivery of benefits it is supposed to bring."
NHS Digital's benefit management team ensures that benefits are considered throughout the lifecycle of every programme and into service through implementing an adaptation of APMG's 5 stage approach to benefits management.
The 5 stage approach to benefits management
Identify and quantify
- Identification of benefits primarily through benefits discovery workshops, benefit dependency mapping and stakeholder insight
- Quantification of benefits - forecasting/estimating the scale of benefits anticipated
Value and appraise
- Informed options analysis - to compare the various options of achieving the desired outcomes and benefits
- Investment appraisal - to assess whether the benefits justify the costs required
- Portfolio prioritisation - to rank potential investments in priority order where resources are limited
- Validating the benefits forecast
- Prioritising benefits
- Managing pre-transition activity
- Selecting appropriate benefit metrics
- Managing risks and opportunities
- Planning effective stakeholder engagement
- Transition management - meaning pre go-live, go-live and post go-live transition
- Tracking and reporting benefits realisation and taking corrective action
- Winning hearts and minds
- Assess and update the individual benefit profiles and the benefits realisation plan to ensure the planned benefits remain achievable and have not changed in scope or value
- Check the overall set of benefits included within the Benefits Dependency Map and benefits register remain aligned to the programme's objectives and to reprioritise or realign them as necessary
- Inform stakeholders and the programme board of progress in benefits realisation and help to identify any further potential for benefits
- Assess the performance of the changed clinical and/or business operations against their original baseline performance levels
- Assess the levels of benefits achieved against the benefits realisation plan
- Review the effectiveness of the way in which benefits management is being handled, so that lessons can be learned processes can be improved - if there are fundamental concerns about the effectiveness of benefits management then the benefits management strategy may also need to be revised
How our work benefits health and care services: case studies
The case studies below explain how our work is helping health and social care organisations around the country improve services for patients and save money.