It was my first time traveling to South America and for the first time. I was traveling with Latam Airlines from Bogota to Cartegena, Colombia. The most interesting thing for this flight was its departure time, that is, 10:47 a.m. “What an accurate time commitment” was the first thing that I said to myself and wondered this accuracy was real. And that got e thinking about benefits realization.
My first impression on this airline was very positive, having felt that this is an on-time airline. This feeling made me feel trust in this airline, which made me decide, I needed to surf the airline’s web site. Being on time created a benefit from the marketing perspective, whether it was intended or unintended, this benefit would convert to business value. I would be a loyal customer.
In our organizations, we seek many projects to complete. On the other hand, if our organization does not have a program management mindset and does not have a benefits realization management plan, then you may miss lots of benefits. Here are some steps to improve your benefits realization.
First, change the mindset
When the word “change” is used in a sentence, there emerges barriers. When I heard Shar Hasemi’s (co-founder of Coffee Republic) “think big, act small, our small individual actions can change the culture of the entire organization” in her speech in Berlin in 2018, I started using this perspective to deal with change.
Change the mindset from task-oriented actions only to benefit-identification and creation actions. Establishing a program management approach will help you achieve this change since programs deliver benefits.
Second, establish a benefits realization plan
Planning is living in the future now. As you start living in the future, you will have more control over managing the future. Establishing a benefits realization plan with the involvement of the whole organization and the project teams will reveal unexpected benefits.
Third, let the benefits show you the way
Once your organization starts the mindset shift, lots of benefits will be identified. The project managers and teams will get used to having the perspective of not only task and deliverable-oriented but also benefit realization. This will create an environment in which unexpected business value will be generated.
Fourth, switch to excellence
If your organizational culture is able to create opportunities from differences and make the necessary connections, the organization gets into the final stage: Excellence. Most benefits are hidden under the curtain of the differences.
Differences! Behaviors, attitudes, mindsets, perspectives… It’s not easy to accept and understand the differences and very difficult to be an opportunity creator from differences. But now the world needs this.
Did the flight take off on time? Yes, even 7 minutes earlier. Latam Airlines just announced to be the most precise airline in the world.
Mustafa Hafizoglu, PMP, BS, M.Sc., is the co-founder and previous President of the PMI Chapter in Turkey, Program Director at Space & Defence Technologies Co., a part-time instructor at Middle East Technical University. He has 20 years of experience in hardware and software development projects, in the aerospace and defense industry. Mustafa established the PMO at SDT Space and Defense Tech and co-authored the book: Project Management Analytical Approaches. He’s also a speaker at PMI Global Congress and various international seminars. Mustafa writes about program management and risk management.