Reading the PMI Benefits Realization Management (BRM) I fond my self , hmm… a bit underwhelmed. It is not that it is bad, really. Just not that good in my opinion.

Some things are repeated over and over, some things not lifted enough. Some things are explained briefly, like they are simple even though, thinking about them, they are clearly not in reality.

Our teacher does not seem fond BRM, it has to do with quantifying intangible benefits. That’s understandable. As well as considering that there might be benefits that nobody thought of beforehand, that nobody could’ve planned for.

So, I’m sitting here, wishing really hard that this book was one of those truly great coarse literature books. But it’s not.

While trying to picture how this theory would work in the reality, I suddenly have an epiphany. This might be brilliant! Brilliant!

I’m not sure I can explain the possible brilliance adequately . But I will try.

If A company has worked with BRM for a while and managed to create “the right” BRM culture, they have a good tracking of the development of their projects, outputs, benefits and so on. The roles are set as well as the follow-up. The aims of strategy and each project are knit together, integrated and aligned at some level.

So what does this imply ? We have all worked in companies where you cannot easily talk with management. Where they just seem not capable to connect to the internal company or employees, right?

In A company, working with BRM, the top management can probably connect with all level of employees. They can step in and ask relevant questions about calculated/planned benefits. They can be roll models and connect with employees at any level, encourage them, check status without stepping on anyone’s toes or micromanage the project or program manager.

Doing this will also show the top management’s engagement in the company and employees , but also the support of the project management striving to realise planed benefits. And it will give employees a sense of purpose. And give the top management can receive relevant information from the source that would have been impossible without a connection to the employees day-to-day situation.

So, why don’t everyone do this? Well, I think smaller companies might do it partly intuitively. But going all out, the company needs to be large to be able to support all the administration. And according to PMIs survey in 2018, lesser than 1/10 organisations reported having a very mature value delivery capabilities. So, grit is important. Again.

Turning Technology into Business

In yesterdays post, I mentioned a book by Westerman G, Bonnet D, McAfee A. (2014) “Leading Digital – Turning technology into business transformation”. Even if it is a couple of years old now, it is a really good book on digital transformation, what you can do, and how, to transform your business.

The authors had during several years studied more than 400 large companies (the Silicon Valley companies or tech start-ups that do digital technology for a living are not included) from different industries and countries to investigate how they implemented digital technology and how they succeeded investing in it. Based on the results of the study, the authors divided the companies into four categories; Beginners, Fashionistas, Conservatives and Digital Masters.

Fyra nivåer av digitalt mästarskap.

The study shows that the digital masters have 26% higher profits than the average in each industry and that they turn over 9% more than others with their existing physical assets.

The digital masters have completed a successful digitalization and they excel in two areas; Digital ability, (“WHAT” in digital transformation), and leadership (which is “HOW”) which includes creating a goal vision and drive for the change required to move towards the vision.

So, the digital ability what is that? Digital capability includes three areas for digital development; customer experience, operational effectiveness and business models.

The advice regarding customer experience is to put it at the center of the digital transformation journey, to design the customer experience from the outside in. Make sure the digital and physical customer experience is seamless for the customer.

Good operational processes require a stable digital platform to rely on for further digitalization. Companies with better operational processes have higher productivity and efficiency and it is also a prerequisite for a better digital customer experience.

The company’s top team should continuously challenge the company’s business model and the company should monitor symptoms that show if the business models in the company’s industry are changing. You should consider how your company can change the industry you operate in before anyone else does.

The authors want to show that it is not impossible for a company to become a digital master. Becoming a digital master requires a certain level of human capital and investment, but first and foremost it requires time, grit and leadership. Simple as that 🙂