Using Project Benefits To Decide If A Project Is Worth Doing

This post is about project benefits and deciding if a project is worth doing. It is the final post in the series of three on project start up. The first post was on how to define the project problem, which you can read here. The second post was on how to write a project scope, which you can read it here.

Project Benefits

Photo credit: Robert Huffstutter

Once you have defined the problem and captured the scope the next thing to record is the project benefits. There are two parts to deciding if the project is worth doing.

  1. Benefits
  2. Justification

The project benefits is also included in the project start template which you can download here.

Project Benefits

The first section is project benefits and this deals with the financial reasons why the project is worth doing. This is also sometimes referred to as the tangibles or the hard benefits.

To try and come up these benefits think in terms of:

  1. Financial cost savings through completing this initiative
  2. Financial costs avoided by doing the project
  3. New revenue streams created by completing the project

Justification

The second section is the justification of why the project should be done. These are sometimes referred to as the soft benefits or the non tangibles.

To try and come up soft project benefits think in terms of:

  1. Customer service improvements
  2. Risks avoided through completing the initiative
  3. Improved employee satisfaction

Bear in mind that this is at the very start of the project so should be high level and a best guest as to why the project should be done. The reason this is not the business case is the detailed requirements have not been captured and therefore the solution has not been designed.

I will be covering the business case in a later blog post. In the meantime what tips do you have for capturing high level benefits?

Here is the link for the project start template.

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