Summary The Show Me the Money study by Aron et al. provides that IS should continue to play an important role in the entire benefits realization life cycle. Advanced practices in benefits realization means that IS should not limit its contributions to planning and execution, but should be involved in harvesting as well. In his work, Whyte recommends that Enterprise Architecture, through the use of Zachman Framework, allows an organization to bind both business and IS into a fully functional whole entity.
An Enterprise Architecture will also allow an organization to have complete knowledge of how the organization works, from all levels of the organization, from top to bottom of any organizational hierarchy. Such knowledge of how the organization functions is vital most especially in the planning stage of benefits realization as it allows the organization to identify not only its current situation, but what it needs, and what capabilities it has to attain its objectives. Lastly, the Think Value paper published by the Federal Aviation Administration, provided for a very thorough discussion for an effective benefits realization program.
The paper outlines the reasons why technology often fails to reap in the benefits an organization would want to achieve, and provides for the solutions on how the remedy this failure. Most significant in its discussion is the concept that technology should never be the starting point in planning an investment or change for the company. The organization must first identify the benefits it intends to achieve, and only then should it set about establishing what technology it needs, and is capable of setting in place (budget, time, and work constraints considered), in order to achieve such end goals.
This chapter will analyse benefits realization, its weaknesses, strengths, its loopholes, and the possible solutions to its loopholes. To facilitate the analysis, the study will make use of case studies. The three cases that will be discussed in this chapter will involve analysis of a basic benefits realization program offered by a consulting organization to other companies, a proposed benefits realization plan drawn up for an organization, and an actual benefits realization program that was implemented and improved by an organization.
The approach used by each case will be reviewed and critiqued, keeping in mind the framework of concept-to-cash of an effective benefits realization program. A. The Fujitsu Consulting, Inc. Case What will be analysed here will not be the benefits realization plan implemented within Fujitsu itself, but the benefits realization plan it created under its consulting firm, Fujitsu Consulting, Inc. , and offers to other organizations. It is significant to study such benefits realization programs offered by consulting or design companies in order to evaluate their effectiveness, weaknesses, and strengths.
Fujitsu Consulting offers ResultStation, a benefits realization program that addresses issue of benefits identification and the dynamics of benefits realization, tracking, and recovery. The purpose of the program is to help organizations optimize the value of past, current, or intended investment in change initiatives. It basically helps organizations to answer the question: Are we getting the benefits we expected? (Fujitsu Consulting, Inc. , 2004, p. 1).
ResultStation, as what an effective benefits realization process should be about, manages investments from concept through to benefits. In other words, it doesnt simply provide for a design-and-delivery framework, but follows the concept-to-cash framework (as previously discussed in Chapter 2 of this paper). ResultStation allows the organization to systematically pursue key initiatives, implement changes, track progress, and measure benefits. It helps the organization to draw a clear picture of what it hopes to achieve and what it needs to do.
In helping the organization identify the real benefits as well as the investments and conditions necessary to approach them, ResultStation promises to help the organization in (Fujitsu Consulting, Inc. , 2004, p. 2): ? Building a value case (broader in scope than traditional business cases) which will allow the organization to conduct a comprehensive impact assessment of their investment, integrating feasibility and risk evaluation, benefits justification, as well as traditional investment management logic (or traditional cost-benefit analysis).
? Evolving the value case through a program life-cycle for progressive resource commitment. ? Developing and implementing a comprehensive benefits management program that will help the organization track, monitor and manage benefits. ? Building an extensive and re-usable information base that will allow the organization to improve its effectiveness in realizing benefits. ? Facilitating change management by building a powerful framework for defining the change, developing the business case for change, defining the change agenda and change program, and monitoring the change program.
According to Fujitsu, the key feature of its ResultStation is the Results Chainâ„¢ technique which allows the organization to create a graphical model of the elements involved in the benefits realization process. The Results Chain will help in identifying business conditions as well as management initiatives necessary to achieve targeted or emergent outcomes. It will also aid in implementing change programs. The Results Chain will also enable the organization to define and document benefits realization solutions.
The Results Chain model thus acts like a road map for the entire organization, helping it to make select the best alternatives that meet the various business and technological constraints of the organization (Fujitsu Consulting, Inc. , 2004, p. 2-3). Although Fujitsus Results Chain is a good strategy in helping the organization in designing and implementing the best system or process to use in order to achieve its end goals, the main limitation of the Fujitsu model is that it focuses on the design strategy.
It provides superior support to the organization in mapping out its strategy and execution. It may help the organization in improving its odds for success, but, the Results Chain does not include a comprehensive approach towards actually measuring the results of the change process after implementation. Although the Results Chain advises the company on the best option to pursue to maximize investments, the verifiable evidence gathering process to measure whether the benefits were truly achieved, are not in place.