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4 Examples of Benefits Realization

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Benefits realization is when actual results meet the goals of a strategy. Each initiative of change has two levels of success: delivery and benefits realization. If you successfully deliver a new project to schedule, requirements and budget the project may still be viewed as a failure if benefits aren't realized. The following are illustrative examples.

Product Development

A new product is developed to specifications, schedule and cost but doesn't sell well resulting in business losses.

Information Technology

A technology transformation project is based on the business case that it will make core business processes more efficient. When the technology launches, processes become more unstable and key operating metrics worsen.


A high speed rail project is overbudget and late. However, the benefits of the system exceed initial projections with billions of trips logged and a stellar safety record. As a result, the project is perceived as a resounding success.

Customer Experience

An airline launches a culture transformation project in customer service to shift to a customer advocate model whereby staff fight for the customer as opposed to fighting for the company. The initiative faces resistance and takes years longer than projected. Benefits eventually are achieved as the firm gains large improvements in customer satisfaction and brand value.
Overview: Benefits Realization
The actual business results of a change.
Common Interpretation
A project that is meets its schedule, budget and requirements commitments isn't successful if benefits fail to materialize.
A project that is late and overbudget may still be a success from a business perspective if benefits materialize or exceed expectations.
Related Concepts

Project Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about project management.
Acceptance Criteria
Acceptance Testing
Actual Cost
Basis Of Estimate
Behavioral Requirements
Burndown Chart
Change Control
Change Control Board
Change Fatigue
Change Request
Concept Note
Cone Of Uncertainty
Corrective Action
Cost Baseline
Cost Contingency
Cost Control
Cost Overrun
Cost Variance
Defect Density
Definition Of Done
Document Control
Earned Value
Estimate At Completion
Estimate To Complete
Feasibility Analysis
Fudge Factor
Full-Time Equivalent
Human Factors
Issue Management
Lead Time
Lessons Learned
Level Of Effort
Opportunity Study
Out Of Scope
Parametric Estimate
Phased Implementation
Planned Value
Program Management
Project Charter
Project Communication
Project Complexity
Project Concept
Project Controls
Project Failure
Project Goals
Project Management
Project Metrics
Project Planning
Project Productivity
Project Proposal
Project Risk
Regression Testing
Requirements Quality
Return On Investment
Risk Register
Schedule Baseline
Schedule Chicken
Scope Baseline
Scope Creep
Set Up To Fail
Smoke Testing
Stakeholder Management
Statement Of Work
Story Points
Use Case
User Stories
Variance Analysis
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