By: Keith Neubert – Bayshore Solutions Vice President

At the 2011 Project Management Institute PMO Symposium, “Benefits Realization” was a frequent topic, or should I say challenge of P3M (Program, Portfolio and Project Management) offices and was mentioned in nearly every presentation. And for good reason! What is benefits realization? It’s exactly what it sounds like, but in terms of a PMO it specifically means: did the business get the value they thought they would from the project?

Assuming the project has a definition of “Benefit” (i.e.: invest X number of dollars with an anticipated return of X or efficiencies gained of Y), there were several examples and methods presented to approach the extrapolation. For a lot of projects all that effort results in ballpark estimates at best because the metrics aren’t well defined or the measurement capabilities are not there. Even scarier is how this process is frequently rushed, misunderstood or just plain skipped by organizations. Hence, the challenges an organization can have when deciding whether or not to invest in a project, especially something new or foreign to their core business.

Is this the same for the Web? I would argue that in a lot of ways there are the same challenges going into the project but not in the ability to measure. Measurement is where the web excels. By way of example, say you want to undertake a web project to modify your online landing pages and forms because a new design promises to increase form submissions by 10%. Assuming you have a baseline and know what a 10% increase in form submissions means to your business, then you have the value and can see the benefit. Once the project is completed and with the right tracking put in place you’ll not only know exactly how many form submissions were made, you’ll see the underlying data: what geographic region they came from, what search engine they came from, what keyword they searched on, what pages they viewed before they submitted a form, how long on average they took to submit the form, how many started the form and left, how many sent it to a friend, to name a few.

This yields a lot of data to analyze and surely there are outside factors that will influence any change, but these are metrics that go into benefits realization. Did the specific design updates result in an increase in conversions or is there another influence? It’s an honest exploration with all the facts of: did the project do what we thought it would?

At Bayshore Solutions we live by our mission: “To be the superior provider of integrated technology and marketing solutions that deliver measurable client success.” We work to understand what success means to you, what your goals and objectives are, and for each project we ensure that the appropriate tools are put into place to maximize measurement. Remove the uncertainty of benefits realization online with the internet expertise of Bayshore Solutions.

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