Outcome

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Rasmine Søgren, s145320

Contents

Abstract

At the most basic level, it is about creating value for the client through various projects. In order to create value for the customers, it can help the process to point out which areas in the project should focus on or what are the specific goals of the project. To achieve this goal, the road must be carefully considered, and often you save a lot of mistakes if you get a clear strategy to get there. Communication is important in terms of achieving deliveries, and outcome often consists of many steps like small milestones. Outcome can consist of several smaller hand ins and outcome can be found in many different forms. When you apply mid-term deliveries up to several benefits can be achieved. The outcome has many steps but in the end the outcome is a sum of the whole project. This article will look into the business case process and the success and benefits of projects. The article will relate to definition of outcome and which factors affect outcome. Throughout the article, I relate to following books; Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 [1] , Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) (6th Edition) [2] and The Standard for Program Management — Fourth Edition [3] .

PMI Standards

The outcome is a result of the leaders and managers who applying management practices like processes, principles, tools, and techniques to their work in the projects. The projects have managers who use a several key skills to apply knowledge for the customers of the projects. First in the middle of the 20th century the project managers started to get credit and recognition of their important role in projects. It was first at this time the meaning of the manager role get real because the project started to see the good benefits to have a more detailed plan to save time and money to achieve outcome and results. One aspect of this work involved achieving agreement on the Body Of Knowledge (BOK) called project management. And this book became known as Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). A standard project is defined by a process with inputs and outputs that are usually associated with different milestones in projects. According to the PMI standards an outcome is a unique result or a document that develops knowledge to the group or/and the client. The outcome can be formed as deliverables or activities of the project. All projects are unique and therefore the way to get the results depend on the project, but we can always use knowledge from other projects to achieve the goal faster, better or wiser according to what the client or the project wants. [2]

Process

In every project the process is a question about time. How much time does we have? How much money do we have? Do we have knowledge from other process that we can use in the new project? The more prepared we are, the better the project process can proceed. It is important to say that every project has an individual process because of the difference in complexity. The more complicated project the more complicated process. Many firms can safe money if they specify the process for all the project members. If you have considered the process it provide the decision-making transparency.

Results

The main parts of projects are results. In order to achieve a desired result you need to have a strategy to achieve the needs of the customers. The results are the driving force for all team members, and for the most projects all team members do their best to satisfy the client. The more specified the goal the easier the process decision. It is important to point out that the more complex process, the more it requires clear sub goals and sub results.

Client

One of the biggest topics when we are talking about outcome is customers or clients. The clients decide what the outcome is and it is the project manager or team members their can affect the way to achieve the goal. The client set up the finally goal and sometimes the client has an opinion to the way of the process. The client is the mean factor to every project and most of the project worldwide need to save money and save time. The project depend on the money that the client put into the project and sometimes the money is a crucial factor for the project. In generally most of the projects starts with a client needs and hopefully end with a satisfied client.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders are very important for the projects because the stakeholder typically is interested in the opportunity to achieve success for a project. The stakeholders have a big influence in the projects and they are often a part of the decisions making and the project strategy. The most important key words for the stakeholders and managers have for projects are: What is the success for the project? How will the success be measured? Which factors may impact the success? The stakeholders can be internal or external to the project program and they can both have a positive or a negative impact on the program process. In a short term it can be saying that the stakeholder(s) can influence the outcome.

Outcome

The outcome from different projects can help to change the process for new and future projects because the outcome is often new knowledge or improved knowledge for the subsequent projects. Outcome is a part of a new way to understand strategies, results or changes. New skills, knowledge and principles are a big part of the way to achieve the client needs. Sometimes you have time and money for use new programs to get new skills, and sometimes you have knowledge from other projects that you cam use for next project. No work is wasted work and it is important to remember that mistakes can often improve other projects in the future.

Benefits

Benefits are different from project to projects. The benefits from a project are often shown as success and value for the workers and the clients. Benefits can usually be seen as money saving or expanding knowledge or principles. Often are benefits success in different forms from a business change. Benefits are often the driving force for thinking in new paths or testing new methods, for example to save time.

Project Management Process

The figure 1-6 below are from the book PMBOK [2], and it shows us that I every process you need an input to calculate to get an output. and it shows us that I every process you need an input to calculate to get an output. The process of calculating you often use tools or techniques to achieve the outputs, and the techniques are often the individual chosen strategy of the project. The outputs are often results and names also outcome. Outcome is typically in the end of a project, and it contains the client goal. The way to achieve the client goals is often depending on the client requirements or the client needs. The inputs can often be knowledge from other projects or it can be knowledge or requirements from the client.

Figure 1-6.png

According to the PMBOK the number iterations between processes often depending on the needs of the project, and the process can generally fall into three categories [2] :


1. Processes used once or at predefined points in the project.

2. Processes that are performed periodically as needed.

3. Processes that are performed continuously throughout the project.
[2]


The type of process depends on the project and the client needs. The process depends on what the project are struggling with and the team leaders knowledge about the concerned topic. It is important to mention that there are different ways to grouping process.

Project Benefits Management Plan

The project benefits management plan is a document that defines how and when the benefits of the project may be delivered, and the document describes which tools that should be used to achieve the benefits. According to PMBOK [2] a project benefit are defined by outcome of actions, behaviours, products, services or results that provide a value. The develop of the benefit plan begins early in the project life cycle and the benefit plan may include one or more of following:


➢ Target benefits (e.g., the expected tangible and intangible value to be gained by the implementation of the project; financial value is expressed as net present value)

➢ Strategic alignment (e.g., how well the project benefits align to the business strategies of the organization)

➢ Timeframe for realizing benefits (e.g., benefits by phase, short-term, long-term, and on going)

➢ Benefits owner (e.g., the accountable person to monitor, record, and report realized benefits throughout the timeframe established in the plan)

➢ Metrics (e.g., the measures to be used to show benefits realized, direct measures, and indirect measures)

➢ Assumptions (e.g., factors expected to be in place or to be in evidence)

➢ Risks (e.g., risks for realization of benefits)
[2]


The benefits management plan is a part of the description of how the business value resulting from the project and this plan becomes part of an on going organization operation. The benefits plan is typically a part of a business case and a manage plan. The combination of the achieved benefits and the manage plan hopefully gives the wished success. The stakeholders may have different ideas about how the process can be successful and they have an influence on which parts in the process there are most important to focus on.

Project Complexity & Strategy

The risk complexity occurs from a high level of uncertainty, which often come from large complex projects or processes and the interdependencies of the outcomes. Because of big projects complexity it is important to have a process strategy that can eliminate misunderstandings and may reduce the amount of complexity. The strategy needs to identify the project program and possible larger pitfalls. Depending on which type of outcome there is expected, the process strategy must then be chosen in relation to that. To chose the right strategy for the project you need to make an analyze of the potential impact of the planned program changes that affects the benefits and outcome. [3]

Responsibility

According to PRINCE2 [1] it is important to define the responsibility for deliverables and output. So if the output is not as expected, once we can go back into the process and determine if someone has made mistakes or output is credible despite non-expected outcome. It is very important that you can rely on the different disciplines in a process, and it is important that the process is documented so that responsibility can be placed.

According to PRINCE2 [1] output, outcome and benefits are defined af following in relation to a business case:


➢ Output – New sales system

➢ Outcome – Sales orders are processed more quickly and accurately

➢ Benefits – Cost are reduced by 10 Percent, volume of sales orders increased by 15 Percent and revenue increased by 10 Percent annually.
[1]


The output of a project is the practical and the manageable difference, where outcome is the advantage that arises from the new difference output. The benefits are the advantage in numbers and new value for the firm. Typically the benefit is the goal for the project and to achieve the goal the output and outcome is needed. To achieve projects goal it is important to make responsibilities for disciplines and stakeholders of the projects. The success criteria for the most projects is that they achieve useful benefits and results whether it is in relation to products and sales or new knowledge. Sometimes it requires changing the way people in an organization work so that the outcome can be achieved.

In the figure 6.1 below [1] the relation between output, outcome and benefits are shown. The figure shows that if new project results are to be achieved, it depends on business changes and side effects and consequences have an influence on the benefits. The figure 6.1 below are found in PRINCE2. [1]

Figure 6.1.png

In practice

In practice the way to determine and achieve the outcome the team leaders and stakeholders use different types of diagrams or most often used is schedules. The schedules are the most important to highlight responsibilities and submission dates. Often the big projects are the hardest to schedule, and therefore projects often contain more than one schedule. Although the big projects are the hardest to schedule, they are also the most necessary to schedule because there are many different disciplines involved. Many information and knowledge must be passed on and often many of the same processes go up again several times to adapt knowledge with results. Regardless of the size of the projects, it is rarely seen projects without goals as the goals are always the driving force for creating knowledge.

Discussion

Through my article I have made use of three different literature sources, where I have tried to sort in their definitions of process, outcome and benefits. For the most part, all three sources agree on the actual short definitions, however, the sources differ in relation to the point of view of results. PMBOK [2] focuses heavily on the process through the projects to achieve the wished results/goals. The book The standard for program management [3] focus on the complexity of achieving outcome and benefits. The third book PRINCE2 [1] focus on the fact that every discipline in the project have a responsibility for the outcome. PRINCE2 [1] also have the business case aspect. Overall, all sources are good and understandable, but you first see the bigger picture of outsome and benefits when you have gone through all the sources. This means that one source might not be able to settle for in this context.

Conclusion

Throughout my research it has become clear that outcome and benefits are two removal parameters for a change of business. Outcome is the goal and driving force for benefits. To achieve the desired benefits, you need to have a clear plan and strategy for the project. Knowledge from other projects can help improve the process. You have to be aware in complex projects and responsibility is a necessity. There is no clear method for achieving success. This depends on all the parameters in the project and thus it is important to have a knowledge that can help one choose the right process. It is important to clarify the goals of the project and it is important to have the right tasks delegated. There are many methods for achieving success in the project and therefore it is important to be able to choose the right strategy. You can easily stick to a strategy or method, but in order to eliminate future errors it may be advantageous to consider all possible strategies. In order to achieve outcome and benefits the clients, the stakeholders and the team leaders must select a strategy that can meet the clients' needs, and in most cases save time for the working disciplines in the project. It is important to choose a strategy that suits the disciplines so that everyone can do their best. In some cases, the client will determine the process and sometimes it is up to team leaders to choose the best possible solution to achieve outcome. It can depend on time, money, interest or all. Outcome is the goal for everyone involved and outcome is a common ambition. Outcome may consist of several small parts that may be delivered at different times independently or depending on each other. However, the actual outcome is always at the end of the process. Along the way, it is important to place responsibility in the various disciplines and it is important that responsibility is respected. The responsibility makes it possible to find the errors and get corrected. The transparency makes it possible to place responsibilities. Big projects are often complex projects that contain a complex process, and these projects require a transparent and clear strategy for achieving outcome and benefits. Both for large and small projects, knowledge from previous projects is useful, and this can save time and money in the processes.

References

I have used the Project Management: "Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2" 6th Edition (2017) because I think that the PRINCE2 has a interesting way of formulating and setting up the book is a new way of delivering key words and outlines. The figure 6.1 in the article is from the PRINCE2 book.

I have used PMI standards, According to Part 1, Project Management: A guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide), 6th Edition (2017) because I think that the book was easy reading and the setup of the book was easy manageable. I think that the book has a good language it is important when you need to understand the contents. I also used the book because I need to compare the PMI Standards with the British Standards. The figure 1-6 in the article is from the PMBOK book.

I have used PMI Standards, Program Management: The standard for program management, 4th Edition (2017) because it would be nice to have a second opinion on outcome and process. The book is easy going and the book have a good setup with usable bullet points.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 AXELOS AXELOS, Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, (The Stationery Office Ltd, 2017).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Project Management Institute, Inc., Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) (6th Edition), (Project Management Institute, Inc. (PMI), 2017).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 ProjectManagement Institue, The Standard for Program Management — Fourth Edition, (ProjectManagement Institue, 2017).
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