Session 10: Realize the benefits

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Realize the Benefits: Manage Pre-Transition

Managing pre-transition covers the analysis, preparation and planning required for the business transformation. The business change owner, in consultation with the program manager, is responsible for all activities and steps in realize the benefits.

Establish benefits measurements

This is where the measures identified during the Define Phase (captured in the benefit profiles) are put into practice through the collection of information/data. It is important that benefits are based on data that is current, accurate and relevant. If the data is not, then incorrect decisions may be made. The Business Change Owner is responsible for testing information and data provided to ensure it is valid.

It is key that the current state is measured in order to measure the improvements from resulting benefits. This measure is referred to as the baseline, without the baseline there is no way of assessing whether the future state is delivering the intended benefits. Each benefit baseline should be measured and recorded into the appropriate benefit profile and the benefits plan (in business case).

Monitor benefits realization

As things can change even before a program moves into transition, benefits need to be managed and controlled throughout the life of the program in order to identify potential improvements to enhance benefit opportunities or minimize any dis-benefits. Benefits should be treated with the same importance to the program as its costs, managing and protecting the outcome of both is of primary importance to a program’s success. The business change owner must monitor the benefits from the beginning, reassessing and readjusting benefit profiles, as necessary.

Assess readiness for change

In preparation for implementation and transition, the capability and capacity of the organization to take on the change needs to be assessed. When assessing readiness for change, the following should be considered:

  • Recent track record and experience of change, in particular any experience in implementing this type of change
  • Availability of resource to support the change
  • How the intended change fits in with the current environment and culture; is it radically different?
  • Skills and flexibility of the workforce impacted
  • Current service level performance
  • Impacts to third parties and their ability to take on the change
  • Ability of management to support the organization through the change

Plan transition

Maintaining business as usual operations during transition can be very challenging, to avoid unnecessary disruption change to an organization needs to be thoroughly planned and managed.

When creating a handover plan the following should be considered:

  • Impacts to staff and their working practices
  • Information and technology impacts
  • Temporary facilities for those managing the transition
  • Both the cultural and infrastructural requirements needed to move from the ‘old’ to the ‘new’
  • Aligning with the program plan
  • Maintaining business operations during transition
  • Exit or roll back arrangements should things go wrong
  • Lessons learned from previous transitions

Communicate change

The upcoming change must be communicated well before the actual transition, late or no communication can result in a lack of buy-in or significant resistance leading to a failed transition. The stakeholder engagement and communications plan provides the basis for how, when and what communications are required at this time. Both documents should be updated, as required, during this time. Adequate engagement with impacted management must be undertaken to ensure that they are ready to use the outputs when delivered.

Overlooking this task could cause the following challenges:

  • Transition is not well planned or thought out leading to an unsuccessful implementation or affecting the realization of benefits
  • An inability to measure benefits accurately
  • Lack of engagement or resistance to the change when it is implemented
  • Negative impact to service level performance and customers

Exit Criteria

The following criteria should be met before completing this activity:

  • Baseline benefit measures established
  • Handover plan produced
  • Change readiness assessment completed
  • Communication of the change to the business

Activities to be completed

During this step, the business change owner should:

  • Ensure that all baseline measures have been taken and documented
  • Ensure that all benefit data is valid
  • Begin monitoring benefit realization
  • Produce a handover plan
  • Conduct a change readiness assessment and ensure appropriate action is taken based on the results
  • Ensure that the upcoming change is communicated to the business


  • Program plan
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication plan
  • Benefits plan
  • Lessons learned from previous transitions



  • Business Change Owner

Realize the Benefits: Manage Transition

Manage transition is where the change implementation takes place; this could occur as a single event or may occur in phased or incremental steps. The handover plan will outline the approach taken and how staff will be supported during this time.

Initiate transition

The relevant business operations need to be prepared for implementing the outputs from the projects. The handover plan is reviewed and updated to reflect the activities for transition and any changes that may have occurred since creating it.

Establish support

The transition to achieve the program’s outcomes will often affect both internal and external parties. Support systems must be established to assist impacted individuals and avoid unnecessary disruption. Any transition support established should only ever be temporary, required specifically for the transition period. Examples of transition support include:

  • Accommodation
  • ‘On call’ arrangements
  • Floor walkers
  • Command Centre
  • Help Desk

Enact transition

Transition can start as soon as the following has occurred:

  • All required project outputs have been delivered
  • Operational staff have been trained and briefed
  • There are no outstanding risks or issues that the new operations are not willing to take responsibility for
  • Contingencies and back out arrangements are in place, if required
  • Temporary transition management arrangements are in place
  • The SRO, in consultation with the Program Board, has given approval to start transition or ‘go live’

During transition progress must be monitored closely, any events reacted / adapted to as they arise and a strong emphasis placed on communication. Particular attention should be paid to any issues or events that may require the transition to stop and if required back out.

Review transition

Once the new arrangements/operations are in place, a review should be conducted to document lessons learned and capture follow on actions/requirements.
Engagement with key stakeholders is important at this stage to ensure that their perception, interest and support for the program remains through what can often be a difficult or challenging time. New ways of working will require a settling in period and there can often be a dip in productivity as staff adjust. The business change owner must ensure that the program provides sufficient support during this time until the changes are embedded.

Manage outcome achievement

Beware of declaring success too early! Outcomes often take time to be fully realized, the business needs time to establish and settle into the new state. Moving focus and support on to the next outcome before the current one has been embedded can lead to the business regressing back into old ways. When outcomes are achieved it is critical to acknowledge and communicate the success.

Overlooking this task could cause the following challenges:

  • No support in place to assist the business through the change leading to changes not successfully implemented or the business regressing back into old ways
  • Transition occurs before the business or program are ready
  • Lessons are not learned from previous transitions and applied to future transitions

Exit Criteria

The following criteria should be met before completing this activity:

  • Transition complete and outcomes achieved

Activities to be completed

During this step, the Business Change Owner should:

  • Follow the handover plan, reviewing and updating as required
  • Ensure support arrangements are in place during transition and remains in place until outcomes are realised
  • Ensure the business and program are ready for the transition
  • Ensure that lessons are learnt from each transition and applied to future transitions


  • Handover plan
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication plan


  • Handover plan (updated)
  • Lessons log (updated)


  • Business change owner

Realize the Benefits: Manage Post Transition

Managing post transition activities are about ensuring that expected benefits are realized. Measuring, monitoring and reporting on the realization of benefits as well as reinforcing new ways of working are critical to ensuring the success of the program in achieving its intended outcomes.

Measure benefits

The key performance indicators that were selected as measures and recorded in the benefit profiles are measured after transition. The results are compared against the recorded baselines and targets. Starting a new tranche before clear conclusions have been drawn from the current tranche is risky to the program as results could reveal a change to the program is required or should even be stopped.

Decommission old systems and working practices

The business change owner must ensure that the business does not or cannot go back to the old ways of working. Decommissioning old systems and working practices, where applicable, is a critical activity that can often be overlooked but is required to reinforce the new way and remove the ability for the business to revert back to the old way.

Respond to changing requirements

Transition can often bring up or highlight barriers or required changes not foreseen during the planning of the program. The program must be able to identify and respond to changing requirements. Any additional or new requirements identified for the program should be raised with the program manager and included in the program issue register for consideration.

Monitor and report benefit realization

Throughout the transition period and beyond, benefit progress must be tracked and reported to ensure that expected benefits are not deviating from their anticipated course. Any deviation that takes benefits outside of their set tolerance must be escalated to the SRO and sponsoring group.

The business change owner must ensure that the benefits being delivered remain aligned to the overall set of benefits included in the benefits map and with the programs objectives, realigning where necessary. Benefit profiles and the benefits plan should be kept updated in line with any changes.

Note: it isn’t always possible or necessary for a program to continue until the end of the benefits realisation period. If results to date are tracking to plan and provide a clear indication of the ultimate result, the responsibility should be handed over to the appropriate business manager to complete.

Overlooking this task could cause the following challenges:

  • Benefits are not monitored and the organisation does not know whether they have successfully realised them
  • The business reverts back to the old ways of working, impacting successful benefits realisation

Exit Criteria

The following criteria should be met before completing this activity:

  • Benefits have been measured and those still to be realised are being closely monitored and reported

Activities to be completed

During this step, the Business Change Owner should:

  • Measure, monitor and report benefit realisation progress
  • Ensure old systems and working practices are decommissioned, where possible
  • Raise any changes or additional requirements that have come to light through transition with the program manager


  • Benefits plan
  • Handover plan


  • Benefits plan
  • Roles
  • Business change owner

Approval to Proceed to Close Phase

This governance step is a formal meeting to authorise the closure of the program and move into the close phase. It confirms that the program has delivered and measured the required new capabilities described in the Program Blueprint and has assessed the outcomes via benefit measurement.

Documentation summarising the program’s achievement against the blueprint and benefit realisation to date should be submitted to the sponsoring group for review prior to the meeting. This will provide guidance to the sponsoring group in making their decision on whether to approve the program to proceed to the next phase, request additional work to be undertaken before a decision can be made, put the program on hold or terminate the program.

Overlooking this task could cause the following challenges:

  • The program moves into closure without delivering the expected outcomes and benefits
  • The program will not have formal approval to proceed into the Close Phase

Exit Criteria

The following criteria should be met before completing this activity:

  • Approval to proceed
  • Program hold notification

Activities to be completed

During this step, the SRO and Program Manager should:

  • Seek approval for the program to proceed into the close phase


  • Summary of the program’s achievement against the blueprint and benefit realisation to date


  • Approval to proceed / hold program / close program


  • Program manager
  • Senior responsible owner
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