Is a good strategy in that it allows an organization to pinpoint the best alternative in selecting a particular investment for its change management objectives. The problem however with this model is that it focuses primarily on design or planning. The Results Chain does not have a comprehensive tool in measuring the organization’s benefits after implementing. It does not cover the harvesting phase. Another problem with a Results Chain is that, as discussed by Whyte (2004), organizations are not all the same. They do not have the same needs or capabilities.
A standard program such as the Results Chain may lead to the silver bullet mentality wherein a benefits realization program is not really rigorously tailor-made for a specific organization’s needs. The proposed plan for UKCMC’s ICIS system covers every single step of the program, from planning, to delivery, to implementation, and until measuring the end results after completion of the project. The plan also involves both IT and business processes in reviewing the program. However, the proposed plan for UKCMC specifically mentions that measurement and review of benefits are limited to top management alone.
This may have some disadvantages as the different sub-units in the organization may not be as aware of how important their contributions are, since they are not involved in the post-implementation or harvesting review process. This is where Allina Hospitals and Clinics’ benefits realization process stands out among the three cases studied. Like UKCMC’s plan, Allina’s benefits realization program follows the “concept-to-cash” framework. But unlike UKCMC, Allina’s review and measurement of benefits process is not limited to top management, but involves linkages among key personnel, IT experts, etc.
In other words, there is a linkage among many different sub-units, functions, departments within the organization. Everyone has a clear understanding of the benefits the organization wants to achieve, their roles and responsibilities, and the measurement of their success. A clear blue print thus allows Allina’s employees to stay on the same page, with a common goal in mind. CHAPTER V CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS A. Conclusions Benefits Realization, if designed, executed, monitored and measured systematically by the organization, can improve the success rates of an organization’s investments in IT-enabled change to rise to 80%.
Through Benefits Realization, IT will be increasingly recognized as a tool for delivering demonstrable business value consistently, predictably and effectively within a company or organization (BusinessWeek Online, 2006). An effective benefits realization program should always work around the “concept-to-cash” framework. The three phases in a benefits realization life cycle – planning, execution and harvesting – should be monitored closely by the organization, and should involve both business and IS.
Benefits realization processes, involving the introduction of technology, and change management, usually fail in many organizations for failure to measure the benefits from their investments. Benefits should be quantified, measured, and valued, to determine whether change for value has taken place. Change should focus on value, not technology. This means that technology should not be the starting point in achieving change within an organization. A company must first determine the benefits it wants to achieve (ex.such as reduced administrative activities and more time for patient care) and only then should it set about planning and designing the technology it needs to achieve those goals (ex. electronic medical records). Technology is not a stand-alone tool for change.
Delivery of the technology to the organization will not necessarily and immediately bring change or improvement. Focusing on the benefits determines the level of change the company was able to accomplish. And the only way to identify the benefits is to have a system in place that will allow the organization to measure, review and evaluate it.
Only then can the organization claim that technology, and business, have contributed to its goals. B. Recommendations In line with the conclusions of this research study, what follows are recommendations for effective benefits realization in organizations (in no particular order): ? Define a clear corporate vision The organization must have a thorough and accessible knowledge of what makes the business work, its current setting, and its capabilities. This will help the organization to better define its goals and objectives since it can determine its problem areas and weaknesses. A clear corporate vision also involves defining a common goal.
This common, transformational goal must permeate each business and IT project, and must be relayed so that each business unit, each department, each function understands it completely (Swanton, 2004b). This allows them to later on understand their roles and contributions in a benefits realization program. ? Build a road map A common goal and identification of the benefits or end results it wants to achieve allows a company to build a road map or a blue print that will consider the contributions and the relationships of the departments, functions, processes, people, and technology.
It will also allow the company to document its goals and strategic objectives, determine performance indicators needed for improvement, and provide analytic and action requirements and metrics and how the latter will affect business results (Swanton, 2004a). ? Establish a benefits realization program that covers planning, execution and harvesting IT and/or IS play an important contribution not only in execution but in harvesting. Harvesting allows the company to measure the benefits from its investments. Here, IT plays a crucial role in helping to quantify and document these benefits.
Benefits need to be measured and valued in order for the company to determine whether its investment has paid off. Only a strong measurement tool in its benefits realization program will make this possible. The planning stage should involve a discussion of the purpose of the program, methodology, communications planning, organizational cultural assessment, and organizational change readiness assessment. The business case, metrics and benchmarking should then be accomplished to determine benefits, budgetary costs, cost-benefit and financial analyses, client-specific strategic benefits, and business case assumptions.
Before implementation, a description of organizational and process gaps is recommended, as well as thorough briefing on organization and process change implementation plans and project risk assessment. During the execution stage, and in the harvesting stage, a benefits scorecard and post-implementation performance measurement are useful tools in measuring not just benefits but progress throughout implementation. Performance measure design and implementation, performance gap root cause analysis, and implementation of corrective action are recommended (Enspiria, 2004). ? Focus on benefits, not technology.
What should be measured in a company is the value of change, not the value of technology. Technology, as a stand-alone tool, should be the means to accomplish the objectives. It cannot be expected to produce benefits by mere delivery to its users in the organization. The benefits should be clearly identified, and only then should the company set about in planning and designing the necessary technological capabilities it needs to achieve those benefits. To sum it up, organizations should not let technology be the starting point, then justify the business results simply because it decided to purchase the technology.
Organizations should start with the results they want to achieve, work backwards, and then focus on the technology it needs to achieve these benefits. Finally, it should measure the benefits it achieved to determine whether it made the right choice of selecting that particular technology.
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