Managing technological change effectively in organizations, and even across entire industries, has always been a challenge for management, IT practitioners, and business development specialists. Technological change within companies and enterprises is not primarily a technology issue nor is it an area of interested limited to IT managers and specialists alone. Technological change should be a primary concern for business managers. The new generations of IT advancements can be applied to support advanced information management which in turns can enable business transformation within an organization.
Managing automation-focused projects has become an outdated approach. Without a system on managing technological change effectively, the end results for organizations in applying new technologies usually result in unexpectedly high failure rates (BusinessWeek Online, 2006). A solution for business and IT managers is to make use of the Benefits Realization method. All organizations actually have a Benefits Realization process whether they are aware of it or not.
For most companies, it is most likely not a formal process, and as such, the organization does not only know about it, but it also does not understand it. When an organization is not aware of the Benefits Realization in place, then it tends to be a passive process, not a managed one. What happens of course is that the process does not work very well. However, when the Benefits Realization process is designed and engineered systematically, it can actually lead to a tremendous improvement in the organization’s performance (BusinessWeek Online, 2006).
In general, the Benefits Realization method provides for a new basis for using IT to deliver business results more consistently, predictably, and effectively. The approach makes use of two interconnected elements: mindsets on IT and on management methods. Taken these two fields together, Benefits Realization seeks to focus on integrating technology into an organization’s business system. It posits that the application of IT alone, regardless of how technically powerful, cannot deliver effective and successful business results without considering and combining IT with business methods (BusinessWeek Online, 2006).
In other words, for an effective Benefits Realization process, the organization must seek to combine IT and management capabilities, and provide for a system that monitors the entire process from start to finish. F. Research Issue The ideal Benefits Realization design should start from the launch of the project, go beyond deliver, and actually measure the success and process improvement of the new design, process, software, or whatever technology was introduced to the organization.
The problem is that not all companies have systems in place to really measure process improvement for Benefits Realization after completion of the project. This may happen when the organization is not aware that it has a Benefits Realization process in place to begin with, or when the organization’s Benefits Realization design simply does not have the tools to measure the end results of the process. G. Objectives of the Study The research study has the following objectives: ? To identify the reasons why the introduction of technology in benefits realization has often failed to bring about real change and benefits to the company.
? To discuss how failure of most benefits realization programs are due to the lack of measurement tools in determining the benefits from its investments. ? To provide recommendations and solutions on how to establish effective benefits realization within an organization. H. Definition of Terms The following key terms, which will be used recurrently throughout the study, are defined as follows: ? Benefits realization – the discipline of ensuring that business initiatives deliver expected benefits (Aron, Tucker & Hunter, 2005).
It is “an integrated set of processes, techniques, tools, documentation standards and governance framework that cane be used to get the most value from technology investments” (Federal Aviation Administration, 1999, p. 1-2). ? Business benefit – a real source of value to the business, such as increased revenues, improved customer retention, lower costs, or quicker time-to-market (Aron, Tucker & Hunter, 2005). ? IT-intensive project/initiative – a business project with a significant IT component. It is increasingly common to consider all projects business projects.
Projects involving significant IT activities and/or costs represent an opportunity for the Chief Operating Officer (CIO) and Information System (IS) organization to contribute strongly to benefits realization (Aron, Tucker & Hunter, 2005). I. Significance of the Study The study is significant since it will analyse the reasons why benefits realization programs fail in companies. It will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of benefits realization approaches used by companies. The recommendations that the study will provide can serve as useful tools for organization in setting up effective benefits realization programs.
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