PurposeStandards are written by practitioners for practitioners. It is therefore logical that project managers should comply with project management standards. Benefits management is a domain within programme management. The focus of benefits management is to deliver benefits of initiatives beyond the closure of a normal programme or project. This is not the case with projects within the information systems (IS) discipline, implying that IS programme and project managers are not adhering to standards. The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the best practices associated with benefits management are applied to IS initiatives in order to maximise the benefits of these initiatives.Design/methodology/approachSenior and middle managers in South African organisations were interviewed to determine how benefits are managed within their various projects. The purpose of the interviews was to determine adherence to standards and especially benefits management and, second, to determine whether these organisations are achieving any benefits and ultimately value.FindingsThere is an overwhelming non-adherence to benefits management best practices within the IS discipline, and IS programme and project managers do not have the slightest idea how to perform benefits management. Irrespective of this, organisations do believe that they are receiving benefits and value from these IS projects.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was only done in South Africa with the specific focus of IS. The results are thus very specific and opens the door for more comprehensive research that focusses on various industries, countries and standards.Practical implicationsThe results have several implications ranging from how standards are written to the professionalism of IS programmes and project managers. Organisations are not achieving the optimal benefits from investments. The fact that organisations do realise benefits from a broken process, implies that more benefits can be realised when the entire benefits realisation process is followed. Governance controls should also be put in place to ensure that programme and project managers are adhering to standards.Originality/valueStandards are dominating the project management discipline and there is a general assumption that programme and project managers are adhering these standards. This research queries the value of standards as the results indicate that there is limited adherence to standards and best practices.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2017