It is now 20 years since the publication of the paper that launched Benefits Management (BM), by Prof.

It is now 20 years since the publication of the paper that launched Benefits Management (BM), by Prof. John Ward and colleagues, and the launch of an open course on BM at Cranfield. This paper draws on recent work reflecting on the translation of BM into practice as well as a 10+ year program of research seeking to understand how to develop the Benefits Realisation Capability of an organization.

In particular, it draws on two longitudinal studies exploring the adoption of benefits-driven approaches. An important lesson is that BM needs to reflect a new mindset and is not simply another technique to add to our project management toolbox. Without a shift in mindset, BM becomes another technical, rational, approach that brings a new bureaucracy to the management of Information Technology (IT) investments when the need is speed to benefit. BM is primarily about people – about vision, engagement, and motivation. It can contribute to the craft of leading change and help build an organizational change capability.