Successful Benefits Realization in IS/IT Projects – Essays on Benefits Management
Many organizations invest heavily in IS/IT to realize benefits (e.g., productivity increases, cost reductions, etc.) after a successful IS/IT implementation. As a means for this purpose, several approaches to achieving and maximizing the anticipated benefits from IS/IT investments have evolved under the term benefits management (BM), which is defined as “organizing and managing IS/IT initiatives so that potential benefits arising from the use of IT are actually realized”. As studies and reports published since 1996 consistently find BM to be a highly effective management approach for the achievement of organizational goals, it seems surprising that effective BM implementations in practice are still missing. Therefore, the overall goal of this dissertation thesis is to investigate and understand the factors that positively influence the adoption and successful implementation of BM in IS/IT projects. For this purpose, five separate, cumulative research essays have been developed, each investigating another aspect of BM. The findings of this thesis contribute to research and practice alike. Existing BM frameworks and methods from academia are extended with a BM reference model that offers novel practice-oriented process steps, roles, and activities. Furthermore, with this intention of increasing the adoption of BM by organizations, scholars can collect deeper insights into successful BM implementation and related phenomena in the future. Moreover, practitioners are given detailed guidelines on BM that exceed the lifecycle of traditional IS/IT project management guidelines.