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How to make a benefits management plan for your team 8 min read
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Project managers and business owners are frequently tasked with benefits management. Benefits management encompasses nearly every aspect of the project benefits process, from establishing milestones in order to facilitate the highest level of success, to finding ways to measure and track benefits to ensure ideal outcomes are achieved. While benefits management can certainly be difficult at times, the right toolkit, coupled with examples, can help you successfully create a plan that drives positive change for your project.

In this article, you’ll learn what benefits management is and how to create a digestible and accurate benefits management plan. You’ll also learn how to incorporate benefit plans into your projects, and to simplify benefits planning and project management processes with templates and examples.

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What is benefits management?

Contrary to what many people think, benefits management isn’t an administration service for employee benefit plans. It’s actually the process of creating and tracking SMART goals to drive positive change within a project, process, or organization. These goals are intended to guide a project or process so that your organization can achieve the intended benefits.

“Benefits management” is a part of our Project Management Glossary — check out the full list of terms and definitions!

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym commonly used in project management and business planning. SMART goals are:

  • Specific: Create goals that are narrow and specific. For instance, instead of “increase revenue” you might aim to “increase direct sales-related revenue by 15% in the next three months.” You might include details regarding who’s responsible, what you’re trying to accomplish, what obstacles you might encounter, how you’ll overcome them, and why the goal is important in the first place.
  • Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable, meaning there is an objective way to measure success. Use metrics to determine whether you’ve met the goal, and if the timeline for achieving it is long, set milestones along the way.
  • Achievable: Set objectives that are reasonable and that you or your team have a fair chance at actually achieving, and ensure you’ve got the tools and skills necessary to accomplish them.
  • Relevant: Goals should be relevant to your business’s overall objectives. If your long-term goal is to put your business on a national stage, your SMART goal would focus on increasing nationwide visibility rather than concentrating solely on local outreach.
  • Time-bound: SMART goals need a deadline. Set your goals with realistic timelines, including periodic milestones if you’re working with a particularly large timeframe or objective.

While goal setting is an important aspect of a benefit administrator or project manager’s role, there are also several other crucial aspects to benefits management. Let’s take a look at exactly what’s required when creating a benefits management plan.

What does a benefits management plan include?

A benefits management plan should explain, in detail, what the overall benefit of a project is, and what the benefits are at individual milestones. For each benefit, the plan should include the following:

  • Summary: Clearly explain what the benefit is and why it’s considered good for your organization.
  • Schedule: Include a timeline that the benefit can be measured against, as well as an expected date it should be achieved by.
  • Ownership: Add a simple statement explaining who benefits from achieving the goal, and why.
  • Metrics: Provide a clear explanation of how the benefit will be measured, including its baseline and how it was developed.
  • Risk Analysis: Outline potential risks the project faces. Determine who will assume said risks, and how they should be handled.

Now that we know how benefit plans are created and what they include, let’s review how they should be used from a project management perspective.

How are benefits management plans used in project management?

Project managers can utilize benefits management plans to their advantage throughout the course of a project. Using these benefits plans, you can easily ensure that your project is on track for successful completion according to budget, time, and of course, benefit realization.

To incorporate benefits management plans in your project procedures, consider using a template designed to guide you or other project managers through the benefits planning process. This form can be included as part of your comprehensive project management plan, or it can be used on its own.

It’s also important to incorporate a benefit plan for each benefit your project will achieve throughout its lifetime. That includes benefits to your company and your team, as well as those that affect your client or another entity.

Complex projects often come with a vast list of potential benefits. A benefits management plan can help you assess those benefits from every angle.

Let’s look at the steps involved in creating a detailed benefits plan.

How to create a benefits management plan: a step-by-step guide

Creating a benefits management plan is a relatively simple process, provided you’ve familiarized yourself with the scope and parameters of the project you’re working on. Follow these steps to create your benefits management plan:

  1. Identify and list your project’s potential benefits. Include information about who benefits, specifically how they benefit, and why these benefits are good for your organization.
  2. Create SMART goals that are intertwined with the benefits you’ve listed. For example, if a benefit is that your project will improve your company’s market share, include specific details about how that’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, and how you’ll measure it along the way.
  3. Create a list of potential risks that might deter your project team from realizing the benefits you’ve written out in step one. Determine how these risks might affect progress, who is accountable for monitoring them, and what to do if they occur.
  4. Use a templated benefits management plan to create documentation for each benefit listed.

For help identifying your project benefits and building your benefits management plan, use the examples listed below.

Examples of benefits management plans

Understanding common benefit types and the difference between tangible and intangible benefits can help you formulate and execute a plan that’s beneficial for your team and your company.

Tangible benefits can be measured using reliable metrics.

These include cost, sales, and other benefits that have clear calculations attached to them, including employee retention.

Tangible benefits have a direct impact on business success. They result in an increase in revenue, decreased costs, or increased productivity. In most cases, tangible benefits are monetary in nature, meaning they can be measured in financial terms.

Intangible benefits are more difficult to identify and measure.

These include benefits such as employee satisfaction, client satisfaction, and awareness of your brand among the general public.

While intangible benefits do impact your business in some way, they don’t typically have a direct impact on your financial success. For example, although happy employees or clients can enhance your brand’s reputation, they don’t directly result in more cash flow.

 Get started helps you create benefits management plans that drive results gives you access to an array of project management templates and important information to help you navigate every step of every project, from planning and benefits management to analyzing project success through metrics and milestones. Utilize templates throughout the course of your projects to ensure your team follows cohesive steps at every stage. Project planning and benefits management templates can help you monitor the success and scope of your project, and ultimately, ensure you’re able to successfully complete it on time and on budget.

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Frequently asked questions

Who is responsible for benefits management?

Benefits management is typically handled by a project manager. However, benefits administrators or analysts may also work as part of a large project team to plan and monitor benefits throughout the course of a project.

What is HR benefits management?

HR benefits management refers to how benefit administrators oversee employee benefits plans, such as group health insurance, life insurance, and spending accounts. This is different from benefits management plans related to a specific project.

What is included in a benefits management plan?

A benefits management plan summarizes the benefits of successfully completing a project. It includes:

  • A quick summary of the benefits
  • A project benefit timeline
  • Metrics to measure outcomes
  • Analysis of potential risks

Benefits management plans are an important part of project success

Managing and measuring benefits is a vital part of project management. Gaining a clear understanding of what a project’s benefits are and how/when they’ll be achieved will help your team understand the goal and scope of the task at hand. Use’s project management tool to monitor your benefit management plan and keep track of your overall project success.

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