6. Outputs and responsibilities

6.1 Outputs of benefits planning

A number of outputs are produced as part of the benefits planning process. The outputs are summarised below:

  • Benefits Profiles
  • Benefits Register
  • Benefits Management Plan.

The outputs of benefits planning can be prepared as early as Step 3 of the ATAP Framework (Options Generation and Assessment, see F4) and can be further refined during Step 4 of the Framework (Business Cases for Proposed Initiatives, see F4).

6.1.1 Benefits Profiles

Individual Benefit Profiles document each benefit to define and describe the benefit and inform the Benefits Management Plan and Benefits Register. A profile should include (see example in Appendix B):

  • Relevant transport system objectives
  • Benefit description
  • KPI for each benefit
  • Benefit metric - how progress will be tracked
  • Baseline measurement - including date taken
  • Target measure – e.g. percentage improvement from baseline to target measure
  • Data source - where the measurement information will come from
  • Target measure date - date the expected result is to be realised
  • Benefit owner.

An example of a Benefit Profile is shown in Appendix B. The content of a profile is expanded upon below in section 6.1.2, as it provides a key input to a Benefits Register.

6.1.2 Benefits Register

A Benefits Register is a living document initially developed in the benefits planning phase. The register is designed to be updated following an initiative's completion and in preparation for undertaking the benefits evaluation

The Benefits Register is generally attached to the Benefits Management Plan.

The register should contain the following key information, which is based on the information derived from benefits profiling:

  • Benefit description
  • KPI for each benefit
  • Benefit metric - how progress will be tracked
  • Measurement source - where the measurement information will come from
  • Baseline measurement - including date taken
  • Target measure - percentage improvement from baseline to target measure
  • Target measure date - day the expected result is to be realised
  • Benefit owner
  • First tracking date - day tracking of the benefit began
  • Last review date - day the status was last reviewed
  • Next review date
  • Status commentary - comments regarding the latest review including any actions taken
  • Action to be taken.

Each benefit owner will be required to update the Benefits Register at an agreed frequency. The Benefits Register should be validated to ensure:

  • The benefit is realistic and achievable as a result of the initiatives
  • Stakeholders who are scheduled to receive the benefit and those accountable for its realisation are appropriate and have ‘bought in’
  • Target measures for the benefit are achievable and owned.

6.1.3 Benefits Management Plan

A Benefits Management Plan specifies the benefits of a proposed initiative. It outlines timeframes in which benefits will be realised and describes the most suitable metrics to be used to measure them. In addition, the plan defines who is responsible for the monitoring and delivery of benefits, and how and when they will be reported. This plan is produced using outputs from the Benefits Profiles. The plan should facilitate the realisation of expected benefits and any handover activities and responsibilities following benefits evaluation.

However, the Benefits Management Plan is more than an action plan that outlines the timeframe in which benefits will be realised. It also includes the proposed approach for realising benefits, including governance arrangements, risk and issue management, assumptions and details of a structured continuing process that will be followed to ensure that benefits are sustained and that returns from an initiative are maximised (if justified).

The plan should also highlight interdependencies with other initiatives. A further purpose is to support the initiative’s Business Case and to ensure benefits are realised on time as documented in the Business Case.

Appendix C describes a suggested table of contents for a Benefits Management Plan. It is noted that a Benefits Management Plan can also be referred to as a ‘Benefits Realisation Plan’.

6.2 Outputs of benefits evaluation

6.2.1 Summary statement

The summary statement outlines the initiative and its achievements, future actions and lessons learned from the experience.

The potential recipients (e.g. owner, service/asset owner, central agencies, policy makers, designers, review organisations, other government agencies) should be confirmed to ensure issues relating to privacy and confidentiality are addressed.

Public release of the summary statement should also be considered, subject to privacy and confidentiality matters being addressed

6.2.2 Benefits evaluation report

An evaluation report should use a standardised reporting structure, which can be adapted to suit initiative requirements. The standardised reporting structure should include the following:

  • Executive summary outlining the overall findings
  • Introduction - provides information about the initiative and outlines the purpose of the evaluation
  • Methodology - outlines data collected and analysis process used. The methodology should also identify who (all internal and external stakeholders) has been involved in the evaluation
  • Evaluation findings
  • Summary of key learnings and recommendations
  • Appendices - includes any Investment Logic Maps or data collection tools used in the evaluation.

Evaluation reports and the research that informs them should be placed in the public domain unless there are good reasons, in terms of security or commercial confidentiality, for not doing so.

6.3 Responsibilities

6.3.1 Benefits planning

In benefits planning, a number of key roles are important to ensure overall success.

Key roles are recommended to be assigned in the benefits planning process as described in Table 6 below. It is noted that tasks may be shared or delegated to other individuals.

Table 8: Roles and responsibilities
RoleDescription
Benefits manager
  • Owns the Benefits Management Plan, Benefits Register and Benefits Profiles
  • Supports key stakeholders with the adaptation and implementation of the benefits management process to align with their operating environment
  • Provides objective challenges of benefits, dependencies, measures, targets and the defined approach to benefits management
  • Ensures Benefits Management Plan aligns with the Business Case(s)
  • Produces a Benefits Register
  • Reports periodically on benefits realisation status
  • Escalates any issues relating to benefits realisation to the relevant governing body
Benefit owner(s)
  • Accepts responsibility for realising assigned benefits
  • Identifies and maps benefits with the benefits manager
  • Identifies how the benefits are distributed between the stakeholders
  • Identifies suitable benefit measures and targets with the benefits manager
  • Confirms and validates benefit measures
  • Approves the Benefit Profile(s)
  • Measures and monitors the progress of realising the benefit, ensuring the Benefit Register is kept up to date
  • Encourages workplace behaviour to support benefit realisation
  • Ensures the financial budgeting planning includes the expected outcomes of the realisation of each benefit

6.3.2 Benefit evaluation

When identifying who will undertake the benefits evaluation, the following should be considered:

  • Level of independence - A key consideration at the planning stage of the evaluation is the level of independence required. For instance, evaluations that are conducted to demonstrate accountability often need a higher degree of independence in order to maintain credibility and neutrality.
  • Avoiding bias - To avoid positive bias, evaluations should generally not be conducted by the same group or person who plans or delivers the initiative. However, it is not necessary for the evaluator to be external to the department or government. The evaluator could be someone who is capable and competent, but simply external to direct involvement in the planning and delivery of the initiative being evaluated. In other instances, such as when an evaluation is being conducted for learning and development purposes, initiative staff can be closely involved in benefits evaluation including at the planning, implementation and review stages of the evaluation.
  • Team composition - The evaluation team may be comprised of internal and/or external evaluators. Internal evaluators bring a deeper understanding of the initiative and allow for organisational learning. Conversely, external evaluators provide increased credibility.