Learning Happens When Realized Value is Verified
A project is proposed. Most projects have an return-on-investment (ROI) associated with them to help sell the idea. The ROI lists out the benefits of completing the project. The project gets approved. People work on it until it is completed…hopefully. Congratulations are given on good work. People move on to the next project. The End.
Notice anything missing? Arguably the most important part?
No one goes back to verify if the project produced the benefits that were stated in the ROI.
How does the organization know if the investment was a good one? A bad one? Or a great one?
Checking the benefits isn’t the “sexy” part of the project, but it is the rewarding part of the project.
Why don’t people go back and check the benefits? Is it because it is a month to a year after the project is complete before they are seen and people forget? Is it because people put inflated benefits on the ROI statement and they don’t want to get called out on it? Is it because putting a value to some of the benefits is extremely difficult?
Whatever the reason, it can’t stop you from checking the actual value realized from a project. What if you didn’t reach the realized value stated? Can something be done to increase the realized value. What if you exceeded it? Don’t you want to celebrate it? Use the learnings to sustain the extra value realized. The learning from verifying the realized value is immense.