The characteristics of benefits realization

in the context of portfolio/program/project management maturity models



By Vahid Dokhtzeynal, MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP


Mozhgan Pakdaman, MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP

Melbourne, Australia




Organizations have embraced benefits realization as a key strategy to obtain and sustain beneficial program and project outcomes in uncertain environments. To manage project-based organizations effectively, to deliver outputs within the criteria of scope, time, and cost, and to realize and sustain benefits successfully, merging benefits management (BM) with traditional project management is inevitable. To handle this issue, matured organizational governance is needed to guide all those who are involved from defining intended values to achieving business outcomes. This governance can help organizations to determine their level of BM maturity, and how they can evaluate their BM strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of this article is to define the level of BM maturity in the context of traditional portfolio/program/project management in different kinds of maturity models. This research outlines where portfolio, program, and project maturity models stand from BM perspective. This research reviews and assesses maturity models; Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Maturity Model (P3M3); Project Management Maturity Model (PMMM); Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3); Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI); and Project Management Process Maturity (PM)2 model to find the level of benefits management popularity in maturity models, and reviews Benefits Realization Management practice guide.

Keywords – Benefits Management, Benefits Realization, Maturity Models, Portfolio Management, Program Management, Project Management


1 – Introduction

Managing a portfolio of projects and programs is a key challenge in organizations to align projects and programs with their strategic objectives [1]. Organizations need to enhance their capabilities to plan and manage efficiently their defined projects and program in delivering their outputs and outcomes [2]. This leads to the concept of project management maturity [3] and development of maturity models for organization as a key success factor to raise performance, and reach goals and objectives [4]. Maturity model is a measurement tool using to assess the current certain aspects of organizations to define capabilities require for continuous improvement [5]. A Project Management Maturity (PMM) Model helps organizations to understand and analyze their  project management processes to develop capabilities in project management [6]. PMM models can be a beneficial management tool which is intended to help managers and organizations in order to face more effectively with these days complex and uncertain business environments [7]. The appropriate level of PMM for each organization will be different based on the organization’s strategies, goals, objectives, capabilities, abilities, environment, and requirements [8, 9]. There are different kinds of maturity models to evaluate and determine the level of organizational maturity in project management [6].

Most organizations focus on the implementation of projects and programs, not on the realization of expected business benefits and value [10]. The general view that projects and programs fail continually has made organizations and professionals find effective solutions and approaches to succeed [11]. To help organizations gain their intended outcomes and more value, it is necessary to consider benefits management through projects and programs as well as portfolios and business activities to enhance abilities in driving organizational strategies [10, 12]. Benefits are defined in two types: tangible (objective and financial measure); and intangible (qualitative measure) [13]. Since organizational emphasis gradually shifted from project management to project benefits management [14], PMM models need not incorporate directly the benefits management criteria in their approaches.

The purpose of this research is to determine the level of Benefits Management (BM) maturity within different kinds of PMM models which outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the BM in organizations and accurately indicates where an organization stood from BM perspective. Although an effective and comprehensive framework, tools and techniques help organizations to increase their BM capabilities, BM maturity cannot happen overnight and should be implemented base on a specific roadmap in each organization to optimize their value. Each level of BM capability brings considerably increased ability to obtain the full value. Organizations need to make sure the maturity of benefits management leads to achieving business value.


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How to cite this paper: Dokhtzeynal, V.; Pakdaman, M. (2020). The characteristics of benefits realization in the context of portfolio/program/project management maturity models; PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj89-Jan2020-Dkhtzeynal-Pakdaman-brm-in-context-of-pppm-maturity-models.pdf



About the Authors


Vahid Dokhtzeynal

Melbourne, Australia



Mr Vahid Dokhtzeynal, MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP is an experienced project management professional with over 10 years background in successful project delivery across different industries. He has a strong experience in the end-to-end project lifecycle in PMO environments and is vastly experienced in applying project management methodologies, tools, and techniques. He obtained his MBA in 2011, and his PMP and PMI-RMP certificates from the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2011. His research interests cover a wide range of topics in portfolio, programme, project management, and benefits realization.


Mozhgan Pakdaman

Melbourne, Australia



Mrs Mozhgan Pakdaman, MBA, PMP, PMI-RMP has more than 10 years of project management experience in multiple industries. She obtained her MBA in 2009, and her PMP and PMI-RMP certificates from the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2011. Mozhgan’s research helps to investigate practical and innovative solutions to manage traditional and agile projects, and is mostly about portfolio, programme and project Management, strategic planning, and benefits realization management.