Once the cost of the project has been determined, an analysis has to be carried out which compares these costs with the perceived benefits. The first cost/benefit analysis should be carried out as part of the business case investment appraisal, but in practice such an analysis should really be undertaken at the end of every phase of the life cycle to ensure that the project is still viable. The phase interfaces give management the opportunity to proceed with, or alternatively, abort the project if there is an unacceptable escalation in costs or a diminution of the benefits due to changes in market conditions such as a reduction in demand caused by political, economic, climatic, demographic or a host of other reasons.
It is relatively easy to carry out a cost/benefit analysis where there is a tangible deliverable producing a predictable revenue stream. Provided there is an acceptable NPV, the project can usually go ahead. However, where the deliverables are intangible, such as better service, greater customer satisfaction, lower staff turnover, higher staff morale, etc., there may be considerable difficulty in quantifying the benefits. It will be necessary in such cases to run a series of tests and reviews and assess the results of interviews and staff reports.
Similarly while the cost of redundancy payments can be easily calculated, the benefits in terms of lower staff costs over a number of years must be partially offset by lower production volume or poorer customer service. Where the benefits can only be realized over a number of years, a benefit profile curve as shown in Figure 6.3 should be produced, making due allowance for the NPV of the savings.
The following lists some of the benefits which have to be considered, from which it will be apparent that some will be very difficult to quantify in monetary terms.
• Risk reduction
• Cost reduction
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.