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University of Maryland, College Park

Benefits Realization Management (BRM) - Linking Strategy Execution to Achieving Value

University of Maryland, College Park via edX


A 2015 Harvard Business Review study (Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, Charles Sull - Why Strategy Execution Unravels and What to Do About It) explored in-depth the specific reasons why strategies that are carefully crafted nevertheless falter in the execution phase.

  • The worst scenario – no culture for supporting the benefits realization Critical Success Enablers (CSEs);
  • Brene Brown, the Man in the Arena, reflects on how important being in the trenches enables understanding benefits and being courageous enough to drive impactful program change.

In this course, you will learn the key principles of Benefits Realization Management (BRM). You will understand the foundation for creating a BRM culture that is aligned to business strategies and anchored in governance excellence and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) rigor. This will allow you, over four weeks, to understand and practice the role of being a change scientist who is able to use data and trends, balanced with diverse human expertise, to succeed in securing project deliverables and design and adapt successful program delivery roadmaps.


● Week 1: The first week explores how the focus of future programs success centers on creating value and dismantling the blockers of benefits realization. A transformation program example will guide the understanding of the foundational elements of a healthy BRM culture and the close correlation to proper governance and Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) implementation discipline.

● Week 2: The second week will demonstrate with consulting examples the secret sauce for cascading benefits ownership and driving benefits mindset across portfolios of initiatives. You will learn keys tools to drive sustaining benefits such as the benefits register and benefits breakdown structure. An important piece of the puzzle is the topic of benefits ownership and the criticality of benefits life cycle management across programs efforts.

● Week 3: The third week will connect the dots across the skills necessary to become a future change scientist. You will explore the skills and the focus on strategy execution, and the use of data and trends in supporting decision-making and reporting transparency. A government program example will highlight making business realization a holistically planned priority to be managed throughout a program life cycle.

● Week 4: The last week combines the elements of benefits realization with healthy strategy execution practices and uses an industry white paper to cover the vital importance of adaptability in program roadmaps that are benefits-centric in securing ownership of benefits. Programs examples across world regions will offer tools to develop new ideas, experimenting, failing, and opening doors for creating inclusive diverse ideas competencies.

Taught by

Al Zeitoun

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