Towards an Integrated Approach to Benefits Realisation Management — Reflections from the Development of a Clinical Trials Support System pp83-90
The aim of our research project, described in this paper, was to develop a purpose‑built clinical trials support system [CTSS], which would be sufficiently comprehensive, integrated and flexible, so as to support the vast majority of research studies that were to be managed and conducted by one UK‑based health authority. Whilst at the start of this project, it was reasonably clear what major clinical activities the system would need to be able to support, it was less clear what benefits the system should be expected to deliver, nor how these benefits were related to specific aspects of the system's functionality. Moreover, whilst it was recognised that the introduction of the CTSS would engender fairly significant organisational changes, it was less easy to articulate the nature of the changes, nor how they might ultimately relate to the realisation of benefits. Consequently, it was agreed at the project's outset that an explicit benefits' realisation approach should be integrated into the system's development activity. The aims of this paper are threefold: 1] to describe the CTSS project, paying particular attention to why it justified the inclusion of a benefits realisation approach; 2] to provide a description of, and justification for, the benefits management approach adopted; 3] to provide a provisional assessment of the effectiveness of this approach. In addressing these objectives, it was envisaged that our paper would make an important contribution to the literature by providing one of the few first‑hand accounts of the conduct of benefits' management practices, and certainly the first in the context of clinical trials support systems. Moreover, the paper provides new insights into the integration of benefits realisation and structured development tools and practices: we describe how the benefits dependency network has been successfully related to use case diagrams.
Keywords: benefits realisation, clinical trials, data integrity, decision making, e-government, ERP, evaluation process, evaluation results, evaluation use, government policy, ICT adoption, information and communications technology (ICT), inter-municipal cooperation, interpretative evaluation methodology, IS evaluation, IS failures, KPI, local government, NHS, organisational and personal trust, organisational goals, outsourcing, principal agent theory, public value, skills, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), software development