Benefits Maps tell a story of how benefits will be realised.
Developing a map is the next step after you have created a Canvas and captured all your thoughts.
Wovex Maps are constructed from objects that have an image and can hold detailed data.
The objects are linked to show their contributions of benefit to each other and to the overall benefits to be realised. The value of the linked objects typically flows from left to right.
As the work progresses, objects can be added and moved around to help enrich and improve the story. Understanding of the expected value from investment decisions and change effort will change over time so maps always develop over time.
You could develop something like this!
Wovex Maps can be read and developed in two ways.
From the right to left (top-down). This requires the initial focus to be on the ultimate objective to be achieved. For this, the outcomes need to be decided upon and changed. The changes are made to happen by determining the plans. This process helps to ensure the goal is always in mind when the activities are developed.
But sometimes circumstances require:
From left to right (often called bottom-up). This requires users to think about the Initiatives and work details first. The plan is expected to lead to changes (increasing or decreasing) in the outcomes. These changes in the outcomes then contribute to the objective to be achieved. The method is most useful when a project is already underway, but the benefits have not been fully considered until this point.
Wherever you start your map isn't important. What matters is that the map helps you to get the oversight of the areas that you understand the least, whether that is the Benefits and how they relate to organisation Objectives or the Programmes you are delivering and how they relate to Supporting Outcomes.
The objects are linked together in four steps in the Wovex Map:
Below is a break down of the four steps.
Add Strategic Objectives to the map and the Benefits that the key stakeholders need to see delivered.
These are often well-evolved already and often common to many Programmes.
These are often easiest to define and capture so you may be able to pre-populate a map with these before you start working with a wider team.
Objectives are the ultimate reasons for doing the work.
Benefits are the positive outcomes that must be understood, achieved and measured.
Step 2: What are the supporting Outcomes that must be achieved?
Supporting Outcomes are the positive outcomes delivered by Initiatives. These are essential contributors to final Benefits worth measuring in themselves, or purely required to tell the full story.
These Supporting Outcomes can also sometimes act as early indicators when the benefits won't start delivering for some time.
Measures are attached to Outcomes and Benefits in Wovex.
The Measures define what will be seen or can be tracked to indicate a change in the benefits.
(Show or hide with Format > Measures)
Step 3: How will your work contribute to the benefits?
This is where you define how you will achieve the Supporting Outcomes.
Specify all the Initiatives that are essential to successfully deliver the benefits.
Initiatives represent packages of work at whatever level is relevant for your map.
Sometimes this is the area that you already have well defined. If so capturing all the Projects or Programme names as Initiatives will be useful to specify the scope of the Map.
Later Initiatives can have Options added to them (Show or hide with Format > Options) to illustrate any alternatives that need to be discussed in relation to how they will impact Benefits.
Step 4: What needs to be done?
Now you can add Capabilities and any work elements you like to your Map.
Capabilities represent the change that work will bring about and describe the end state.
Capabilities can also be used in relation to Options so that you can consider different parts of work for different versions of Initiatives. This is an advanced feature that is covered in Rich Mapping Webinar 4.
Work Objects include project elements, such as Tasks, Milestones, Assets or Outputs. These can be defined and mapped to whatever level you need to inform decisions and increase benefits.
Objective: Community Health
Benefit: Adoption of Government Policy
Supporting Outcome: Increased understanding and acceptance
Initiative: Awareness campaign
Capability: Communications plan in place
Work tasks: Communication strategy, Design and Implementation.
For the Initiative to impact community health, the initiative is expected first to contribute to the outcome: Increased understanding and acceptance.
A change in understanding is expected to lead to further changes in the Benefit: Adoption of government policy.
The work to deliver the Initiative and the resulting outcomes are expected to help to deliver the Benefits and in turn meet the Objective: To improve Community Helath.
In Wovex Mapping you can use the Design Tab to tailor the map to any common usage you have locally!