Engineering directors and their associated finance professionals are used to creating business cases for capital projects. But what if you need to win funding for a capital project and portfolio management application? Business cases for IT projects are different. They require you to consider new stakeholders and new types of benefits – many of them hard to quantify.
As a project professional, you’d think gaining the ability to make informed, data-driven decisions about a billion-dollar portfolio would be a slam dunk. Industry standard research by Forrester suggests the return on investment of a project management application can be as high as 250%.
But convincing decision-makers can be a tough sell. That’s why you need to:
Consider two levels of benefits
An application like CAPEXinsights delivers benefits at two levels:
- Project – At a project level, CAPEXinsights provides the tools to improve business performance and maximise commercial returns. Its robust guard rails and step-by-step processes minimises the chance of overspends, late delivery and unhappy customers. As a result, return on investment comes from:
- Reduced budget overruns from improved visibility into project performance.
- Savings from reduced project management effort and increased project throughput. Projects completed ahead of schedule deliver their benefits faster and allow people to be diverted into other value-adding tasks.
- Further savings due to improved resource management, as those on the shop floor can spend more time on tools and less time filling in paperwork.
- Portfolio – Portfolio managers know they can get a better Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) by improving portfolio efficiency. Independent research  suggests that as much as 11% of portfolio investment is lost by some organisations. Beca’s experience is that organisations using a capital project and portfolio management application can reasonably save between 2% to 6% of portfolio investment. Other portfolio-level benefit areas include:
- Better strategic alignment by overlaying top-down guidance across every project.
- Improved profitability and risk mitigation because decision-makers can quickly understand cost analysis and cash flow projections and intervene early.
- Increased EBIT and margins due to improved productivity from using consistent, best-practice processes across multi-site operations.
- Portfolio optimisation made possible by portfolio-wide, real-time reporting and insights.
- Intelligent portfolio spend through visibility and smoother cash flow through discretionary funds.
"Project professionals are not the only people who benefit from ‘zoom in, zoom out’ project visibility."
Get support from the application's multiple beneficiaries
CAPEXinsights also allows:
- Executives to know that their investment in capex is driving the organisation towards its strategic objectives.
- Engineering Directors to have confidence in their capital investment by highlighting and embedding processes that drive positive business outcomes
- Finance professionals to improve cash flow forecasts and identify interventions that will improve profitability and governance.
- Project managers to feel confident that they’re following the right processes for the right job with step-by-step guidance.
- Risk officers and boards to visualise and understand capital portfolio risk at an enterprise level and minimise capital expenditure risk through robust guidelines and complete transparency across every project at every level.
- Site managers to stretch project resources further by reducing the time needed for manual reporting.
- Sustainability officers to build carbon calculations into capital project decisions and ensure capital portfolios align with sustainability strategies
Use a portfolio inefficiency calculator
We are currently developing a financial model that can help you estimate the benefit to your ROIC of change, helping you convince decision-makers exactly how portfolio inefficiencies are affecting your company’s performance.
You can use the findings from our Capital Portfolio Optimisation Calculator, which will quantify cost-saving, opportunity realisation, and value creation strategies, to convince multiple stakeholders, showing:
- Engineers how the app will make day-to-day work more productive and efficient at a project level
- Executives how the app will improve transparency and reduce spending at a portfolio level
- Finance teams how the app will impact ROIC
Start with a quick rule of thumb
If you can answer “Yes” to three or more of these, the business case for CAPEXinsights is likely to stack up:
- Some of our strategic projects are delivered late
- Small projects are burdened with too much process
- Too many projects overspend
- Flawed projects sometimes go all the way to the capex gate
- We have too much duplication between systems
- We don’t validate that we achieved the project’s intended benefits
- Project reporting takes too much effort
- We have poor transparency and visibility across our portfolio
 Improving capability and performance across the capital project lifecycle, Deloitte Capital Projects, 2018