The Benefit Map is a very useful visualisation tool for the planning stage of a project. It provides a visual representation for the realisation of stakeholder-driven benefits, throughout the planning, monitoring and evaluating a project, while also promoting stakeholder engagement.
This article includes the following topics:
- Accessing the Map feature
- Creating Benefit Maps
- Adding components from within the Parent Portfolio into the Map
- Creating New Map Items
- Add Items from other Hierarchical Levels into Your Map
- Linking Map Items
- Printing Benefit Map
- Recording Contribution Weightings
When you have identified what your Benefits are, you can identify how those benefits can be accomplished. You can use the Benefit Map to identify the Initiatives that are required to realise the expected Benefits. You can also use this map to identify the assumptions that were made when determining the path from Initiative to Benefit. It is also possible to add more benefits here. You cannot create enterprise goals here, but where they already exist, they can also be added to the Benefit Map.
The Amplify Mapping Technique you select will be the one most appropriate for the job. Amplify allows the creation of Strategy Maps for Portfolios, Investment Logic Maps for Programs, and Benefit Maps for Projects. Depending on the Mapping Technique that is selected in the Administration settings you will see a Benefit Map without columns or with a defined set of columns. Mapping Techniques can be customised to suit your organisation, however, two of the default examples of mapping techniques are displayed below:
Benefit logic map:
As a default, besides the Result Chain and the Benefit Logic Map, there is the Amplify Technique, Investment Logic Map, Dependency Network, Transformation Strategy Map and MSP.
Accessing the Map feature
There are several methods to access benefit maps.
- If the Enable Map setting has been selected for your initiative classification in Administration settings, you will see the Map option in the secondary menu.
- If the sub initiatives have Enable Map setting configured, you can see the Map button on the Initiative, Benefit, or RAID register of parent initiative.
- From the Benefit Dashboard.
- If you have selected Amplify Process as the default process for your initiative classification, you can select Benefits Map from the Performance Dashboard.
When you first open the Benefit Map of an Initiative, the map will be empty.
Within the Map Dashboard, there exists a drop-down in the upper bar.
You can click on the Go to the dashboard button to go back to the Component dashboard.
Creating Benefit Maps
A meaningful Benefit Map can be created by:
- defining map element classifications(ex: Assumption, outcome, Strategy) using Administration Settings.
- adding participating initiatives, benefits, risks, and goals into the map.
- adding new map elements to describe enabling factors as well as possible setbacks for the project delivery.
- creating meaningful links between mapped items.
Adding components from within the Parent Portfolio into the Map
To add Initiatives, Benefits, Risks and Goals into the map:
- Click on the Identified Items button.
You are then presented with two option buttons to select the map Items you need. The Identified Items list shows all initiatives, benefits, and RAID items that exist directly underneath the initiative that you are currently looking at.
- Locate the item that you want to use and click Add.
The selected items will be added into the map.
Creating New Map Items
To create new items on the Benefit Map:
- Click on the New button in the Benefit Map.
- Outline of a map element displays, drag it to the map. If your mapping technique displays a columnar layout, drag the element under the column that represents the project component where you want to add it.
- On the Map Element Properties form, select the classification type of map element. The Classifications types that are available can be found and changed in the Administration Settings.
- Enter a Name for this item and press the Enter key or click on the Continue button.
The element will be visible on the map.
Add Items from other Hierarchical Levels into Your Map
To find and add items from a different hierarchical level into the map:
- Click the Search button.
Enter the text to search.
When you locate the item that you want to add in the results list, click Link.
You will notice that each object in the map shows an avatar of its owner. The Map has the functionality to allow the end-user to zoom in/out of certain map areas, and you can also pan around the map with your mouse.
Link Map Items
Once you have added all items that may contribute towards achieving the benefit, you can link them. Items on the Benefits Map can be connected to each other to indicate the path in which the benefits are being accomplished.
To connect two items:
- Click on the map item.
- Select either of the arrows present on each side of the object and drag your mouse to next object on the path.
You will notice the trash can icon on your link vector when the object has been clicked on with the cursor. This can be selected to break a link between two objects.
By clicking on a map item, a number of additional options are highlighted.
Three icons will appear directly above the clicked item:
- The eye icon will highlight the value chain. This will display all linked items that contribute to a particular objective, benefit or outcome.
- The Edit button enables you to alter the map item properties, including its classification, name, and description.
- Finally, the trash can icon can be used to delete the item from the map.
Print Benefit Map
Through the Map options, you can also Print the Benefit Map. Most requested print sizes would be A3 and A4. However, since the print output is a .pdf (vector-based file), the map can be blown up to any paper size desired (even A1 or A0 should your printer allow it). When your map is spread across multiple pages you can use the Multiple pages print option. A Benefit Map that is spread across multiple pages can still be condensed, and printed on a single page by clicking on the Single page button.
Record Contribution Weightings
Sometimes a map item may have multiple elements that contribute towards its progress or status, with each element contributing to different extents towards the progress of the item. For example, there could be several Initiatives that are required to realise a Benefit, each with different levels of influence on the Benefit. Within a map item, you can specify contribution weightings and this can be viewed on the Amplify mapping feature. To add a contribution to a map item click on the map item and select the Edit Properties icon, to open the Map Element Properties window.
The Contributions button can be found on the bottom right of the window. When clicked, the Contributions Weightings attribute will expand. All map items that are linked to this particular item will appear in the Contribution Weightings section with a slider bar below them allowing a user to allocate a percentage weighting to each item.
Once contribution percentage(s) has been entered, they are present on the corresponding map. The can be viewed by selecting a map item and clicking on the eye icon to highlight the value chain.
In the value chain view, all contributions will be displayed on top of their map item path.