Original Research

Benefits realisation management: Responsibilities and challenges

Maisaka Mamabolo, Carl Marnewick
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1574 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1574 | © 2022 Maisaka Mamabolo, Carl Marnewick | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 May 2022 | Published: 02 December 2022

About the author(s)

Maisaka Mamabolo, Department of Applied Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Carl Marnewick, Department of Applied Information Systems, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Information technology (IT) projects are undertaken to deliver benefits to the organisation. These benefits range from financial benefits to the improvement of productivity. Yet, benefits are not realised, and organisations do not receive value from their investments. This can be attributed to various reasons.

Objectives: One of the reasons is that there is confusion on who should be responsible for the entire benefits realisation management process. This research investigates who should be responsible for the process and who is actually responsible for realising benefits.

Method: A qualitative approach was required to gain an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon at hand. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and thematic analysis was done on the transcribed interviews. The themes allowed the researchers to compare the practice of benefits realisation with the theory.

Results: The results provided little insights as the interviewees are not in agreement with who should be responsible for benefits realisation management. However, this is in line with international research where there is still confusion on who the benefits owner should be. The results therefore support the current literature.

Conclusion: Organisations need to make a concerted effort to appoint a benefits owner. This will ensure that benefits are realised and that IT projects’ success rate increased. Organisations should then also achieve value from their various IT investments.

Contribution: The study contributes to the current debate on who is responsible for benefits realisation and provides a South African perspective to the dilemma.


benefits realisation; role; responsibilities; challenges; information technology


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Crossref Citations

1. Benefits realisation: case studies in public major project delivery with recommendations for practice
Terry Williams, Hang Vo, Mike Bourne, Pippa Bourne, Richard Kirkham, Gordon Masterton, Paolo Quattrone, Carolina Toczycka
Production Planning & Control  first page: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.1080/09537287.2023.2256287