05. List Cost and Benefit

Overview: Cost (or risk) and benefit associated with the business opportunity are itemized. Risks are grouped in categories (e.g., customer service risks, employee motivation risks, and procedural risks). Benefits are shown as hard benefit and soft benefit. Results of this task are useful in identifying potential interventions and to pre-empt issues identified.

Considerations: This task requires a hard look at the implications of the change. How might these types of changes be resisted? How might the initiative fail? Remember to examine the effect of the initiative on customers and suppliers (both internal and external to the organization). Who are the best people to participate in discovering the possible issues? Is there someone from another department or group who is adept at estimating cost? Who has credibility with executive management when estimated benefits are calculated? Is there someone on the existing team with previous experience with a similar project? Is this an opportunity to bring on a temporary team member, from outside the core group, to help with this task?


  • Form a group. Get representation from several disciplines (e.g., systems development, training, and other functions).
  • Conduct focus group session. Identify implications of success (and failure) during the process of moving toward the vision.
  • Rank and categorize the risks identified.
  • Group benefits into two categories: Hard-savings (reduced cost, increased revenue) and soft dollars.
  • Prepare a summary of the risks and benefits of the vision for review by management.
  • Distribute the summary list to all participants.
  • (Suggestion): Include a word of appreciation for each person’s contribution.

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