Freight outcomes from Regional Rail Upgrades

Tabled: 18 March 2020

Appendix C. Project benefits evaluation framework

This project benefits evaluation framework describes a typical better practice model for assessing benefits and the benefit management process. It is derived from local and international better practice.

To determine whether a project is realising its expected benefits, the framework examines:

  • the project objectives, outcomes, benefits and measures that were identified and refined throughout the project
  • the quality and consistency of the benefit management process undertaken, including whether there was an outcomes and benefits realisation focus throughout the life of the project.

Are project objectives clearly specified?


What is an outcome?

  • A project outcome is a specific capability created, change made or result sought from the investment.
  • Project outcomes should be clearly specified and linked to the project objectives. If project outcomes are achieved, then project objectives have been met.
  • Project outcomes should be measurable.

What is a benefit?

  • A benefit is a measurable improvement resulting from one of the specified project outcomes.
  • Expected benefits should be clearly specified and linked to specific project outcomes.
Measuring the quality of benefits

Does each expected benefit display the following seven attributes?

  • Is the benefit evidence‐based?
  • Is there a beneficiary (for example society, group or individual)?
  • Is there a gain?
  • Is the benefit attributable?
  • Is the benefit discernible (i.e. noticeable)?
  • Is the benefit measurable by KPIs?
  • Is the benefit aligned to broader agency or government strategic objectives?
KPI measures

What is a KPI?

  • A KPI is a measure which demonstrates that an expected benefit has been, or is likely to be, delivered.
  • KPIs should measure benefits that are directly attributable to the project investment.
Measuring the quality of KPIs

Does each KPI display the following four attributes?

  • Is the KPI evidence‐based?
  • Is the KPI relevant? Is there a logical, consistent and direct relationship between the achievement of the KPIs and the achievement of the benefits?
  • Is the KPI appropriate and being used appropriately? Does the KPI give sufficient information to assess the extent to which the project has achieved a predetermined target, goal or outcome? Have KPI baselines and target measures been established? The indicator should reference:
    • the trend in performance over time
    • the performance relative to the performance of similar agencies
    • the performance relative to predetermined benchmarks.
  • Is the KPI providing fair representation? The KPI must represent consistently and without bias what it purports to indicate (i.e. be reliable) and be auditable.

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