Benefit vs. Value

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The following is how "value" is defined in MoV (Management of Values standard from AXELOS):

value ∝ benefits / cost

Which means that business value is proportional to the ratio of benefits resulted from the product, to the cost of creating the product.

So, take the following two products (or features of a product) as an example:

  1. €100k return on investment, costs €30k
  2. €200k return on investment, costs €120k

In this case, the business value of the first items is twice as much as the second item, even though the amount of benefit of the second item is higher.

In most cases, the real measure is the business value rather than benefits. As MoV puts it, the goal is not maximizing benefits, but to maximize value, and consequently optimize benefits.

When PRINCE2 mentions benefits, it's usually safe to interpret it as business value instead. In Agile methods, the focus is on the value and benefits are not mentioned much.

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