Writing Business Cases
What is a Business Case?
Ok, so your team has planned on starting a new project but somehow, you are not sure if your business model will be realized. So, the best way to make certain that your strategies are workable is by designing a business case.
“A business case is usually a formally written document which gives you an overall idea of whether your resources and efforts will deliver desired results within the dimensions of finance and operation or not.”
Typical Business Case Model
A typical business case model would provide the following information:
Business Needs and Desired Outcomes
Preliminary Options Analysis
Screening of Possible Options
Rationale for Discounted and Viable Options
Cost Benefit Analysis
Implementation and Capacity
Policy and Standard Considerations
Advantages & Disadvantages
| Governance and Oversight
Project Management Strategy
Outcome Management Strategy
Risk Management Strategy
Performance Management Strategy
Answers Provided by Business Cases
Why there is a need for this project?
Here your team needs to come up with rationale for initiating the project that is not only useful to for the stakeholders but also in streamline with your organization’s mission and objectives. List down all possible issues or opportunities.
How will your team deal with these issues and opportunities?
You need to tell what resources in terms of tangible and intangible form (money, labor, time) your team will be employing to address the identified issues and opportunities.
What are the solutions?
Explain the possible solutions to the issues and opportunities. These solutions should be realistic, straight forward and developed as a result of team consensus.
Why is the project beneficial?
Explain why the team thinks the project is worthwhile. Justify your point by telling in what ways it will benefit the organization and stakeholders.
What are the risks?
Highlight the possible risks which your team can encounter while carrying out the project. Be transparent as it will not only bring more clarity to the plan but also build relationship of trust not only among team members but also between the organization and interested parties.
How much profit will be generated?
To answer this question, carry out a cost-benefit analysis over a period of time to make sure that your execution strategies and investment is meaningful.
Once the business case has been formulated, keep revising it according to any changes in the internal and external business environment.
Additional Tips on Business Case Writing
When should you write the business case?
The project life cycle plan normally leads in developing the business case. It would involve:
description > business issues > scope > objectives
The complete documentation is only possible after the total completion of your project but you can keep building up your business case after every phase is completed.
Who should be writing the business case?
Associated with business case is a common misconception that these should only be written by the project manager. In fact, business case is a ‘story’ which is crafted best when all members of the team provide their input.