A business case is a document you use to demonstrate to your client, customer, or stakeholder that presenting the product is a good investment.
Communication is the goal of the business case. As a result, each section should be written in the target audience’s language. Furthermore, it should only include enough data to aid decision-making.
The methods for crafting one that will persuade them are outlined below.
Why Prepare a Business Case?
A business case is created at the early phases of a project and contains the why, what, how, and who information needed to determine whether the project is worth pursuing. When undertaking a project, among the first things you should learn is the advantages of the proposed business change and how to convey those benefits to the company.
The proposed research will simply outline the project: business vision, business need, projected benefits, strategic fit, goods generated, general estimates of time and cost, and influence on the company.
On the other hand, the business case is significantly more detailed and should be evaluated by the project sponsor and key stakeholders before being approved, rejected, cancelled, postponed, or changed. It is initially produced during the project start phase.
The business case may need to be developed further as part of a comprehensive study, depending on the magnitude of the company’s transformation. As a result, it should be built in stages to avoid squandering time and money on the unrealistic.
What is the need for a business case?
Having a business case is really critical if you are going to get funding from third parties, such as businesses, organisations, philanthropic institutions, governments, private donors or international organisations. This case provides an analysis that explains the business need, rationale, projected impact, outcomes, and any anticipated and unintended consequences if and when you get funded.
The business case combines the current situation’s benefits, drawbacks, expenses, and risks with the project’s future vision so that senior management may determine whether or not to proceed.
Many initiatives begin as a foggy stroll, which is excellent in and of itself, but never see the light of day or stutter aimlessly for too long because the scope, time scale, cost, and advantages are not sufficiently specified during the early phases of the project.
How to Write a Perfect Business Case?
Communication is the goal of the business case. As a result, each section should be written in the target audience’s language. Furthermore, it should only include enough data to aid decision-making. Keep the following in consideration while creating a business case:
- Be concise and just say what is absolutely necessary.
- Make it engaging, straightforward, and succinct.
- Conjecture should be avoided, and jargon should be avoided as far as possible.
- Describe how you see the future.
- Demonstrate the project’s worth and advantages to the company.
- Ensure that the style and readability are consistent.
- The project sponsor must prepare the business case.
However, a Business Case should be developed with input from all relevant team members. Subject matter experts from other departments, such as finance, HR, IT, and service delivery, can also give specialized knowledge.
Those creating the business case should have a solid grasp of the project’s goals and be able to use the business case template to combine the many and possibly complicated plans into one document.
Business Case Templates
The four steps to developing a business case template for your idea are outlined below.
The following four sections make up the document:
- Summary of the Report
- Definition of the Project
- Project Management
1) Summary of the Report
Depending on the length of the business case, a high-level overview of the project may be included.
The executive summary is the business case’s first and last written component. It’s a condensed version of the complete business case. It delivers essential project information to the reader concisely and tells the full tale.
The importance of first impressions cannot be overstated. Make sure you get this properly!
The successful business case’s financial part is mainly for people who authorize financing. This and the first half of the project description will be of interest to the finance department.
A financial appraisal’s objective is to:
- Determine the project’s financial consequences.
- Allow for a cost-benefit analysis of a project’s costs.
- Make sure the job is within your budget.
- Analyze the cost-benefit ratio.
- Cash flow forecasting
Analysis of Sensitivity
Sensitivity analysis is concerned with project risk and looks at alternative futures by calculating altering values on project outcomes or assumptions.
Sensitivity analysis allows the project accountant to play around with various possibilities.
3) Project Definition
The project sponsor, stakeholders, and the project team will use this section of the business case the most. It addresses the majority of your project’s why, what, and how questions.
Information on the background
This section aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the business case and project. It should briefly describe the challenge, opportunity, or change in circumstances that led to the project or business transformation.
Refer to relevant initiatives, projects, research, or business strategies.
The goal of the company
This section explains why you’re working on the project. The business objective addresses the following questions:
- What are your objectives?
- What is required to solve the problem?
- How will the initiative contribute to the company’s overall strategy?
Benefits and drawbacks
The financial and non-financial benefits are described in turn in the benefits and limits section. The goal is to demonstrate why you require a project.
For example, to:
- Enhance the standard of living
- Efficiencies can help you save money.
- Working capital should be reduced.
- Bring in money
- Maintain your competitiveness.
- Improve the customer service experience
- Align with the company’s strategy
Any restrictions should be included in the business case since they pose a risk to the project.
Identification and selection of options
Determine possible solutions to the problem and describe them sufficiently for the reader to comprehend them.
If the business case and suggested solution use technology, for example, clarify how the technology is employed and include a glossary of words. Because most issues have many answers, an options assessment is frequently required. This will look at the many options and propose the best one.
The options assessment will most likely comprise an extensive list of options and cover many possibilities when drafting the initial business case. A variety of ideas will be discarded as the project progresses. A do-nothing or benchmark option may be included in the short selection of three to five choices in the final business case.
Interdependencies, scope, and influence
This part of the business case template explains the work required to achieve the business goal and specifies the project’s business functions.
Additionally, the scope and limits of the project should be stated in the scope, effect, and interdependencies section. It explains what is included and what is not, as well as the main project interrelationships. Including the failure of other connected projects in the business case is critical and demonstrates how such dependencies result in benefits.
a rough plan
The project’s outline plan summarises the project’s major tasks and overall timeframe (project timeline).
The project should ideally be broken down into stages, with critical decisions before each. Answer the following questions in this section:
- What are the requirements?
- What is the procedure?
- Who is in charge of what?
- When are things going to happen?
The key deliverables are listed in this outline plan, containing a brief project description and accountabilities for each action.
Evaluation of the market
The business case must offer its readers a comprehensive examination of the company context, including market analysis. To put it another way, make the underlying economic interests clear. As a result, the market analysis should demonstrate a thorough grasp of the market in which your company works. Incorporating a PESTLE (political, economic, social, technical, legal, and environmental) study is an excellent place to start.
Assessment of the dangers
The risk assessment highlights the project’s significant risks and opportunities and how they are dealt with. The risks should include those that may occur due to your project or the organization’s capacity to deliver change.
The following questions are addressed in this section:
- What are the dangers?
- What are the impacts of a risk occurring?
- What chances could present themselves?
- What strategies do you have in place to cope with the potential dangers?
- A risk log should be included in every project.
Methodology for the project
The project approach explains how the project will be approached. That is how the job is completed. A project that outsources much of the work, for example, is likely to take a different strategy than one that creates an in-house solution.
This section explains how a project will be funded and if the company should buy, lease, or outsource before making a purchase. Furthermore, the purchase plan should specify the method of purchase. A structured procurement procedure may help you save time and money while also lowering the risk of your project.
4) Project Management
The last section of the business case template is of most interest to the project manager, project team, and managers responsible for delivering work to the project. This project organization section describes how the project is set up.
This section of the business case template shows the reader how the project is structured and the different levels of decision-making. Usually, a business will already have implemented a project governance framework to support the project through each stage.
If your organization does not use a structured project management process framework, use this section to include:
- Responsibilities and roles (RACI Chart)
- Tolerances for the project
- Standards for the project
- Points to consider
- How are decisions made?
Reporting on Progress
Finally, the business case should specify how project progress is tracked and how the project board is kept informed about the project’s development. The project manager usually achieves this by regularly writing a brief progress report or highlight report.