A business case is a document that explains the potential ROI of a project and how it will bring an impact the growth of a specific area. Therefore, a business case documents how a growth project will be developed, implemented, and measured. Therefore, the business case is a document that helps a team get aligned on whether a project makes sense from a business standpoint and whether the company should scale it up, thus invest more resources on the same.
The Purpose of a Business Case
Business cases serve several purposes, some of the are:
- Gather information to create a clear picture of the business’s needs, focus on quantifiable results, and show how the business will benefit from the project.
- Narrow down the scope of a project to define proof of concept (the minimum viable option to decide whether the initial implementation has been successful).
- Align the team around the expected outcome from the project.
- Evaluate whether to scale up the project after the business case.
- Have an initial ROI of a smaller project to prove the viability of a larger project, therefore align the management around its potential implementation.
The Process of Creating a Business Case
A business case is a team-based project. So, you and your team members need to work together to create the document. Indeed, the main purpose of a business case is to aligh a whole team around a project, to set the team’s expectation to further allocate more resources on the same project.
That is why it’s critical to draft the document as a team effort.
You might create a spreadsheet that outlines different criteria the team is using to evaluate the project. You will then team up and discuss each criterion with your team members to determine whether each is a strong reason to move forward with the project.
Therfeore, usually the workflow is:
- Define the business goal.
- Scope the project and narrow it down.
- Define the key metrics that will define the project’s success.
- Add the forecast, the expected outcome from a proof of concept, and how scaling up the project might look like in both budget and efforts for the team.
Tips for Writing a Business Case
The following are a few tips for writing a business case:
Describe the problem or objective to be solved.
Do this by identifying:
- The problem (the goal that needs to be met).
- The problems and concerns of your audience.
- What the impact will be for the company if the problem is not solved.
- Use key research and other supporting materials, such as statistics.
- Showcase your arguments.
Of course, no two organizations are exactly alike, and this is why it’s important to research and choose the best method to make the best business case for your project. I believe that the best way to start a project is to do an effective market study and then write a detailed plan. Then, you will have a solid business case to show the board and the team.
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