Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Create a Business Case

Extracted from


Successful project management: -

- deliver projects on time, within budget & to specification.

- deliver the business benefits to the customer.


Purpose of creating a Business Case for each project:

- To ensure projects consistently deliver the stated business benefits to the customers.

- To justify the initiation of the project and to clearly specify upfront, the business benefits to be delivered.


Create Business Case in 4 steps:

1) Identify the Business Problem

2) Identify the Alternative Solutions

3) Recommend a Preferred Solution

4) Describe the Implementation Approach


 Step 1: Identify the Business Problem/Opportunity

* investigate that business problem before you attempt to find a solution to it.

1. Determine the root cause of the problem by analyzing the environment within it has arisen.

e.g. The root cause of a problem may be related to:

- changes to the business vision, strategy or objectives

- newly identified competing products or processes

- opportunities resulting from newly introduced technologies

- commercial trends that are driving business changes

- changes to legislative or other environmental factors

2. Once identified, describe the problem by

(a) listing the reasons why it has arisen,

(b) the impact it is having on the business and

(c) the timeframes within which it must be resolved.


Step 2: Identify the Alternative Solutions

* To ensure that you select the best solution available, complete the following steps:

(1) Identify the alternative solutions available

(2) Quantify the benefits of implementing each solution

(3) Forecast the costs of implementing each solution

(4) Assess the feasibility of implementing each solution

(5) Identify the risks and issues associated with each solution


Step 3: Recommend a Preferred Solution

(1) define a set of criteria upon which each solution will be assessed.

e.g. The criteria may be related to the solution; benefits, costs, feasibility and risk level.

(2) Identify a mechanism for scoring each alternative solution.

(3) Take each alternative solution and assign it a score based on its ability to meet the criteria set.

(4) Summarize the scores across all criteria, to identify the total score for each alternative solution.

The solution with the highest total score should become your preferred solution for implementation.


Step 4: Describe the Implementation Approach

* Convince the project sponsor that you have thought through the plan for implementation of that solution. -- describe in detail how the project will be initiated, planned, executed and closed effectively.

(1) Initiation: List the steps involved in initiating the project.

e.g. define Terms of Reference, recruit the team & establish a Project Office.

(2) Planning: Describe the steps you will take to plan the project in detail.

e.g. create a Project Plan, list the plans required to monitor and control project resources, finances, quality, risks, suppliers and communications.

(3) Execution: Outline the approach to be taken to build the physical project deliverables and gain the customer's acceptance for each deliverable produced.

(4) Closure: Identify the activities required to hand over the final solution to the customer, release staff, close the Project Office, and perform a Post Implementation Review of the project.

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