Project management can be a complex task but writing a sound and well-researched business case could turn around even the most disastrous of situations.
What is a ‘Business Case’?
A business case is typically developed to check the viability and usefulness of a proposed project before it gets launched. It is designed to communicate all relevant data that would be needed by sponsors and key stakeholders to make critical decisions and suggest recommendations.
So, when is a business case developed? This is usually done in the initial stages of project development and helps to understand and decide whether the project is worth the investment or not.
Below are some tips that can help write an excellent and convincing business plan:
Present a comprehensive analysis
In order to convince your stakeholders about the feasibility of the project, you need to show them that your recommendation is based on a comprehensive data analysis and that other practical alternatives were also considered before finalizing on this particular recommendation. This will help boost their confidence in your plan. In short, your business case content must cover the following areas:
- The Problem
- The Options
- Estimation of costs for each option
- Selected recommendation
Establish a connection between your recommendation and the overall business objective
Your solution might entail a number of exciting improvements, but it is important to always consider the overall business objectives in each project. Why? This is because the business objectives play a critical role in determining whether the investment is worthwhile or not. For instance, reduction of costs, improved efficiency, and risk cutting are some common business objectives. So it is vital to establish a valid connection between the business objectives and your recommendation.
Follow a proper business template
In order to make your business case look impressive, you also need to focus on the structure of the content. A business case should ideally be divided into the following sections:
- Executive Summary: An executive summary, as the name suggests, will summarize the entire business case. This is usually written right in the end after the case is finally prepared. This is because you have a greater clarity about your proposed line of action. The executive summary is one of the most important parts of your business case because some key decision-makers might just read this summary alone to take a call on your recommendation.
- Finance: This part will include the discussion on cost estimates for various options and the resource requirements. It is a good idea to incorporate graphs and figures in this part of the content.
- Project Definition: This is the most comprehensive part of your business case and offers a complete background of the problem, the opportunities or changed circumstances.
- Project Organization: This section focus on project implementation, governance, reporting and so on.
Document the risks, assumptions and provide a solution
You need to develop your business case on a set of risks and assumptions and communicate the same to the stakeholders. These may include financial and technical risks. Also, a business case should have a practical strategy for implementing the recommended solution. The chances of approval are increased if the recommendation appears to be highly practical.