A Business Case that Works

03 October 2010

A business case is where all of the relevant fact and figures of a project are assembled in one document so the financial justification for the project can reviewed and approved.

For some a business case is nothing more than the financial part of a project. It is true that the financial resources and backing of the project are stated in this document, but there is so much more that should be present. This is the documented story of the when, where, how, what and by whom the project is being undertaken.

Inside the business case, at the beginning is a statement of why the project is needed and should be undertaken by the company. In some cases this can be as simple as to create a needed revenue stream for the business’s survival. In other instances it can be to fill a need by producing a deliverable that can saves lives or it can save people money. Whatever issue the project will resolve must be stated in clear language so there is no ambiguity when it is read by a reviewer.

The objective of a business case is to fill a need. This need must be fullfillable in a reasonable fashion. There are some great ideas that will fill the needs they are intended to do, but the risks associated in such a venture outweigh the advantages. This thought pattern must be considered when writing the business case.

The business case must fit the company for which the proposal is being presented. Not every great business case can be carried out and executed by every business. It is true that the Wright Brothers did own a bicycle shop and built an airplane, this kind of tangent from the core business is no longer common in industry.

The project team members and project manager are the two possible responsible parties for the construction and documentation of the business plan. The reason the team should be involved is simple, there are a great amount of facts and figure that must be assembled. With a team involved it can be accomplished in less time. Then the project manager can assemble the data and format it appropriate so its approval is possible.