The Case for a Compelling Business Case
Steve Finkelstein, Senior Partner
“If we had realized all of the benefits claimed by all of the business cases approved in the past five years we would have twice the revenue and profits.” Finance Industry Executive
Approving and executing erroneous projects is a very costly and ineffective allocation of resources. Yet projects are approved and executed daily in the business world where their benefits are not realistic and in fact inflated. An effective business case process is designed to help organizations make the right decision by providing a thorough and realistic picture of the project.
Although it is common to have a business case or appropriation request for most Information System and Capital projects, it is not common for other projects like process improvement, supply chain studies, market research, etc. All major projects should have a thought out review and plan before the approval process.
Are your projects getting approved? The ability to develop a compelling business case could give you a competitive advantage over your peers, having leadership approve your projects versus your peers. This is a critical skill for all leaders.
Hindsight is 20/20. What if you could go back in time knowing what you know today? How would you answer the following questions for your organization?
- Have you approved the right projects? Would you have made the same decisions?
- Are there projects we should have approved that we did not approve?
- What percent of the projects over the past few years actually achieved the stated benefits? How do you know?
- What percent of the projects were delivered on time and on budget?
- Are people held accountable for the results of the projects against the stated benefits in the approval process?
- Were post project reviews conducted as part of the business case process?
What exactly is a business case? A business case is a document that outlines the justification for the approval and start-up of a project. Furthermore, it helps assess the projects readiness for execution to include addressing resources needed, implementation plans, risks, etc. By using a collaborative approach, the team feels invested in the project from the very beginning, cultivating ownership and commitment. To establish accountability, the stated benefits, timing and costs should be part of the team member’s goals. In addition, post project reviews are scheduled in advance so everyone is aware.
Experience on Demand has developed a very effective business case process that provides the right questions and thought process helping our clients make the right decisions. Below are the key components of a business case.
We welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss your situation. If you have any questions please contact Steve Finkelstein at Experience On Demand.