Do you know the main reasons for business projects’ failures? These are usually poor planning, weak business cases, and ineffective top management involvement. Below, we will focus on the second cause, and provide you with pieces of advice on creating a winning business case. Whether you are a business owner or a student studying business, this article will be helpful if you want to succeed in the future career.
What Is a Business Case and Why Do You Need It
Many beginning entrepreneurs start their businesses as a walk in the fog, without any seeing of future outcomes, or stumble along aimlessly for too long. The main reason is the absence of an evaluation of business problem or opportunity, risks, advantages, costs, potential technical solutions, timescale, effects on operations, and the ability to deliver the project outcomes.
A business case is a document designed with an aim to prove the decision-maker that the product you are pitching in is worth investment and to persuade them to take a certain action. This document should define the main advantage or profit gained from the business project, and describe the expense of the initiative. It also can describe how the project supports the company’s strategic goals.
So is the business case worth doing? Projects are majorly started when it is necessary to solve a certain problem that creates obstacles in achieving business’ goals. It can be said that the project helps in achieving goals that cannot be achieved unless the problem is solved.
Here are four main steps of writing that consist of the necessary components of a business case:
1. Identify the Problem
Majorly, the projects are designed to deal with a certain problem or create an opportunity. Therefore, you should start with identifying the goal, then describe it, recognize the reasons and provide a timeframe required to deal with it.
2. Identify Alternative Solutions
How will your client realize that your project offers the most advantageous solution to the existing problem? He has to know that there are also alternative solutions.
You can narrow down the focus to find the best solution by following the steps below:
- Present the alternative solutions
- Describe the advantages of each solution
- Forecast the costs
- Determine the feasibility
- Identify the risks
3. Recommend the Preferred Solution
Now, if you look through any business case example you will likely see that the solutions are ranked. Before you do that, it is better to choose criteria or certain scoring mechanisms that will help you prioritize all the solutions and determine which is the most advantageous.
You may like using some of these methodologies:
- Depending on the advantages and expense, provide each solution with a score of 1-10
- Base your score on factors that are important for your client
- Make your ranking more complex to take into account all bases
As soon as you sum up all the scores, the most advantageous solution will become obvious.
4. Describe the Implementation Approach
When the problem or opportunity is identified, and the best way of reaching it is presented, your goal is to persuade the stakeholders that you are right and can suggest the best way of implementing the process to achieve the goal. Make sure you have documented all the previous steps: it will provide a practical path to the solution.
Key Points to Remember
Here are some tips on how to write a business case:
- Your writing should be concise and include only the essential details
- A business case has to be clear, interesting and easily readable
- Avoid conjecture and jargon
- Provide your vision of the business’ future
- Describe the strengths and value of your project
- Keep your audience in mind while working on each section
This article may give you the impression that the completed document has to be large. However, it should not necessarily be like that. Instead, it has to be brief and to the point. If the project is small, the business case may consist of just several pages. However, if the project is large and requires complex business change, the business base will be large.
In conclusion, make sure your business case outlines a set of reasons and a logical basis for undertaking the project and suggests methods to incessantly evaluate the progress.