As a business analyst, you are constantly asked to look into projects and whip up a business case or in some cases, you will be writing a business case to push for the project which is very close to your heart. In any case, it is important to build a coherent and compelling business case which will provide the stakeholders all the information necessary to make a decision.
But first, what exactly is a business case?
Although in most cases the dictionary meaning confuses us even more as to what a term means in case it gives the most concise definition:
a justification for a proposed project or undertaking on the basis of its expected commercial benefit.
Now as a business analyst, it is your job to create this justification in a compelling manner such that the decision makers will accept and follow your recommended course of action which can either be for or against the project.
Now a good business case consists of the following steps:
- Initial Analysis
- Here it is important that we first understand what is the intended business objective. This article here will give you a detailed checklist on what to ask in order to get this information
- Once you understand the overarching business object it is important to go one level down and understand the high-level requirements
- Most importantly, it is at this stage you should come to an informed decision as to whether you should go ahead with the project or not.
- If your answer to the above query is yes, then you can identify the potential solutions
- Identifying all possible solutions
- At this stage, it is important to identify all possible solutions irrespective of the cost, budget, and timeline.
- Consider this a brainstorming session where anything goes
- Identify the right solution
- Once all possible solutions have been identified, it is important to identify the right solutions
- Normally business analysts provide 2 to 3 options to the stakeholders
- Writing the business case
- Once all pertinent information has been collected then it is important to build the business case
- On a high level, a business case will consist of the following elements:
- Executive summary
- Problem statement
- Problem Analysis
- Solution Options
- Pros and cons of each solution option
Although the above steps will help you create a well-rounded case study, it is important you do the following before actually presenting the same to the decision makers.
- Make sure there are no spelling or mathematical or data errors in the document
- Get buy-in from at least one other project stakeholder
- Run through your business case with an objective 3rd party
Now you are ready to present a compelling business case.