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
      • Recommendations

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.