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Business Case

 

The Business Case forms the foundation for any proposed venture or project. It establishes (in commercial / business terms) the need, justification and proposed alternatives to resolving a business issue or strategic objective. It is the Board of Directors, or most senior members of the organisation, who will demand, receive, review and (eventually) 'sign off' the Business Case.

The Business Case will discuss the alternative solutions explored and the conclusions reached. It will identify the risks of each alternative and establish the economic justification for the proposed course of action. In addition, it will project future returns to justify the cost of the project or venture.

The Business Case is a document which should be updated at key milestones during the project's lifecycle. It should be used as a probe and test through which changing circumstances are 'filtered' to ensure that the fundamentals and key objectives of the project remain valid. Where discrepancy is found, the Business Case should be updated to reflect the current circumstances, and the direction of the project modified where so required.

The Business Case should not be a document which is written by the IT department in an effort to gain acceptance for the latest IT upgrade! A Business Case is written by 'the business' or commercial side of the organisation, but often with strong support and input from the IT section / department to aid with the (inevitable) technical aspects of the proposal.


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