Business Case vs Project Plan

Business Case vs Project Plan

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A business case captures the rationale for initiating a given project or activity. It’s most often presented as a well-formulated legal document, but can also come in the less formal form of an oral presentation or verbal agreement. It helps managers and other decision makers gather facts about a proposed project before proceeding to any particular steps.

When presenting business cases, managers should consider the key stakeholders’ interests, objectives, and critical risk information. All of these will be included in the project’s analysis, but it’s important to also take into account the interests of key stakeholders (for example, non-software vendors may not be as willing to cooperate with a software vendor on a new product development program if the company doesn’t agree with their strategy). The executive summary should provide the background and findings of the project, including estimated costs, schedules, risk mitigation options, and potential solutions. The other documents in the case, such as risk assessments and financial estimates, should be broadly supported by the business case.

The business case begins with an assessment of the organisation and what it wants to achieve. It identifies what activities and resources are needed to meet its strategic objectives, and describes the expected cost, schedule, and functionality impact of those actions. As the case progresses, the manager considers the risks to the achievement of its business objectives, and identifies how those risks might be mitigated or avoided. The risks also need to be considered in relation to the business objective. For example, if the objective is to reduce customer turnover, then identifying which actions would achieve this would require an assessment of the activities of each department that might result in a loss of revenue. The manager may consider whether the reduction of customer turnover is achievable through a combination of separate actions or if the reduction is possible through a single change.

A business case is a document that describes and provides supporting documentation for an organisation’s process of selecting and implementing its planned project. Each stage of the process is described in a separate document. Some documents include procedures, assumptions, requirements, rationale and budget analysis. All these documents describe the process and the assumptions that were made at each stage. They also describe the alternative solutions that could be implemented if the original assumptions were proved wrong, and identify risks that the organisation faces if it is not successful in its chosen solution.

Because the business case describes the organisation’s planned investment, it is really a summary of the organisation’s personal life objectives. The purpose of the document is to inform the senior management about the organisation’s current situation and future prospects. These are objectives that the manager must really get into the detail of, because they have direct effects on the money and other resources of the organisation.

To get into the details of the business case, you need to understand the difference between the two documents. In the project plan, there is a detailed description of the project. This is usually done in a few pages, with a lot of details. The business case on the other hand is much more concise and shorter – generally two to five pages long, with less detailed descriptions.

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