Five Steps to Writing a Business Case

Five Steps to Writing a Business Case

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A business case capture is a simplified version of a white papers or feasibility study that describes how to best implement some business process. It outlines the reasons for starting a project or activity and the measures needed to achieve the same. It is typically presented in an organized written document, but can also come from a brief verbal statement or presentation. Business cases are important tools used in business analysis and management. They help managers and other decision makers to determine whether there is a need for an action and to establish what steps should be taken to address the need.

Many companies that offer business case templates provide them as both a stand-alone executive summary and as a resource for managing projects and activities. However, a business case can be difficult to use without a detailed description of what it is and how it is intended to work. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re creating a template or providing one to others:

Use the right format. Each business case is different, even if they all follow some basic outline of organizing information and describing the project. For example, in some documents an executive summary might be used for explaining the status of the project, while other timescales might describe the timescales associated with key milestones. Use the right format for the kind of document you’re creating, so you can make sure that your audience will understand it. There are several free online tools that allow you to create a document in these formats or select them based on the types of timescales most appropriate for your project.

Use an executive summary. An executive summary is designed to give a quick overview of the purpose of the document and the major highlights of the project organization. This section could also serve as a call for comments, clarifying any points that have been left out of the initial overview. A clear, concise executive summary ensures that readers won’t miss key details that they need to know to better understand the project.

Make sure the benefits are described. In any business case, identifying the expected benefits of the project and identifying the impacts to stakeholders (or customers) should be high on the list of items included. Don’t just write a list of expected benefits; include details of how the new product or service will solve a problem and how the benefits will directly benefit people or organizations. This can include how the new product or service will solve or reduce two or more existing problems, the time it will take to implement the solution, or how it will directly benefit one or more people.

Separate the options considered and discuss those considered in isolation. When a business case includes at least three potential solutions to a problem or opportunity, readers will be confused by the large number of potential solutions. Separate the options considered for each potential outcome to provide clarity about what impact the solution will have. Discussing these impact separately will help readers make an informed decision about the best option.

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