How a Business Case Template Can Benefit Your Executive Summary

How a Business Case Template Can Benefit Your Executive Summary

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A business case is a comprehensive description of an organization’s present needs and prospects, together with its anticipated future needs and goals. Business cases have traditionally been used to help companies determine which courses of action will be most productive. They also allow people involved in planning and implementation to compare potential options with existing models and resources. Business case analysis can be formal or informal in nature, with the end result being the same. An effective business case enables decision makers to take all necessary steps toward achieving a business objective. They ensure that resources are available when needed, and provide the framework for comparing various alternatives.

An effective business case provides a detailed explanation of the rationale for starting a project or undertaking a task. It often presents in an organized written document, although can also be written in a more informal or personal manner. A business case is not just a list of what is required, but more importantly, it identifies the means by which an organisation can achieve this. When presenting a business case, take into consideration the potential risks, benefits and timescales associated with each step.

Businesses that have successfully completed business cases have generally focused on one of three factors – increasing operational costs, reducing costs due to obsolescence or lengthening product life cycles. Both of these factors are relatively easy to measure, especially in terms of initial costs. Many companies choose to measure long-term and short-term effects to reduce risk and ensure long-term return on investment. Another factor typically considered in business cases is the impact on the organisation’s profits.

The benefit analysis in a business case requires careful attention to detail and accurate representation of the costs, benefits and timescales involved. While a simple benefit measure could be a net gain, it is not uncommon for a company to consider more than one benefit type and adjust its estimates to take into account these additional measures. Measuring the benefits of an initiative to remove contingencies of return is difficult and inaccurate. However, if the benefits provided are mitigated for by eliminating one or two risks inherent in the project, then the benefit analysis would still be valid. For example, reducing operational costs could result in increased sales or an increase in customer service and these benefits could be measured over the expected life of the project.

Organisations that successfully develop a business case template can save a significant amount of time and expense when preparing bids and tenders for future projects. Time is money in competitive industries and the introduction of a template provides the basis for a successful project proposal. Furthermore, organisations can tailor the template to suit their specific organisation and their unique needs and thus tailor the solution to meet their specific needs. The templates are scalable, flexible and reusable so organisations are able to utilise them time again, saving considerable cost.

A business case template can help to ensure that a project team creates project proposals that are tailored to their organisation’s unique requirements. By developing a standard business case outline, stakeholders will be aware of what needs to be included in their proposal. The detailed description of requirements minimizes time spent evaluating the project and results in higher quality proposals that are easier to develop, refine and maintain throughout the project. A well designed executive summary also avoids the use of the term ‘if the project proceeds’ which increases the level of risk associated with any project and increases the likelihood that the project will be initiated and funded without sufficient time and resources in place to adequately address the risk issues.

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