A business case capture (BC) describes a logical sequence of activities that should be followed if an organization is to design and implement an information technology (IT) strategy. Such a strategy will require information on the existing technology, current use of the technology and what users need in order to use the technology in their day-to-day operations. These requirements will in turn lead to a detailed organizational plan for IT implementation. Information on the business case for IT implementation thus plays a critical role in determining the cost and schedule of implementation.
What are the key elements of a good business case? A business case capture includes the following key elements: a brief description of the need for IT implementation, a detailed description of the IT activities required to meet the needs, a description of the benefits of IT implementation, and a summary of the risks and challenges IT implementation entails. A brief description of the need for IT implementation should be specified in the proposal for discussion and decision making. The description should be comprehensive enough to identify the identified problem and what steps will be taken to address them. It should highlight the benefits of IT implementation and the anticipated impact on the organizations key stakeholders. The benefits of IT implementation are important because it will motivate the organizations to adopt the necessary actions and take the necessary risks.
The other major element of a successful case is the summary of the risks and challenges IT implementation will entail. Organizations must assess the risks of not adopting the recommended strategy and evaluate the risks involved in implementing the suggested strategy. A successful project manager should be able to determine what strategies are the most appropriate to the organization in terms of the benefits it expects to receive, the level of risk it is willing to accept, and how realistic it is in terms of its ability to achieve those benefits.
The benefits and risks should be outlined in detail. An executive summary should be provided with a detailed description of each benefit and a statement detailing the organization’s estimated cost, including time and financial impact. Time and financial impact should be clearly stated in order to provide an accurate portrayal of the project. This will enable the executive summary to be read in the context of the entire business case.
Next, the benefits shall be separated into the initial period of the project and the ongoing period. In addition, the benefits shall be separated into two timescales, once for the project and once for the maintenance of the existing facilities. Clearly stated benefits shall also be identified in the business case as well as an estimate of the funds required for the maintenance of the existing facilities. This will enable the project manager to determine whether the resources required by the existing facility can be used to meet the projected demand at the end of the term.
The last step involves developing an implementation plan that will support the project risk management process. The executive summary should include a description of the project risks and their importance to the organization. Next, a description of the project risk should be documented in a supplemental document that describes the methods used to manage the project risk. This supplemental document will also identify the steps that have been taken to mitigate the project risk.