Understanding Business Case Forms With Your Project Sponsor

Understanding Business Case Forms With Your Project Sponsor

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A business case capture (BCC) is one of the most important aspects of a business plan. A business case capture captures the rationale for starting a project or activity. It can be presented as a written document, sometimes in a well-formulated legal document, however it can also come from a short verbal presentation or discussion. A business case capture will help the business team organize their thoughts and resources on the project so they can effectively determine how to proceed. As such, it helps the business better align its internal needs with the resources available to it.

In order to write a business case successfully, the following questions must be answered: What are the risks? What are the opportunities? How will the opportunity fit into my business plans, and will it be profitable? Will the market change in the direction that I anticipate? How will the new opportunity impact my present and future financial strategies?

Answering these questions allows you to focus on identifying which opportunities are of greatest value to your company. Your business objective should also be included, as should any identified or potential benefits. The benefits should be measured, as they are an indicator of the benefits that can be derived by your business. A benefit-cost analysis should be conducted, as should other factors such as the extent of competition and whether the chosen market is a critical market segment. The business case template should include a methodology that identifies the key benefits the plan is based on, as well as the estimated costs associated with the plan.

Next, you need to describe the project, and the steps you will take to achieve it. The executive summary should answer these questions. The summary should include at least the broad project definition and a more detailed description of the project’s target market, risks, opportunities, and benefits. The business case template can help you further with this section by providing additional examples that illustrate the project’s impact on business prospects. Finally, provide a brief executive summary and finalize the file with project organization information.

You must next provide a sensitive analysis to determine the nature of risks associated with the project. Identify all known issues and uncertainties, and discuss how they affect the project’s success. Estimate all potential consequences in terms of adverse financial, business, and strategic impacts. The business case template can again be useful for this section. It will often provide additional detail regarding risks, such as what would happen if no action is taken to address the issue, what will happen if a known risk is ignored, and what the expected cost would be if a risk is ignored.

Finally, describe the benefits, if any, that the business case will provide to the project sponsor. This section is not as important as the other sections described above, so choose those that provide the most significant benefits to the stakeholders. In most cases, this paragraph will outline the anticipated benefits from the project, which will generally take the form of improved financial return, reduction in cost, or new opportunities to realize business value. The benefits section should be completed on a secondary basis and reviewed at the discretion of the project sponsor.

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