A business case is one of the most important parts of the agile project management process. It captures the rationale for starting a project or activity. Usually it is presented in an organized written document, but can also be presented in the form of an oral presentation or brief verbal agreement. These cases offer a detailed explanation of the project’s objectives and related risks, as well as the required technical specifications, deliverables, timelines, and resources. The case allows the team to discuss the business case and its requirements with the stakeholders.
The business case becomes an important part of the Agile project management process. When an executive begins to develop and revise the master plan, he usually starts by writing an outline for the initiative. This outline generally includes a short description of the project and the basic problem that needs to be solved, along with a list of the stakeholder details and their relationship to the project.
When writing the business case, the purpose of the document should be to provide accurate and comprehensive information to the executive summary writer. Often, the purpose of an executive summary is to present a “road map” for the project to the stakeholders and to other management. This road map often includes the scope and deliverables in a more detailed and definitive manner. The business case is a vital component of the Agile project management process because it allows the project sponsors to agree upon a solution with fewer risks. However, the executive summary writer must realize that the key value of this document is to allow the project sponsors to feel as if they have “owned” the project, as opposed to feeling like “vassettes” or “dummy pieces of paper.”
One of the key reasons that many businesses use a BSC (business case) is to make sure that the customer or stakeholder is getting a clear picture of the project details. In a Sensitivity Analysis, you will need to answer many of the questions that were addressed in the original scope or charter. You will need to make sure that all the necessary information is included to address the questions and concerns of the stakeholders. In addition to addressing the Sensitive Analytical issues that were addressed in the Scope or Charter, you will need to address concerns that were not addressed, such as whether the current technology stack and business processes would support a change to the current system.
To effectively write an executive summary for a Sensitivity Analysis, you will need to develop a number of templates or “stakes,” which you will need to follow. For example, you might consider developing a number of stakeholder templates that address concerns, such as scalability concerns, on a continuous basis throughout the project. In addition, you may wish to consider addressing issues that are specific to each individual stakeholder, such as timescales. Often, stakeholders, when presented with a business case, are given a range of timescales for which they should be able to achieve certain results. You may want to use a template that addresses this concern in one particular section of your executive summary.
Following questions in the executive summary are important to helping managers determine if a business case is appropriate for the current project. Additional areas that you may want to address in your outline plan include: what other customers the company has had in the past; what are their current needs and concerns; what are the anticipated difficulties and benefits that users will encounter when moving from the current platform; and what are the risks associated with moving to a new platform. You can also use your outline plan to provide a timeline for when changes will occur. By following these steps, you can ensure that the team presents an accurate and comprehensive overview at the outset of the project, and that the team can move through the planning process in an organized manner.