If you’re in charge of a business unit and its expenditures, you want a clear and concise process for individuals on your team to submit ideas and solutions to be evaluated. And if you’re the individual pitching a new product idea, or a solution to solve a bottleneck at your company, chances are you will need to convince someone within your enterprise that it’s worth investing the necessary resources in.
In order to figure that out, you will need to determine which resources will be needed and what the return on investment will be, among other important considerations. This is where the business case comes in handy, as you are making the case for this new business expenditure. If your idea does not require a purchase or any dedicated resources, then you may not need something as detailed as a business case. Nevertheless, it’s a great tool for evaluating an idea or possible spending. This blog aims to explain ‘what is a business case’.
What is a business case?
A business case provides justification for initiating an idea, project, or task.
It captures documents and communicates the purpose of starting a project. It details the allocation of budget and resources to execute the plan, as well as the benefits of executing the project or task. A thorough business case will also identify alternative options and provide critical data so leadership can make an informed decision. Business cases can be a comprehensive analysis or a simple, informal presentation. edison365businesscase allows its users to configure templates to make the business case process easier and more streamlined.
Who needs one?
If you are working in the corporate or government landscape and you have an idea to pitch, the business case will help solidify the value of your idea. Corporations and government agencies typically have a bit of “red tape” to get through when it comes to anything new that involves the use of budget or resources. Typical roles involved with the business case might be business analyst, project manager, finance manager, department head, controller, or similar.
Why do you need a business case?
Here are three reasons why you need a business case:
- One of the primary goals of creating the business case is to convince decision-makers to go forward with the project idea, but it also helps the organization prioritize projects that are in line with the overall strategy of the business.
- Business cases provide a way to compare very different ideas using the same criteria – creating a transparent process and a level playing field for all potential projects.
- If the project is chosen, the business case can help with managing the scope of the project during the initial planning stage. Then, after the project is completed, the business case becomes the measure to assess how well the organization did with its planning and implementation.
Now you know what a business case is, you may find our other advice handy:
- How to develop a business case
- What I learned from pitching ideas to the C-Suite
- Business case software – a quick guide
FAQs: What is a business case?
What is included in a business case?
This depends on your organization’s in-house processes, but most business cases include:
- A brief overview of each area of your business case, known as an ‘executive summary’
- The project objectives and how they fulfill business needs
- An outline of the project plan
- The project scope – all the tasks and deliverables that will be executed as part of the project
- The background information around the business case, including the problem it will solve and who the key stakeholders in the business are
- The projected benefits of the project (including non-monetary benefits) and its success criteria
- The cost and potential risks of completing the project, including how they will be mitigated
- The implementation strategy.
What is the best definition of a business case?
A business case provides justification for initiating an idea, project, or task. Essentially, it is used to sell a project idea to key stakeholders and provides clear expected goals and benefits for project managers.
How to write a business case?
There are three key stages to writing a business case:
- Carry out research
- Get an implementation strategy together
- Compile your recommendations.
You can find a detailed guide in our blog on how to develop a business case.