A strong business case can create a star studded impression of you in front of the top management. It is one of the key stepping stones towards recognition and glory for an employee in the organization. Preparing a strong business case can win you career defining projects and can pave the way for sensational work opportunities. Read on to know the crucial factors to incorporate in your business case.
Purpose and Overview of a Business Case!
Purpose – A business case is a vehicle to communicate the rationale and approach of addressing a market problem and/or opportunity. It answers to the question – “Why should we target this market?” or “Why should we invest in this product or technology?”
Overview – A business case clearly explains and defines the market problem, aims at translating it to an opportunity, identifies and prioritizes the business objectives on addressing the opportunity. It also lists down various alternatives solutions or course of actions and analyses each alternative to select the best one as a proposed solution. Detailed risk analysis of the proposed solution is done including the mitigation plan. Finally, a high level implementation plan for the proposed solution is created.
1. Problem Identification & Opportunity Definition
Solid understanding of the problem at hand is the starting point. The opportunity definition should focus on the gaps that need to be filled and its subsequent benefits to the organization/unit. Apart from hard business benefits the underlying business objectives that would be met on seizing the defined opportunity should also be mentioned.
2. Identifying Alternatives
Brainstorming sessions with all the key stakeholders of the identified opportunity should be held. The activity to be done here is ideating. The participants should be encouraged to think outside of the box and not worry about feasibility of the idea. The flow of ideas should be unconstrained. This would bring some of the most innovative and unconventional alternatives on the table.
3. Data Gathering and Estimation
The best objective way to choose an alternative is by using a metric. Depending upon your business case you need to choose certain performance parameters like Sales revenue per person, cost of one unit, customer retention, customer acquisitions etc. and the data corresponding to these metrics. You also need to document your estimates and assumptions of these metrics after implementing your chosen alternative.
4. Analysis – Choose an alternative
This would include analysis the return on investment with respect to each alternative. Each alternative would be evaluated against your chosen metrics to check if it meets the estimates. For qualitative metrics like customer satisfaction, employee morale etc. which are hard to quantify, you need to prepare a pros and cons table to evaluate each alternative and choose the best one.
5. Implementation Plan and Risk Assessment
Create an implementation plan of the chosen solution. Consider the resources required for implementation, divide the implementation into different phases, plan timelines for each phase and track it against real time implementation. Also list down the risks associated with the plan along with mitigation plan.