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How a Business Case Template Can Help a Project Manager

May 29 2010

Using one or more business case templates can be of good use to the project manager, providing examples and guidance to ensure the manager’s final template is both easily to use and professional looking.

Using templates can help the project manager with:
Communicating the requirements of the customers to the project team without any ambiguity.

Discussion on the requirements gathered and acceptance of the goals that must be achieved to satisfy the customer.

Documenting the scope and feasibility of the job.
If the plan is a worthwhile venture, it is documented. A part of the document goes to all the stakeholders to understand the scope of the project.

Defining the project scope and goals
Division of the plan into tasks and sub tasks
Drawing up a project schedule to allocate work for each person and the deadlines for each of the tasks
Determining if the cost predictions are comparable with the actual cost incurred
Determining the effectiveness of the job, which can be measured by earned value or activity float statistics

Identifying areas of potential concern to the plan; the findings along with the solutions are added to the reports

Adjusting and modifying the plans and schedules to overcome the problems that exist and those that are forecasted

Completing the documentations that were maintained throughout the assignment
By developing a business case template, a project manager has full control over the layout and information, as well as the presentation of the case.
The Title, Table of Contents, and Mission Statement are one page each.  The Summary should not be longer than two pages; ideally, one page.

The other sections require detail and documentation, and so will generally be at least two pages each. Developing business case templates means absolute control over the case document, with no need to modify or remove information that is not applicable to the project. A customized business case template eliminates unneeded sections or text, making it easy for a project manager to utilize over and over again.

A Business Case is a documented, structured proposal for business improvement.  It is prepared to facilitate a selection decision for a proposed project.

The Business Case:
Illustrates reasons and justification in terms of business process performance, needs and-or problems, and expected benefits.
Identifies the high-level requirements that are to be satisfied
Provides analysis of proposed alternative solutions (with reasons for rejecting or carrying forward each option)

Includes assumptions and constraints
Details risk-adjusted cost-benefit analysis
And has a preliminary acquisition plan.