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A Business Case Starts with Documentation

June 22 2010

A business case can be easily compared to a legal case. The basic structure and formats are the same. The purpose and outcomes of the different arguments, however, have vastly different consequences.

The main purpose behind a business case is to have a well documented reason for a specific project to be undertaken by a company. In many cases, there will be a practiced verbal argument for the project with the upper management for the needs and benefits of the project being presented.

In the presentation of the business case, how the resources of the project will be allocated and how the specific business needs of the company will be benefited by such a project should be presented. In many cases, though not always, this is also when a new project to increase the company’s revenue stream are to be presented.

A business case is also needed when a specific need of a company needs to be addressed. A good example is when a change in a vendor is needed. The reason can either be because of compliance issues or as a cost cutting measure. A good case in point is with the standard delivery of small items. Many companies use UPS. Because of stiff competition, the prices of other couriers dropped but UPS’are still the most expensive. A case can be made with viable figures to show how much money can be saved over the period of a year to justify the switch.

An internal business case also occurs when a system needs to be upgraded, like with software of computers. The justification will be the time can be saved to offset the cost. Since a license is needed for each program on each computer, part of the presentation should be the designation of which computers are to receive the upgrade and the reasons why it is not necessary for others.

No matter the reason for your business case, make sure you have sound facts that are referenced so verification can be done by a skeptic of your proposal.