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Business Case Template for Download

May 24 2010

The Business Case is an important tool for Project Managers.  It defines the particulars of the proposed project and provides justification of the intended work.  It is one of the first tools the Project Manager will use during the life cycle of the project.

Using a business case template enables the Project Manager to quickly and easily create the necessary documentation in a format that is standardized and concise.  This makes it easy to read and reference by the project sponsor and other upper management stakeholders.

1: Executive Summary.  Usually composed last, the Executive Summary answers two questions: What is the desired goal of the project, and How will that goal be achieved.  Keep these answers brief, ten to fifteen lines maximum for each.

2. Purpose.  This section elaborates on the question and answer from the Executive Summary, What is the desired goal of the project.

3. Background and Chronology.  This is a detailed cause-and-effect explanation of the course of events, past project milestones, key people, organizations involved, and present status, which led to the current recommendation.

4. Current and Projected Business and Technical Environment.  This section addresses three situations that will be impacted by the proposed project: The current business situation, the current technical situation, and the projected technical situation.

4.1 The current business situation should address the following:

●        How can the project’s intended improvement/automation be achieved without the project?

●        The projected business situation

●        How will the project implementation affect the way things are done?

●        Who benefits from the project’s implementation

4.2 The current technical situation should include drawings or pictures of the architecture in place and the process flowchart that is currently being used.

4.3 The projected technical situation should include drawings or pictures of the proposed future architecture and process flowchart.

5. Business and Technical Objectives.  In this section, the project objectives are linked back to the objectives of the organization and company.

6. Critical Success Factors.  Provide a list of the factors that are critical to the project’s success, such as technical, business, human, communications, or quality.

7. Business Needs.  Detail the business needs, using one paragraph per major need, that the project will meet.

8. Summary of Business Scope.  Provide two definitive lists detailing what is within the scope of the project and what is out.

9. Solution Approach.  Explain what will be the project’s overall approach to completion, such as build new software, acquire packaged software, duplicate existing data/infrastructure, buy new equipment, deploy a new process.

10. Resource Requirements.  Use this section to list the requirements the project will need in order to successfully meet its objectives.

10.1 Expense/Capital Funding Requirements.  When applicable, divide investments by project phase: Hardware; Software licenses; Consulting; Internal resources (IS and Business).

10.2 Staffing Requirements.  Specify Internal and External for Business and IS Resources.

10.3 External Training Requirements.  Determine all external training required to implement and profitably execute the project throughout its life cycle.  Assess the cost of obtaining desired levels of training, and factor them into the economic analysis.

11. Financial Analysis.  Explain how the estimates have been calculated.  Distinguish tangible and intangible benefits.

12. Success Measurement Criteria.  Define the criteria that will be used to measure without uncertainty the project’s level of success.

13. Impacts on Current Operation.  Detail major changes that the project will introduce in the current operations.

14. Change Management Summary.  Provide the change management approach and plan.  Explain how change requests to the project’s scope and specifications will be tracked, controlled and decided upon throughout the lifecycle of the project.

15. Risk Management Summary.  Include the determinations made by the risk management approach and plan.  Show how issues will be tracked, mitigated and controlled throughout the lifecycle of the project.

16. Conclusions and Recommendation.  This final section is the presentation of the proposal that constitutes the project.