What is a Business Case?
A Business Case is a document which outlines the justification for the start-up of a project.
- A description of the business problem (or opportunity) which exists in the business
- A listing of the available options for delivering a solution to resolve the problem
- The benefits and costs associated with each solution option
- A recommended solution option for approval.
When do I use a Business Case?
The Business Case is usually presented by Senior Management within the business to an identified Business Sponsor. It is the first document used in the Project Lifecycle and, once approved, allows the project to be formally defined. Furthermore:
- During the development of a Business Case, it may be necessary to undertake a formal Feasibility Study. This process involves a more detailed assessment of the current business problem / opportunity, the various solution options available, the likelihood of a successful implementation for each solution option and the recommended solution option for implementation. The Feasibility Study simply provides the Business Case with more rigor for the solution options presented.
- The Business Case is frequently referred to during the project. At each Quality Review point the Business Case is used to determine whether or not the benefits, costs, risks and issues prevalent match those outlined in the Business Case. At the end of the project a Post Implementation Review (PIR) will determine whether or not the project delivered the Business Benefits outlined in the Business Case. In this regard, the success of the project is measured against the ability of the project to deliver the criteria outlined in the Business Case.
- The next stage following approval of the Business Case is the identification of the project scope within a Project Terms of Reference document.
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