If you’re starting a new company, investing in your brand, or looking for a way to maximize your business’s potential, you need a business case.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re working with a well-established business model, your goal is growth and success. To make that happen, you’re going to need to make decisions daily about how to invest your resources. In order to be successful, you need to be confident that your decisions are good ones.
The reasoning behind this is simple: When you decide to take on a project, you’re committing time and money to that project at the exclusion of others. You need to be sure that the specific project you pick will be worth it – that you’ll see a payoff at the end of the project that helps your business succeed.
That end payoff is something you need to keep in mind as you survey potential projects. A business case is the result of the research you perform to pick the project with the best payoff for your company.
What’s a Business Case? Selecting Superior Projects for Success
A business case is a document, presentation, or other collection of data that justifies the decision to take on a project. By building a cohesive and comprehensive business case for proposed projects, you show, in a well-reasoned and data-backed way, that your company’s investment in an initiative will likely pay off in spades.
The Association for Project Management provides a succinct definition: A business case justifies a project and “evaluates the benefit, cost and risk of alternative options and provides a rationale for the preferred solution.”
If you have this information, you’re much more likely to pick projects that will work for you. You’re less likely to find yourself at the end of a project, wondering where your resources went – and for what end. When you’re putting together your company’s business case with specific projects in mind, you should consider:
- The end result – and why obtaining that result is crucial for your company. For example, are you looking to increase revenue? Looking to understand and manage customer value? Make your end goal clear;
- The financial investment – and if you have the funds necessary to do the project well;
- The rationale for change – why your company, in its current state, needs the end result;
- The proposed methods – if you have enough time and materials to complete the project successfully.
Ultimately, a business case simply represents a project considered long and well – before project initiation. It can be tempting to run headlong into even the most clearly-needed of projects. By taking the time to put together a business case, you’ll minimize regrets when it comes to your company’s investments.