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Business Case

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Definition

The Business Case is used to validate the ongoing viability of the programme and comprises of the strategic objectives, expected benefits, overall risk profile, any assumptions, estimated costs and overall timescales. Additionally an investment appraisal is often considered at this stage.

Reasons

This section should consist of the reasons for starting the programme. Some examples are given below:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Introduction of new processes or equipment
  • Restructuring of the University

Options

In this section list all the options which were considered. Give reasons for selecting the final option and why the others were rejected. If this section is covered comprehensively there will be fewer questions asked about the foundation of the project since it will be clear that a number of options were considered. Always include ‘do-nothing’ as an option. This can often help in the area of benefits.

Benefits

This is one of the key areas of the Business Case. The benefits in conjunction with the Costs and Risks will determine if the project can be justified. Traditionally benefits have been divided into tangible and intangible. However, it is important that the tangible should outweigh the intangible.

Risks

Risks are held in the Risk Log with the key risks highlighted in this section. It is wise to run a risk analysis workshop during the construction of the Business Case to make sure that all relevant risks are captured. Risk description and Countermeasures are transposed from the Risk Log. Overall Severity is taken from the Risk Map of the Risk Log.

Costs

Use the table below to list the costs of the project. This section should include at least the categories listed in the table. You may have other areas that you need to include. It is useful to run a workshop to ensure that all costs have been captured. Always specify the currency used, £(k)

Timescales

Make sure the timescales are realistic and don’t keep changing them. On-going Business will still have demands on staff time and there need to be firebreaks to absorb any problems.

Investment Appraisal

There would now follow an Investment Appraisal using techniques such as discounted cash flow, giving net present value.


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