Mon. Jan 23rd, 2023

Interpreting the Business Case

The business case is the reason for committing to the project.

Reasons for the project

There is no definitive list of reasons a project should be undertaken; this has been explained already in Business Benefits.

For the purpose of the exam, you should be able to write the business benefits of a project; you may be given a general description of a project, and from that, you should extract the information to explain the benefits.

Options that should be considered

When a project is initiated, it would be highly unusual for there not to be any consideration of alternative solutions. Unless the client has determined the exact project they want, (which is not likely), the project manager should ensure that alternative options are considered.

For example, if asked to implement a backup system, the project manager may consider a cloud-based system to be the preferred solution. However, when they present the project initiation document to the client, it may also include rough costs for an on-site backup system. The documentation should then explain the advantages and disadvantages of each, and explain why the preferred solution is being selected. It may be that the preferred solution is technically inferior, but the budget for the superior solution is prohibitive. The reasons don’t matter, as long as they are documented.

Expected business benefits

What will the company gain from implementing this project? Again, the Business Benefits page already lists these; your job in the exam will be to read the brief and identify any information that is relevant to the section.

Timescale including major milestones

As part of the planning process, you will need to ensure that work is completed by the correct date. This comes later during the planning stage; however, the business case will usually include some of this information, and you may need to extract it from the documentation.

Budget available

The business case should also state the budget available for completion of the work. This should be treated as indicative; that is, if the request can’t be completed within the proposed budget, a conversation and negotiation with the client is required to see whether either the budget can be amended, or the scope of the project reduced in order to fit.

Major risks

What are the predominant risks in the project? What are the risks to the business if the project is not completed? (This is the same as the page on Risk Analysis, but with the addition of the consideration of the business).

For instance, if the project does not get completed, perhaps the company will become less competitive, risking their market position, or they risk being undercut on price by rival companies.