business case template

Business Case Template

The Business Case states the justification for a project in terms of measurable benefits versus costs. It should include the reason for the project, the options considered, a cost vs. benefits analysis, key milestones, risks and resourcing requirements.stakeholdermap.com
The Business Case is referred to throughout the project to check that the project deliverables are on track to meet the expected business benefits documented in the Business Case. Read more about the purpose, contents and importance of the Business case.


Business Case Template contents

Field

Field description and guidance for completion

Document Information
The document ID, owner, issue created, last saved date and file name.
 
Document History
The Version Number, Issue Date and the changes made to that version.
 
Document Approvals
The Role or Job Title, Name and Signature of each approver of the Business Case.
 
Executive Summary
Provide an 'at a glance' summary of the project purpose, goals, cost/benefits, risks and options. It should be concisely, but informative so that a c-level executive can quickly grasp the value of the project. It often easier to write this section last. It should include the following:
  • Problem or opportunity
  • Alignment to the Business Strategy
  • Solution alternatives
  • Recommended Solution
  • Expected costs and benefits
  • Implementation Approach.
 
Business Problem
This section of the Business Case deals with the description and explanation of the Business Problem that the project is designed to solve.
 
Environmental Analysis
Outline the core aspects of the business environment which have driven the business case for this project. These may include:
  • Business Vision, Strategy or Objectives
  • Business processes or technologies which are not operating efficiently
  • New Competitor products or processes which have been identified
  • New technology trends (or opportunities resulting from new technologies introduced)
  • Commercial or operational trends which are driving changes in the business
  • Changes to Statutory, legislative or other environmental requirements.
 
Problem Analysis
Outline the business problem or opportunity that this project is design to address. Business Problem
Provide a description of the business problem, including:
  • The reasons why the problem exists.
  • The impact it is having on the business (e.g. financial, cultural, operational)
  • Any time scales within which the problem must be resolved, or key milestones.
  • The impact of doing nothing.
Business Opportunity
Outline the business opportunity which has been identified, including:
  • Any supporting evidence
  • A time frame within which the opportunity will likely exist
  • The positive impact that realization of the opportunity will have on the business.
 
Available Options
This section provides an overview of all solution options, their benefits, costs, feasibility, risks and issues. Options suggested could include doing nothing, in-house solutions, outsourcing options, offshore solution, automated solutions, manual or process based options. Often the number of options available can be reduce by a detailed Feasibility Study.
 
Option [number]
Provide a number, name and description of the option identified. The description should include the approach that would be taken and the main elements of the solution for example: people, process, organization, and technology.

Benefits, goals & measurement criteria Describe the tangible and intangible benefits to the company upon implementation of the solution. One of the obvious benefits described will be that the business problem / opportunity outlined above will be addressed.

Complete the following table:
Category Benefit Metric
Suggested categories: Financial, Operational, Market, Customer, or Staff Describe the expected benefit(s), if at all possible they should be measurable. The target in measurable terms for example: x dollars reduction in costs or x percentage improvement in time to market.


Costs and Funding Plan Describe the tangible and intangible costs to the company upon implementation of the solution. The costs of the actual project should be included as well as any negative impact to the business resulting from the delivery of the project.

Complete the following table:
Category Cost Metric Budgeted
Suggested categories: people, physical, marketing, organisational and services. Describe the cost. Give the cost, this will usually be in terms of monetary value. State whether cost is budgeted for either Yes or No.


Funding Plan

Identify Funding Sources and Amounts
Funding Source Amount Notes
        

Feasibility

Describe the feasibility of the solution. This section, may summarize the results of a separate Feasibility Study carried about prior to the completion of this Business Case.

Risks

List the known risks associated with the adoption of this solution. Helpful guides for this section: A guide to Risk Management. Example Risk Register. Possible responses to risk. A table similar to the below could be used:
Description Likelihood Impact Mitigating Actions
Example risk: inability to recruit skilled resource Low Very High Involve retained recruitment consultant to source team members. Consider using consultants on fixed term contracts.
Example risk: Technology solution is unable to deliver required results. Medium High Complete a pilot project against most business critical requirements. Consider using Agile methods to deliver working product in Sprints.
Example risk: Additional capital expenditure may be required in addition to that approved. Medium Medium Monitor project spend as per the project methodology. Report on spend biweekly to the project board. Assign PMO Director to support Project Manager in cost control.
           


Issues List the key issues associated with the delivery of this option.
Issues are defined as anything which currently impacts the ability of the solution to produce the required outcomesstakeholdermap.com
. Complete the following table or use this issue log template:
Description Priority Resolution Actions
Example issue: Required capital expenditure funds have not been budgeted. High Request funding approval as part of this proposal.
Example issue: CFO is not available for the Project Board meeting when this Business Case is scheduled to be reviewed. Medium CFO will be sent soft copy in advance of the Board and will submit her comments for review at the board.
        

Upon approval of the business case, each issue should be formally recorded and tracked, using an Issue Log.

Assumptions
List the major assumptions that have been taken in assessing this option. Examples include:
  • There will be no legislative, business strategy or policy changes during this project as it relates to SaaS software and data security.
  • Prices of subscriptions will not increase during the course of this project.
  • Additional human resource will be available from the business to support this project.
 
Option [number]
Description
See above

Benefits
See above

Costs
See above

Feasibility
See above

Risks
See above

Issues
See above

Assumptions
See above

Option Recommended
Note the recommend option and give the primary reasons why this option was chosen.
 
Implementation Approach
This section provides an overview of the approach that will be taken to deliver the recommended option and derive the business benefits.

Where a Project Management Methodology will be used this should be noted here.
 
Project Initiation
Outline the method by which the project will be defined, the project team formulated and the project office established.
 
Project Planning
Define the overall planning process to ensure that the project phases, activities and tasks are undertaken in a coordinated fashion.
 
Project Execution
Identify the phases and activities required to complete the 'build' phase of the project.
 
Project Closure
List the steps necessary to release the deliverables to the business (once complete), close the project office, reallocate staff and perform a Post Implementation Review of the project.
 
Project Management
Describe in brief how the following aspects of the project will be managed:
  • Time Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Change Management
  • Risk Management
  • Issue Management
  • Procurement Management
  • Communications Management
  • Acceptance Management
  • Other artifacts as appropriate for the business case
 
Appendix - Supporting Documentation
Attach any documentation you believe is relevant to the Business Case. For example:
  • Problem / Opportunity research materials
  • Feasibility Study research materials
  • External quotes or tenders
  • Detailed cost / benefit spreadsheets
  • System requirements (if known)
  • Other relevant information or correspondence.
 
 

Business Case template

Word download - Business Case (Word)

PDF download - Business Case (PDF)
 

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