Figure 71 Business Case Process

External Review

Competitive Analysis Environmental Analysis

Internal Review

Mission, Goals, Objectives, Strengths and Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

Current Situation rV

Strategic Issues Summary

Value Chain Analysis and Friction Point Analysis

Opportunity Identification and Prioritization

Identify Opportunities rV

Project Selection and Project Roadmap

w

Business Case Project Proposal

w

Lifecycle Management, Iterative

Selection and Planning

Selection and Planning

Vision

Plan and strategize your implementation with a sound business case and proposal

A business case does the following:

■ Provides sound business reasons for implementing the proposed Internet-enabled project or initiative

■ Illustrates where the IT project fits within the overall organization. For example, it justifies the initiative based on the mission and goals of the organization

■ Explains the impact that the proposed new technologies will have on the organization

■ Contains the roadmap and milestones of implementation with more detail than the overall business plan

■ Defines the success metrics for the initiative

■ Highlights the risks and benefits to the firm that are associated with the initiative When Should You Create a Business Case?

A business case is developed in the selection and planning phase, after opportunities have been identified and need to be sorted out in terms of value to the firm. It is not unusual to develop business cases for multiple initiatives concurrently, for it is in this phase of deeper analysis that a company can better determine which initiative will drive greater returns on the limited resources more quickly than a competing initiative. Business cases are developed for a variety of reasons. Figure 7-2 shows a group of people who represent different departments within a company. This is one reason to develop a business case. A business case would also be created in these circumstances:

1. The initiative spans multiple departments or organizations, and the proposed plan needs to be shared or justified to others.

2. An organizational or business process change is needed.

3. New or different initiatives need to be justified relative to the overall goals and objectives of the company.

4. Investment dollars and other assets are being requested for a new initiative. Figure 7-2 When to Develop a Business Case

The Major Components of a Business Case

Business cases come in different depths depending on the size and scope of the proposal. For example, a proposed major shift in a business process, say moving to out-tasking, would require a more detailed and in-depth business case than upgrading employee desktops. You can develop a business case in numerous ways, but most business cases include some common components. The major components of building a business case are shown in Figure 7-3. Think of these components as the building blocks for creating the foundation structure for your proposed project.

Figure 7-3 Major Components of a Business Case

Figure 7-3 Major Components of a Business Case

The following are the major components of a business case:

■ Summary and approvals: These provide the decision maker with the basic information from your business case that is required to reach an informed decision.

■ Proposal: This gives the decision maker detailed information supporting a business case.

■ Financial model: This supports an investment proposal and rationale for making the investment. The purpose of the model is to try to quantify the financial impact of an investment.

The business case tool provides a framework for communicating key information regarding a proposed case. This is so both business and IT can understand the objectives, significance, costs, return on investment (ROI), impact, and timing.

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