Business Case Development Guidelines

Topics: Finance, Strategic management, Project management Pages: 5 (863 words) Published: August 15, 2005
Business Case Development Guidelines


Any request for funds in support of activities that are essential to a business unit's base activities may be considered for incremental program funding and are driven in response to:

•Documented user needs
•Work process changes
•Information systems changes
•Significant network or technology enhancements
•Quality and service improvements
•Major operating efficiency improvements
•Market, Technical or concept trials

The Business Case should answer the following questions:

•What is the opportunity/problem you are trying to solve?
•What is the desired result you are looking for?
•What is the nature of the improvement?
•What must be invested to get the desired result?
•What are the new production operational costs?
•What are the spending reductions, revenue improvements or profit improvements? •What are the qualitative benefits, such as customer satisfaction, strategic value, cycle time improvements, etc.? •What are the concerns or risks?

•What is the exit strategy if an initiative is not returning investment?


•Should be in the form of a business case or proposal for market or technical trial funding. •Submission should be able to adequately substantiate the request for incremental funding by establishing the: •Need for funding

•Benefits to be derived
•Corporation's ability to execute the program
•Program's ability to provide adequate financial return

•Resources identified within financial justification
•Incremental marketing
•Product development

Objectives of Business Case Guidelines

•Provide assistance in the preparation of the business cases and their financials •Provide a common basis for the information that is required for funding through the resource allocation and program prioritization process •Define the parameters and criteria for program prioritization decisions •Communicate the resource allocation as it relates to incremental funding


•Incrementally funded business cases
•Document the upfront market, technical, operational and financial analysis for requests •Is the official document by which the results of the business analysis of a proposed business opportunity is communicated by a business unit to the corporation •Serves as a basis for prioritization of funding requests for the allocation of corporate resources •Provides the parameters for measurement

•Sets the milestones by which the program will be tracked
•Establishes accountability and documentation for the benefits that are committed

The business case is typically divided into sections which include:

Section 1--Purpose Statement

•Include one or two pages that documents why the project is necessary •Identifies user's clear needs--answers how the program came about and the benefit to users •Provides linkage to corporate strategies and business unit value drivers, i.e., service, market, quality, efficiency, etc.--answers why the program will succeed •Describes the corporation's capacity to successfully implement the program while meeting financial objectives

Section 2--Executive Summary

•Summation of opportunity
•Relevance to corporate strategies and business Unit value drivers •Description of the system or program
•Description of the benefits
•High level view of resource requirements
•Additional factors that materially impact the case such as service, cost, efficiency, volume, quality and deployment objectives

Section 3--Program Rationales

•Frame the need for the program and relate it to corporate and/or business unit priorities and strategies •Describe major decision drivers and how they influence the need for the program •Describe the benefits and urgency for the program

•Discuss the penalties or risks if the program is not funded •Explain and identify the how the proposed capability will meet the needs of the business unit that...
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