Project Business Case Checklist

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This project business case checklist explains the purpose of the project business case and the essential sections and their recommended contents that must be included. This checklist will ensure that you present a well argued case for your project and how it contributes to your organization's strategic growth plans.

There are many different requirements asked of a manager within a company. Regardless of the type of company, or the level of the manager, certain skills are needed in order to effectively guide the department in the desired direction. For instance, a manager needs to be a strong people-person, adept and taking the various personalities of employees and merging them into a productive unit. Managers also need to be reliable, steady, and comfortable working under pressure.

Another skill that a manager needs to retain is the ability to write an effective business case. A business case is simply a document that provides the evidence in support of a particular course of action. As with most business decisions, this course of action usually involves the spending of capital or other resources.

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Therefore, a business case needs to be well organized, researched, and properly supported so that it can make a convincing argument in its own favor. Depending on the structure of the business, a business case can be a very formal and complex document, or it can be something as casual as an email. Regardless of the form it come in, writing a good business case will be key to any manager's success.

Business Case Requirements

There are many different reasons why a manager needs to be able to write an effective business case as a part of their skill set. The first of those reasons being that in order to accomplish objectives, a manager needs to get all members of the team on the same page. Whether the business case is meant to persuade a superior to approve funding, or simply to gather all of the employees and get them thinking in the same direction, it is imperative that it be convincing. If the case seems weak or unorganized, the project may be shot down even if it is in the best interest of the company.

Another reason that a manager needs to write business cases in an effective manner is to demonstrate their ability to drive change within the company. If the manager is unable to motivation action in a certain direction, what chance does he or she have to manage employees or make important decisions? A business case serves as a litmus test for the manager; an opportunity to prove worthiness of the position and to demonstrate what he or she has to offer the company going forward.

A good business case will demonstrate at least the following basic points -

  1. Why the project was initiated, and what problem it is intended to solve
  2. The details into what process was involved in this project, and how it evolved from beginning to end
  3. What resources are required to put the plan into action from this point forward
  4. The benefits of putting the plan into action, and the potential problems that could arise from not taking action
  5. What specific next step is needed to get the project put into effect
Business Case Advantages

Depending on the length and scope of the project, and the reporting requirements of the business, all of those points could be covered in as little as a couple pages, or it could take a binder full of material. The important part is that the manager lays out an argument that is well defended and needs no additional input from outside the case in order to be convincing. The business case should stand on its own feet, able to be read and understood even by someone with no prior knowledge of the project.

All good managers need to have the ability to write a quality business case as a part of their repertoire. This skill will allow the manager to enact change within the company, motivate people to work in a certain direction, and demonstrate the manager's skill and importance to the operation as a whole. Without effective business case writing skills, the manager may find they are unable to put into place any of the powerful ideas they have for the company. Business cases are an important part of the company landscape, and a valuable tool for any manager.

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