A business case is used to document the business justification for undertaking a project, based on the estimated costs (of development, implementation and incremental ongoing operations and maintenance costs) against the anticipated benefits to be gained and offset by any associated risks. It should outline how and when the anticipated benefits can be measured.
The outline business case is developed in the starting up of a project process and refined by the initiating a project process. The directing a project process covers the approval and reaffirmation of the business case.
The business case is used by the controlling a stage process when assessing impacts of issue and risks. It is reviewed and updated at the end of each management stage by the managing a stage boundary process, and at the end of the project by the closing a project process.
Once your Business Case is complete check the document against the following Quality Criteria:
- The reasons for the project must be consistent with the corporate, programme management or customer strategies.
- The project plan must be aligned with the business case.
- The benefits are clearly identified and justified.
- How the benefits will be realized must be clear.
- What defines a successful outcome is described.
- The preferred business option is stated, along with the reasons why.
- Where external procurement is required, the preferred sourcing option is stated, and why.
- How any necessary funding will be obtained is described.
- The business case includes non-financial, as well as financial, criteria.
- The business case includes operations and maintenance costs and risks, as well as project costs and risks.
- The business case conforms to organizational accounting standards (e.g. break-even analysis and cash-flow conventions).
- The major risks faced by the project are explicitly stated, together with any proposed responses.