Practice Area

Business Analysis

Writing an Effective Business Case

  • Traditional Classroom: 2-day
  • Virtual Instructor-led: Four 3-hour sessions

“A business case justifies the investment required to deliver a proposed solution.” — A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide). It is an essential component of the due diligence required by organizations addressing business problems, taking advantage of business opportunities, and measuring benefits, costs, and risks associated with the investment. The business case document assesses and evaluates the available options to solve the business issue, enabling management to make informed decisions to fund/approve the proposed solution, adjust it, defer it, or reject it.

It is the job of the business case writer to determine the essential requirements that will lead to the desired outcome. How to craft a business case that will resonate with the stakeholders and the project teams is key to its acceptance, approval, funding, and resourcing.

The format of this workshop is interactive and collaborative with practical application of concepts and techniques during class discussions/exercises. It will serve to provide hands-on practical experience of the purpose, structure and content of comprehensive and compelling business case. Participants will learn the structure and content of a business case along with best practices for completing the different topics within it. This course will explain the strategic project portfolio life cycle context within which the business case serves as a key deliverable for approving any number of different types of projects; e.g., product management, business operations, technology infrastructure, facilities, merger/acquisition, etc. The focus of the examples and exercises will be that of a project investment for information technology.

Target Audience

Individuals who will benefit from this course include business analysts, project managers, business relationship managers, portfolio managers, and key stakeholders who need to understand the business case contents in order to determine the business justification for a project or solution.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide sufficient concepts, challenges, class discussions, and class exercises to establish a working knowledge and understanding of the components that comprise a solid business case.
  • Explain when a business case is needed, different types of proposed projects, and the type of business case that is needed (breadth and depth) based upon the size and nature of the proposed investment.
  • Explain what it takes to justify the proposed project investment via strategic alignment, benefits analysis, risk analysis and financial analysis.
  • Explain where the business case comes into play in the project portfolio management life cycle — predecessors and successors. Create a business case from start to finish.

Key Takeaways

  • The Project Portfolio Management Life Cycle
  • Strategic topics that are key factors in formulating the business case
  • The components of a business case
  • Best practices for completing the topics within the business case
  • A cost model based upon financial analysis to explain the investment cost along with the expected return on investment
  • Best practice for presenting the business case for review and decision making

Course Outline

Module 1: Business Case Overview and Essential Concepts
  • What Is an Idea?
  • What Is a Business Case?
  • When Is a Business Case Needed and Why?
  • Who Participates?
  • Business Case Terminology
  • Types of Projects That Warrant a Business Case
  • Types of Business Cases
  • Business Case Content Overview
Module 2: The Business Case Context within Project Portfolio Management Life Cycle
  • The Strategic Enterprise Perspective
  • Strategic Alignment
  • Ideation Through Project Approval, Funding, and Resourcing
Module 3: The Origins of a Business Case — Setting the Stage
  • Idea Description
  • Idea Assessment and Next Steps
Module 4: Describing the Project/Investment
  • Problem Statement
  • Project Description
  • Investment Types
  • Stakeholders
  • Impacts and Dependencies
  • Goals & Objectives
  • Assumptions
Module 5: Conducting Process Analysis
  • Process
  • Root Cause Analysis
  • Gap Analysis
  • Resources
  • Technology
Module 6: Identifying Alternatives, Conducting Analysis & Justifying the Need
  • Alternative Solutions
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Benefits Analysis
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • Risk Analysis
  • Financial Analysis
  • Portfolio Analysis
  • Recommendations
  • Key Performance Indicators & Measurement
Module 7: Determining the Project Approach & Plan
  • Nature of the Project
  • Alternative Project Approaches
  • Recommended Approach
  • Implementation Plan
  • Risk Management Plan
Module 8: Approving the Business Case
  • Executive Summary Essential Information
  • Alternative Decisions for Next Steps
Module 9: Finalizing the Business Case
  • Business Case Package
  • Business Case Presentation
  • Business Case Approval Next Steps — Resourcing and Scheduling
Module 10: Monitoring the Business Case & Portfolio
  • Leverage the Business Case for the Project Plan
  • Monitor the Project Portfolio
  • Conduct a Project Retrospective
  • Build a Business Case Knowledge Base

BAI302 Course Code

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