Purpose: The purpose of this document is to provide hot tips to ensure the successful preparation and approval of the Business Case and to ensure that it is used to drive the success of the project to deliver the expected returns.
1. Remember a Business Case drives the project, it does not sit on the shelf; it evolves throughout the project
2. Always overestimate the cost and underestimate the benefits!
3. A Business Case must have measurable & tangible benefits
4. Use cost estimation techniques e.g. three points estimating, producing a weighted average estimated cost i.e. from best (a), worst (b), most likely, which is then used in the formula:
Estimated cost = (a + 4m + b) / 6
5. Benchmark & validate your estimate of cost & benefits.
6. Get Finance to review and approve the business case
7. Incorporate quick wins to deliver early demonstrable benefits
8. Get stakeholders, preferably sitting on the Steering Committee, to take responsibility for benefits
9. Any change request must add value/benefits to the business case
10. Regularly measure and monitor costs and benefits – incorporate in management information system
11, Continuously review the business case and deploy techniques to reduce costs and add benefits e.g. :
- use of Agile to improve delivery times and team interaction,
- review critical path and undertake contingency planning to manage to schedule
- perform option appraisal and cost benefit analysis
- encourage cross and up skilling
- use watch lists to track and deal with potential risks
- micro manage risks and issues
- ensure tight change control process
- measure earned value
- measure cost of quality
- measure return on investment (ROI)
- consider the 5 elements of a good business case
12, Ensure actual costs and benefits are matched against the business case in the closure and post evaluation review and report
13, Plan for continuous improvement and measure post implementation. Remember PLAN, Do, Check, Act.
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