What is a Business Case?

What is a Business Case?

What is a Business Case? Jonathan Poland

A business case is a document that presents a proposal for a project, strategy, or course of action. It is designed to provide stakeholders with the necessary information to decide whether to invest in a project. Essentially, a business case is a pitch that outlines the potential benefits and costs of a proposed course of action. The following is content that commonly included in a business case.

Problem Statement
The background of the project framed as a problem statement. Explains why the project is proposed.

Financial Analysis
A budget proposal and an analysis of return on investment, payback period and other financial projections.

Success Criteria
How the project will be deemed a success or failure.

Alternatives
Alternatives to the project including detail around what happens if you do nothing. Consider the opportunity costs of the proposal.

Approach
High level requirements that define what is to be done.

Assumptions & Constraints
State all assumptions and constraints upon which your analysis is based no matter how obvious they may seem. Anticipate the wants and needs of stakeholders and explicitly state what is out of scope of your analysis.

Risks
Identify potential negative outcomes that will impact your proposal or the project.

Recommendations
Suggest a way forward including milestone dates.

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