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A good business case takes you from a broad idea of what you want to do through to a clear, robust and measurable case for doing it. The case should be built on real facts and detail, and forge a practical path of action, so you can see exactly what the benefits will be, how much it will cost and how you are going to go about it. In short, it’s the foundation for a confident, informed decision to go ahead.
If you get it wrong, you are going to be under pressure all the way through a project. If you get it right - if you’re clear and accurate on your benefits and costs and everyone has bought into it, because they believe in the sense of what you’re doing and what’s involved - everything can flow from there.
We’ll work with you to build the best business case for your project – one that acts as a strong foundation for successful change.
Every situation is different. To gain accurate and detailed view on costs, we’ll work on key areas such as business requirements, the target operating model and sourcing strategy. To quantify the benefits, we’ll often undertake financial analysis and modelling. The aim is to rigorously build the case around real solid facts – empirical evidence that everyone can buy into and work from. Of course there are times where the facts just aren’t available; here we help to tease out a set of assumptions – often quite detailed – that everyone can get behind. It is hugely important at this point to link benefits, capability and cost together to understand the component parts needed to get to a clear business case. This makes it so much easier to manage scope through the project lifecycle.
It is vital to gather the facts and figures for a case but that’s only part of the story. There’s also a huge amount of work around the people and the story. Business cases are as much social as financial and we are highly experienced and naturally attuned to gathering together and bringing along everyone with a stake in the business case. This involves both building people’s understanding and support and establishing the necessary governance.
We’ll make sure we build the business case together with you, so that it fits your organisation and objectives and has buy-in from the key people – from sponsors through to those charged with implementation. This inclusive approach takes in all the relevant parts of your business, so that all the right constituents can give input. We combine your insider know-how and understanding of how your business works with our deep expertise in creating and managing the business case. That way, you will be ahead of the game when a project gets the go ahead. This co-creation also helps ensure that the business case stays live as a project progresses – playing its part as a key common source of reference and guidance, rather than being set to one side.
All too often, a signed off business case gathers dust from that point on. Instead, active business case management is needed throughout the project lifecycle. The surrounding world inevitably involves, and things like changing trading conditions, market dynamics, company cost base and industrial relations can all impact a business case – even when internal project schedule and costs don’t change. Before go live, benefits usually need to be re-baselined so they can be measured accurately and reported upon.
Ultimately, it’s about working with you to build a strong business case that is rooted in your strategy, based on factual evidence and backed by everyone involved. Moreover, once the case has been accepted, it should be a living guide – one that’s constantly reviewed and refined as a project progresses through to completion and the delivery of the expected benefits.
Royal Mail asked us to explore how they could make the letters market more profitable.
What you should be thinking about when writing your business case.
A successful business case needs rock-solid numbers based on detailed assumptions if not hard data. It also needs a clear and compelling story. Most importantly, it needs the key people to believe in the story and in the numbers, and to sign on the dotted line.
Tom KeohanePartnerContact Tom Keohane