You see a problem. You have a solution. You can’t get management to listen. That is, until you mention the resources required, and then they’re listening—and ready to shut you down.
If you want to make headway, you need to learn how to create a compelling business case. Our business analysis training will help you do just that.
The True Cost of Change
“Doing something costs something. Doing nothing costs something. And quite often, doing nothing costs a lot more.” – Ben Feldman
Organizations rely on people who can pinpoint a problem and find a solution, whether it’s an issue with a report, a broken process, a system that not’s delivering as expected, or any other area that needs to be fixed or improved. But they don’t always want to commit the time and resources to make the change.
It can be frustrating when you’ve uncovered an issue and know there’s a better way, but management won’t take action. That’s why a business case is so valuable. It’s the perfect tool for not only articulating the problem and the solution, but also for convincing management that the return on the investment can be met within an acceptable timeframe.
Particularly when the value and ROI of a project aren’t immediately obvious, a clearly written business case provides the documentation management needs to feel confident about giving their approval to move forward.
Building Your Business Case
Don’t think you have to create an extremely complex, highly technical document to make your argument. After all, a business case is a communication tool. Our business analysis training will show you exactly how to present a business case in the clearest, simplest terms.
With that in mind, here are the five sections that should be included in every business case:
- Business Need: Introduce your ideas by defining the value that your solution will deliver to the organization and how it aligns with the business’s goals and objectives. This critical piece answers the question, Why is a change necessary?
Solution Scope: Next, define the capabilities that will be implemented, the methods that will be used to deliver them and the areas of the organization that will be affected. A well-articulated scope gives the decision maker context for the solution and a better understanding of what’s being proposed and what new business capabilities it will deliver.
Stakeholder Concerns: What will different stakeholders need to know and how will the solution affect them? This section shows that you’re thinking critically about the big picture, not just isolated details. It may include risks or issues that must be accounted for as well as the impact on existing roles and capabilities.
Estimated Time and Cost: Before presenting any idea, you need to have done the homework necessary to be able to provide reasonable estimates of time and expense. Your cost estimates should take into account capital expenditures and costs of developing and implementing the change as well as the opportunity costs of not investing in other options.
Overall ROI: Here’s where the rubber meets the road. When you can clearly define a powerful return on the investment, including revenue and/or efficiencies as well as non-financial benefits, it’s much easier for management to say “yes” to implementing your idea. In conjunction with the other components of a compelling business case, it might just make it hard for them to say “no.”
These are the elements we teach in our business analysis training courses, in compliance with IIBA’s BABOK v2.0. One of the added benefits of this approach is that it helps you position yourself as someone who has thought through the issues and understands the overall business implications as well as the functional details.
So if you find that you keep running up against a brick wall in trying to get your ideas implemented, think about whether you’ve taken the time to present them in the best light. To learn more about this topic, or any other business analysis information, please reach out to us. We have been training exceptional business analysts since 1959.
Ben Snyder is the CEO of Systemation, (www.systemation.com), a project management, business analysis, and agile development training and consulting company that has been training professionals since 1959. Systemation is a results-driven training and consulting company that maximizes the project-related performance of individuals and organizations. Known for instilling highly practical, immediately usable processes and techniques, Systemation has proven to be an innovative agent of business transformation for many government entities and Fortune 2000 companies, including Verizon Wireless, Barclays Bank, Mattel, The Travelers Companies, Bridgestone, Amgen, Wellpoint and Whirlpool.