style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>The Project
Business Case:

style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>Moving Beyond
an Idea to Taking Action

 

 

Projects,
in their simplest form, are the tactical initiatives that organizations take on
to help reach its strategic goals. In other words, these temporary endeavors
(projects) represent the stepping stones along the proverbial path to the
finish line (goals). Yet, because every organization is limited by a finite
amount of time, resources, and funding, they must reasonably determine which
endeavors move from merely a concept to a project.  Enter the project business
case.

 

What
is a Project Business Case?

A
business case is a document that provides justification for starting a project
by describing the benefits, costs and impact, and projected return on the organization’s
investment. In basic terms, the business case sells the project idea to the key
organizational stakeholders who will make the ultimate decision on which
initiatives it will endeavor. As a result, the business case must be realistic,
clearly articulated, and structured to address the needs of the
decision-makers.

 

A
business case IS:

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
A
written document that reflects the author’s argument for making a specific
decision

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An
economic and financial analysis used to support organizational decision-making
(i.e., project selection)

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An
illustration of the implications (financial and schedule) and uncertainties
(e.g., risks) associated with the decision

 

A
business case IS NOT:

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
A
project schedule

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
A
project budget

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
A
project status report

 

Sounds
simple enough, right? Unfortunately – yet realistically in the eyes of the
decision-makers – your proposed project is only as good as it is presented. So,
how can you make your business case capture the attention of the
decision-making stakeholder? Let’s explore some of the key elements that will
help make your business case “pop”!

 

What
are the Essential Elements of a Project Business Case?

Remembering
that your idea is competing for approval against several other potential
projects, it is imperative that your business case is lucid and succinctly
presented. To do this, the author must be sure to address the most essential
elements of the project’s case. These critical components include:

 

The
first section of the business case needs to capture the attention of the
organizational decision-makers. The Executive Summary section of the business
case and is designed to provide essential background information as well as a
well-crafted problem or opportunity statement.

 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Background

“Book Antiqua”,serif’> 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Problem
or Opportunity Statement

“Book Antiqua”,serif’> 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif’>The Executive Summary
essentially provides readers with answers to the questions: “Why are we reading
this?” and “What is it are we addressing?”

 

Now
that the “table has been set” for why the project is necessary, the author
needs to propose the remedy, or solution.  In a project business case, the
solution is effectively the proposed project itself. The elements of this
section should include:

 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Project
Overview

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style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Audience
Analysis

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style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Cost
Benefit Analysis

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Impact
Analysis

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style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Alternatives
Analysis

        
Communications
and Reporting

 

The
closing section of the project business case document will outline the expected
next steps.  The Go-Forward Action content should include:

 

        
Summary
of the Recommended Project

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Request
for Decision

 

 

In
summary, the business case presents the decision-makers with the first
impression of the project. Though you may believe you are ready to proceed with
the project, you cannot without approval from the decision-makers (you cannot
pass “go” or “collect $200 without it!). If the business case is executed with
effective structure and adequate attention to detail, your project concept will
more than likely move from an idea to an active endeavor.

 

 

Where
Can I Learn More?

You
can learn more about the project business case through our
style=’font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”Copperplate Gothic Light”,sans-serif;
color:maroon’>Project Leadership SeriesSM style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif’> Web’n Learn session,
Establishing a Project Business Case.”  This 1.5 hour webinar will be
broadcast live on Friday, 20 February 2015, at 12:30 PM ET.  No worries if you
cannot make the live session – the webinar will be recorded for future
playback!

 

To
learn more or register for the webinar, go to
href=”http://www.projectleadershipseries.com”> 


style=’page-break-before:always’>

 

style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>The History
Corner

 

 

In
this issue, we look back exactly 100 years to recognize three historical events
that have had a significant impact on the project management discipline.
Seemingly, the focus this month deals with communications technology and
innovation:

 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
January
25, 1915
:
Alexander Graham Bell and his colleague, Thomas Watson, complete the first
transcontinental telephone call.  Bell – in New York City – successfully
connects with Watson – in San Francisco. The first conference bridge?

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
February
7, 1915
:
The first wireless message was successfully sent from a moving train to a train
station. Technically, could one consider this the first wireless text message?

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
March
3, 1915
:
The United States National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the precursor to
today’s NASA, was created. Forefather to the PERT Estimating technique?

 

 

clear=all style=’page-break-before:always’>

style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>The Career
Corner

 

 

color:black’>Jobs are for the static; careers are for the dynamic.  Do you
want to be dynamic or static?

 

In
this issue, we’ll discuss the essential elements of a career plan… NOT a job
plan, but a CAREER plan.  Subsequent issues will address each of these
components in greater detail.  In effect, we will “set the table” in this
edition.

 

margin-left:.25in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-indent:-.25in’> style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Century Gothic”,sans-serif;color:black’>• style=’font:7.0pt “Times New Roman”‘>     style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:black’>Defining
Your Career Core Purpose and Vision

margin-left:.25in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-indent:-.25in’> style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Century Gothic”,sans-serif;color:black’>• style=’font:7.0pt “Times New Roman”‘>     style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:black’>Crafting
a Personal Career Elevator Speech

margin-left:.25in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-indent:-.25in’> style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Century Gothic”,sans-serif;color:black’>• style=’font:7.0pt “Times New Roman”‘>     style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:black’>Formulating
a Career Activity and Action Plan

 

Be
sure to reconnect with each issue of The Leadership Beacon to guide you
through the development of you own career plan!

 

clear=all style=’page-break-before:always’>

style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>The
Learning and Development Corner

 

 

Upcoming
Webinars and Training Courses:

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Web’n
Learn: “Conflict Resolution for Project Managers”, 20 March 2015

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Open
Enrollment: “PMP Certification Examination Preparation”, 23-27 March
2015

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Web’n
Learn: “Promoting Creativity in the Project Environment”, 17 April 2015

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Virtual
Training: “PMP Certification Examination Preparation”, 20-24 April 2015

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:Symbol’>·        
Web’n
Learn: “A Practical Approach to the Earned Value Management Techniques”,
15 May 2015

 

For
more information on these and other
“Book Antiqua”,serif;color:maroon’> font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif’>www.projectleadershipseries.com style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif’>.

 

 

 

 

clear=all style=’page-break-before:always’>

style=’font-size:16.0pt;font-family:”Trajan Pro”,serif;color:maroon’>The Cause
Corner

 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:#00204E’>Tanden
firmly believes that leadership is more about doing the right things – not
merely just talking about it. 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:#00204E’> 

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:#00204E’>In the
Cause Corner, we will highlight the charities and philanthropies that we
support. Please check them out!

style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:”Book Antiqua”,serif;color:#00204E’> 

 

The
St. Baldrick’s Foundation

 

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