It is becoming increasingly important for the board and senior management to focus on investments that deliver true business value. Initiatives throughout the business, including innovation; business ventures; new products and services; and IT investments, are accepted or rejected based on the business value they deliver.
In order to get the board or management to approve a project, it is necessary to build a business case that demonstrates why the project is needed and what the benefits of the project will be when it is finalized. The reasons and benefits of a project may seem perfectly obvious to you and others who are intimately involved with it; however, to stakeholders and other decision-makers it may not be so obvious.
Business Cases enable board and senior management to examine the opportunities, alternatives, project stages and financial investment in order to make a recommendation for the best course of action that will create business value.
In building a Business Case, both quantifiable and non-quantifiable characteristics of a project are considered in determining whether the project should be initiated or not.
Even though most Business Cases follow the same structure, they can be completely different depending on the nature and the type of project.
In Sciforma, the Business Case feature is closely linked to the Portfolio theme. Indeed, only Business Cases are eligible for Portfolio Ranking; it is the data entered in the Business Case step that will be evaluated. Once the Business Case is approved, it can become a Project, a Product, or a Program.
Upon initiating a Business Case, the first step should be to clearly define and assess the Business Case. The Business Case descriptions and the scoring indicators vary depending on each specific business’s needs.
Sciforma provides Default Scoring Templates that are directly defined by the Administrator.
Descriptions and scoring can contain precise, albeit concise, information regarding the Business Case that is used to efficiently assess a project’s potential and risks.
Here is an example of what a Business Case could contain in a situation where a new product is being developed:
Product Definition – Why this product? What its usage?
Technical Assessment – Do we have the capabilities to develop this product?
Market Assessment – What is the market status? What is the competitive situation?
Risk Assessment – Are we taking on a financial, competitive or technological risk in launching this product?
The next step is to define what the benefits are of the potential project, as well as its costs. To do so, users should perform some macro-scheduling, and enter all the relevant financial information.
The macro-scheduling will define the estimated duration of the project, as well as its resource needs and the resulting costs. With Projects workspaces, the user can plan the tasks and allocate generic resources and cost items so that he/she is able to get a rough idea of how much the project might cost.
Defining the Budget and having an estimate of the Savings will also provide key information regarding whether or not the project is beneficial for the company.
Having entered the relevant information, users will be able to compare Business Cases with others in the Portfolio theme. Comparisons can be made in terms of ROI, Deadline, Priority, and Score. It is also possible to use the Capacity Planning workspace to determine if the Available Effort matches the Total Effort of current projects and Business Cases.