How to Write Your First Business Case

There are two ways to write your first Business Case. If you have enough knowledge, you can write the Business Case and send it to the Project Stakeholders for sign-off. For more complex business analysis activities, you may need to write the Business Case with other team members by tapping into their expertise to write sections that use their respective strengths.

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Writing the Business Case

Look at the goals of the Business Case. Determine what type of answers does this need document need to answer. In other words, if you identify what issues the Business Case should address, you can work backwards and provide the answers to these questions. To do this:

  • Make a list of all questions that need to be addressed.
  • Assign a name to each question, for example, the Project Manager to answer scheduling questions or the IT Architect for technical issues.
  • Send this list to the Project Stakeholder.
  • Ask for permission to contact these individuals.
  • Explain where they provide the information you need.
  • Suggest alternatives should they be scheduled elsewhere.
  • Estimate the amount of time you will require from them.
  • Outline the risks involved if they are not able to assist with this task, e.g. incomplete estimates, incorrect figures, invalid project assumptions.

Business Case: Create the Writing Team

Once you get confirmation to contact them:

  • Send a welcome email thanking them for joining the project.
  • Outline the high level goals.
  • Share examples of other Business Case documents.
  • Arrange a workshop to show everyone what’s involved and introduce team members.
  • Share MS Word templates and show them how the templates are to be used.
  • Walk the team through the review process so they all know their roles.
  • Explain the reporting structure.
  • Discuss the lines of communication and how/when to file status reports.

Once this stage is completed arrange sessions with each team member. This may only take one hour but should be used to answer questions they may not want to ask in public or have thought of after the initial session.

Conclusion

Business Cases that require a team effort need to be managed like any project. Don’t assume that other Business Analysts know how to use the template correctly. Make yourself available to answer questions and help the team to write the document as efficiently as possible. Also, if you do need to edit others work, do so as sensitively as possible.

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