How to Create a Business Case

You’ll have to excuse my fairly blatant lack of enthusiasm when it comes to how to create a business case. I’ve been dreading this topic for a long time, because while so many disagree with me, I think this is a hollow buzzword that needlessly supplants “business plan”, with the excuse that it’s more about building a goal with case for need, not unlike changes for case or other such things.

I frankly don’t think the distinction is enough to justify absurd redundancy like this, so I really don’t even think this discussion needs to exist. Alas, I am not everyone.

What they Really Are:

That really is all there is to this. It’s just a business plan with goal orientation and case creation as an approach and basis. This can often work, but it’s not for everyone. I tend to find this methodology counter to how I think as I work in the field, but that’s more just a matter of personal taste and compatibility than anything.

I don’t criticize nor deny that this is a legitimate thing, I just think it’s underserving of its own terminology with such thin distinctions, and I don’t think it’s really worth discussing it in the detail I’m about to.

How to Create a Business Case:

Well I’ll go over this in a few very, very brief steps. It’s pretty simple. If you’ve ever made a traditional formal business plan, most of this will be familiar and vaguely redundant to discuss.

Hypothesis:

This is a scientific term, but let’s humanize it a bit. This is where you draft your initial vision of the product, the need it solves, and your expectations by way of customer base, demographic, and the image you want to convey.

You share it with stakeholders and partners and you begin refining it.

Risk and Unknown Evaluation:

Now, you and your partners, with a more fleshed out vision, can identify the potential risks, financially and technically in accomplishing this vision, and what unknowns you have to be wary of.

Testing and Data:

Now, you begin testing your idea in simulations, on paper or even material trials, and gather data on how practical it is proving to be, and of course, all the review and input data from testing in and outside the company.

Evaluate Fitness:

Now you evaluate its fitness as something your company makes sense to be providing. This is compared to the tested and revised “practical” representation of the idea, mind.

Maintain Communication and Data tracking:

This isn’t so much a step along the way as something you do the whole time. Track all analytics and metrics you can, and be sure that communication between everyone is maintained and that this data goes to everyone who should see it and beyond.

After this, you’re ready to make a formal presentation of your case, tested working with a need to satisfy, proven by data and logistics to fit the company image, capacity and common interests.

If the numbers add up too, chances are, your case will be given a green light by rational decision makers. Now you know how to create a business case. That’s really all there is to it.

bnr19

Mark Silver
Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.
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