This video explains the five dimensions of a business case and why it’s important.
- The business case is one of the most important documents in your project, program or portfolio because it defines why you are carrying out the project, outlines options for a solution, and compares the costs, benefits and risks of those options. In this video, we'll cover authorship and approval of a business case, the five dimensions that it might cover, and cover how the business case needs to be developed through the project lifecycle. As a project manager, you'll only ever need to actually create a business case on behalf of the sponsor who owns the business case. It's their responsibility to make sure that the business case stays viable throughout the project lifecycle. But even if you're not involved in creating the business case, you still need to understand the initial expectations that have been set before you create your project management plan. There are also different sorts of business case. For instance, a supplier business case focuses on how much profit you'll make from delivering the project outputs, while a client business case focuses on the benefits the project outputs should create. There are five potential dimensions the business case might deal with, so let's go through each in a little detail. Strategically, the business case will deal with why the organization needs the project, economically, what the return on investment should be, commercially, how attractive the outputs and outcomes of the project will be for the market, and financially, how affordable the project is, and from a management perspective, how the project will be delivered. Okay great, so we've covered the basics of a business case now, including major dimensions any business case might deal with. Let's move onto the final part of this video and talk about how the business case needs to be developed throughout the project lifecycle. The business case is one of the first things that needs to be created for a project to be initiated as it justifies the existence of the project, so the initial business case will be drafted during the conception stage of the lifecycle. Moving into the definition phase of a project, the business case will form the basis of the project management plan. In the deployment phase, you can use the business case to help you analyze any change requests to see if any change to the project can be justified. Of course, the sponsor will need to review the business case at any decision gate to make sure the project is still in line with the organization strategy. In the transition phase, the sponsor will use the business case to assess whether the project has delivered in line with the success criteria for the project. Last up, at an agreed point during the benefits realization phase, the sponsor does a formal review of the benefits in the business case. This makes sure that the benefits are being realized. And that's it for this video. The business case is a core part of any project. As a project manager, you normally won't own the business case, but you will need to make sure that the project stays in line with the business case throughout the project, so it's important that you are familiar with everything in the business case and that it is updated and referred to throughout the project lifecycle.