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Preparing a Compelling Business Case

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Abstract: 

A business case is a tool for decision making and supports corporate organizational goals and objectives. It captures the reasoning for starting an initiative, and justifies why it should be invested in by senior and executive management. Achieving organizational goals and objectives with scarce and tightly controlled resources, in today’s world, require a compelling argument for an initiative to be authorized and/or accepted.

So, how does one make a business case compelling? It is simply a combination of art and science. It is a science in the sense that there are specific things that should be done to increase an organization’s chances of success. It is also an art as approving the business case can sometimes depend on senior management perceptions and not necessarily based on lateral thoughts and logical conclusions.

This 2-day course is designed to provide Business Analysts a practical approach for creating a powerful business argument that is clear, concise, persuasive and logical, so that projects and initiatives have a better chance of securing funding, gaining approval by senior management and receiving support from the rest of the organization.

The course also aligns with the Enterprise Analysis knowledge area within the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®). Through discussion, examples and hands-on exercises, you will identify and document business problems/opportunity, conduct problem/opportunity analysis, identify candidate solutions, evaluate and recommend the most optimal solution, create and makes a business case compelling, and defend the business case.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Participants will gain practical skills to:

  • Understand what a business case is, its purpose, and its contents
  • Identify and document a business problem/opportunity
  • Evaluate causes through the application of problem / opportunity analysis techniques
  • Document current state to identify potential problems
  • Isolate major causes of business problem/opportunity and determine where to focus resources
  • Identify candidate solutions and contrast viable solutions against developed decision criteria
  • Estimate costs and benefits for proposed initiatives including using financial evaluation such as payback period, return on investment, net present value, etc
  • Compare candidate solutions to recommend the most optimal solution using decision matrix
  • Demonstrate the enterprise-wide value of proposed solution
  • Identify and document the impact of not embarking on the proposed project/solution
  • Recognize what is required to make your business case compelling
  • Effectively and persuasively present the business initiative to all decision makers
  • Recognize what is needed to conduct a feasibility study of the proposed solution

 

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

The Preparing a Compelling Business Case course is appropriate for individuals who are:

  • Pursuing a career in Business Analysis
  • Information Systems/Technology managers and staff
  • Experienced Business Analysts
  • Project managers and staff
  • Business unit managers and staff
  • Senior and executive management.

 

PREREQUISITE

None.

MATERIALS

You will receive a course binder containing copies of presentation slides, case studies, exercises, and suggested solutions.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

Introduction

  • What is a business case?
  • Business case purpose
  • Business case vs. business planning
  • Reasons and types of business cases
  • Business case components/contents
  • Making the case compelling
  • Business case approach and planning

 

Business Needs

  • Business goals and objectives
  • Business problem or opportunity statement
  • Identify and document business problem or opportunity statement
  • Document current state
  • Analyze problem or opportunity:
    • Generic problem analysis
    • Affinity diagram/brainstorming
    • Cause and effect diagram
    • Pareto Diagram
    • Root cause analysis
  • Gather other research data using PESTEL and SWOT

 

Viable Solution

  • Solution approach
  • Decision criteria
  • Acceptance and evaluation criteria
  • Candidate solutions including Do Nothing
  • Decision matrix
  • Cost benefit analysis
  • Compare candidate solutions

 

Business Case

  • Collate and analyze data
  • Create, review and validate business case
  • Create business case presentation materials
  • Present business case
  • Define next steps including conducting feasibility study

 

Wrap Up

  • Review course work
  • Test and evaluations

 

course info

Course ID: 3802
Course Level: Intermediate
Duration: 2 days

upcoming sessions

Session Not Found

PMI PDUs

PMI Talent TriangleThe following table provides the breakdown of the professional development units (PDUs) for this course aligned with the PMI Talent TriangleTM.

  Tech. Ldrshp. Strat. & Bus.
PMP 3 0 11
PgMP 3 0 11
PfMP 0 0 11
PMI-ACP 3 0 11
PMI-SP 0 0 11
PMI-RMP 0 0 11
PMI-PBA 3 0 11

 
The three columns in the above table are Technical Project Management, Leadership, and Strategic & Business Management.

Other Credits

Other professional (re)certification credits are available, including:

  • Certified Business Analyst Professionals (CBAPs) earn 14CDUs (Category 2B)
  • Certified Software Quality Engineers (CSQEs) earn 2 RU
  • CIPS Information Systems Professionals (ISPs) earn 14 Learning Credits
  • CIPS Information Technology Certified Professional (ITCPs) earn 14 Learning Credits