Business cases are so often rushed, skipped or pushed aside in favour of fast delivery and accelerating towards go-live. However, reflecting on our own project experiences, we recognise the important contribution a business case offers to deliver successful projects.
Today we will look at the benefits and importance of having a business case, using the nation’s favourite show, The Great British Bake Off, to provide a little bit of light-hearted context.
It’s not always about being Star Baker
There can only every be one star baker, but all the contestants are always trying to achieve the same end product (with varying degrees of success), thanks to some helpful direction from Sandi and Noel. One of the key outcomes of a business case is an aligned objective and purpose, resulting in an aligned team. Make sure your objective and purpose is clearly defined and understood from the offset.
Never second guess, always refer back to the recipe
Having a thorough business case set out creates a benchmark and checkpoint to reference back to throughout the project. This will ensure you are running on track and avoid the dreaded ‘scope creep‘. If only the contestants had that reference point for the technical challenge.
Convincing the Judges
Who’s the Paul and Pru of your project? Be sure to identify and engage all key stakeholders in the business case development process. Getting buy-in and commitment from the beginning will result in key stakeholders feeling valued and committed to the project.
Is your petit-four pretty poor?
Luckily the contestants don’t have to pay for their own ingredients. But maybe you’ve got some inspiration and want to have a go at making your own petit-fours. Well, how much are the ingredients going to cost compared to buying some shop-made ones, and are they going to be any better? Conducting a cost benefit analysis (CBA) as part of the business case is a key activity to undertake to allow for a clear understanding of the investment requirements in order to reap the benefits.
Your sponge not quite rising? Throw it away and start again
At key stages in the project you should revisit the business case and truly ask yourself whether the business case is still valid or are the benefits identified still going to be realised? Are the costs of the project starting to outweigh the benefits? The business case can help you understand whether your project is still viable or not and if it’s time to press pause, or even start again.
The signature bake, always well informed and backed by a detailed plan
The signature bake wouldn’t be a signature bake without a highly detailed and precise plan behind it guiding the bakers decisions and direction, just like a business case provides decision makers relevant information to make informed decisions based on business need, risk and cost. Without one, a project can lack true business ownership or direction.