Every business case has a business value, but that’s not all there is to a business case. Make sense?
First, let’s back up. What are business values and business cases? While these terms might be familiar to corporate PMP veterans, they can be confusing for a new entrepreneur. Fortunately, they’re actually pretty simple.
Think of the last debate you saw. It was about more than just being right. At the center of the debate is an issue, or a problem. Both sides acknowledge that this problem exists, and then they present their solutions. They each make a case for why their solution is the best, and what benefits can be gained from pursuing that solution. Put this in the business world and remove the competitive aspect, and you essentially have a business case.
The point of a business case is to present a project that will improve a weak spot in your business. Maybe you have a strong product, but you’re struggling to reach the right demographic, or maybe you’ve outgrown your current situation and you want to propose expansion. A business case involves three parts: need, argument, and finally value. The business need addresses the issue at the heart of the matter, and presents your solution. The argument lays out why your project will resolve the need. Finally, the business value will explain how this will ultimately help your business.
Although a business value is just one part of the business case, it should be presented in a different way from the rest of the business case.
When presenting your business case, remember to keep the need at the heart of things. Change for the sake of change is a needless expense and tends to make partners and staff wary. You know that this project is essential, and possibly even urgent. The point of your business case is to show that to others.
For instance, let’s say you want to start a new marketing campaign to target a new demographic. Emphasize why this is so important. Why doesn’t what you’ve done in the past work anymore? Why is a new demographic a better solution than simply changing the way you reach your current demographic? Before presenting your business case, look at it from outside angles as well. You should have an idea of what other solutions there would be and why your solution makes the most sense.
While the first two points of a business case area bout addressing a weak spot in your business and how to strengthen it, business value is all about the positive. This is where you can get your partners really excited about your business case. Here, you’ll share your short-term and long-term vision for your project and all the benefits your business will reap by choosing that project. If your business value is well-presented, those working with you won’t just see your point. They’ll be eager to move forward with your project.
Presenting a strong business case, as well as business value, can be tricky, but a skilled, certified project manager knows how to pull it off successfully. After all, the role of a PMP is to see not just the problem, but the solution. If you can convince others to see it, too, your projects will flourish.