business case development
Before we consider why there is a need for a business case, we need to fully ascertain what one is. A business case is a written or verbal proposal that demonstrates clear reasoning and intention to a decision-maker, recommending why they should take a particular action. A business case is created with a highly systematic approach, examining all aspects and stages of the proposal.
A business case development increases the value of a project or proposal, giving it legitimacy in the eyes of investors, and reducing the likelihood of unforeseen risks occurring. So, let’s now look at how a business case development can help with your project:
- Helping to build a case for prioritising funding and/or resources for your project, over other projects that are actively competing for support.
- Making decisions regarding outsourcing elements of a proposal.
- Demonstrating to investment decision-makers how your project can be profitable in the long term.
- Procuring the necessary funding and resources for the project within a given time frame.
- Obtaining the approval of board members for the project.
- Any changes made to business operations or manufacturing facilities may increase the efficiency of the project.
5 Steps for effective Business Case Development
All organisations should present a business case when they wish to convince a decision-maker of the advantages and benefits of a particular project or proposal. A solid business case can address difficulties and highlight solutions, plotting the best course of action for a business to take. To help create a good business case, here are some steps to follow:
Step 1: Confirm the opportunity
The first step towards building any business case is to specifically identify the problem or opportunity. This step establishes the source of the problem and provides a time frame in which to overcome it. Once this is done, describe the problem, in brief, giving a background to your project. You should detail all logic, reasoning, and business requirements to the project sponsors. All of the above should be backed up with research, to fully justify the resources required.
Step 2: Analyse and develop shortlisted options
How do you convince your sponsors that your proposal is the best possible course of action for the issues you face? The answer is to narrow the focus down to the best solution, by comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of your proposal, to any alternative actions that could be taken. The comparisons can be made in terms of the expected benefits, costs, feasibility and risks involved. Document all the different approaches, analyse their shortcomings and present the best possible option.
Step 3: Evaluate the options
Now that you have detailed all available options and courses of action, you need to determine the preferred solution. A good method for selecting the best option is by establishing criteria, or a mechanism, that will help you prioritise solutions. You can accumulate points for each alternative based on costs, benefits, deliverables, and any complexities involved. Based on the scoring of these criteria, you can determine which alternative is the preferred solution to the problem. You can document all findings in your business case.
Step 4: Implementation strategy
After establishing the solution you must now convince the decision-makers to implement your strategies to achieve the goals in the best, fastest and most economical ways possible. Creating a business case helps to demonstrate the path that needs to be taken to solve the identified problem. It provides a clear vision of how you are planning on delivering the required business benefits. Document plans in your business case of how you intend to implement and achieve business objectives, the steps that have been taken to reduce risks, any unforeseen obstacles, and identify those responsible for completing the project successfully.
Step 5: Recommendation
Develop a solid business case, taking into consideration all the above steps and present all documentation to the board, or project sponsors, for approval.
Acufire is here to help you with business case development for energy efficiency investment projects. We develop solutions that deliver maximum return on investment, for medium to long-term business opportunities. Our highly experienced team will diligently and professionally present recommendations to your clients and business partners for approval. We deliver detailed and highly articulated business cases that enable enhanced project management, all targeted at delivering a successful outcome.
Our Business Case Development services
At Acufire we provide business case development services for all aspects of organisational improvement and growth. We develop bespoke business cases that match your specific requirements. Our services include:
- Creating, reviewing and asserting business cases.
- Our professional help with the preparation and presentation of business cases, via tried and tested methods.
- Business case policy and process consultancy.
- Nurturing development through the appraisal of investment and funding.
- Providing continual support and guidance on all matters relating to business cases, in the form of programmes or projects.
- Aiding the development of strategies for dismantling legacy projects, and implementing new projects or proposals through structured analysis and accurate selection.
- Conducting analysis throughout the life cycle of the project. Taking into account all factors that lead to the successful completion of a project, and demonstrating these details in the business case.
Why Choose Acufire for your Business Case Development?
Acufire believes in the power of effective business case development and the benefits that they can deliver. We develop medium to long-term, multi-faceted improvement opportunities which provide significant returns on investments. We specialise in energy efficiency investment projects, helping our clients to greatly reduce operating costs. With our professional and efficient case development strategies for each individual project, you can be sure that a project has been given the very best opportunity for a successful outcome.
A business case details evidence of why a particular project or proposal is the favoured course of action. It demonstrates detailed analysis of the different alternatives available, and highlights the best option for proposal. It provides a framework for monitoring the performance and deliverables of the project at later stages.
A business case should not have:
Unfinished or incomplete work – low quality, unedited work could spell the downfall of a project. All text and supporting material should be reviewed before submission to the decision makers.
Details – Always include as much detail as you can in your plan. Decision makers need to be confident of the argument for the business case.
A business case is owned by the ‘sponsor’ or the individual funding a project. This individual is responsible for ensuring that a project is on track, and any decisions based on the business case are worth the investment.
A business case that accurately identifies and addresses a problem, before explaining in detail all potential courses of action, and highlighting the best one, makes for a good solid business case.
A solid business case should be long enough that contains all necessary information needed for the decision makers to take an informed decision. A business case should not be filled with unnecessary technical jargon that might divert decision makers from the intent, it should be clear and concise.