The big idea
A business case is a means of providing evidence that a project is a good investment for your business and/or an external investor. It differs from a business plan in that it focuses on a specific project or programme rather than the whole business. It is effectively an investment tool that sells a particular idea or concept.
The reason for preparing a business case is to identify a future opportunity that is supported by robust analysis of the benefits, risks and costs involved. It should achieve four purposes:
- Helping you to think through the project in a systematic manner
- Explaining to stakeholders, internally and externally (as appropriate), why the project should proceed
- Helping potential investors (both public and/or private) understand the economic value of the project
- Providing a clear framework for delivering the project to ensure it is completed on time and on budget
A good business case covers:
- The purpose of the project, the opportunity it addresses and its benefits
- The strategic fit with your business
- Value for money
The tool provides you with a template for writing a robust business case. It can be used by organisations of all scales and can be done on your own or with a group. Depending on the complexity of your business case, you might also seek external support or advice.