What are the benefits of having a Business Case?
Clearly, looking at what a Project Business Case is, as we have done, we can see immediate benefits to having one, even before anything is done on a project. Its first reason for being is to sell the project to the board, investment bodies, funding groups, veto-holding stakeholders or authorising body. As such, having a well-written Business Case will mean your project is far more likely to get approved. As a presenter of a project idea, looking professional, informed and prepared is also a great benefit to you and your reputation!
Once a project has been given the go ahead, the Business Case will provide a reference point for decisions and a justification for direction. The benefits that come from having this resource are wide and of great value. Tying a project back to the intrinsic goals of the overall business or organisation means that focus and clarity can be maintained. When deep in the minutia of a project, checking that the direction is being maintained is incredibly useful. Maintenance of the aim is a term and philosophy used in the Armed Forces and it can easily be applied to Project Management.
It is enormously beneficial to have a fully engaged, enthused and committed Project Sponsor. A Project Sponsor is a high-level individual within an organisation and so when putting his or her name to a project is risking reputation and ranking. Having a clear and compelling Business Case to refer to will both reassure the Senior Management, ensure that he or she can see the need for the project and crucially can see the benefits that the project will bring if executed successfully.
It is clear that the Business Case is the foundation of a project. It is obvious that if the foundations of something aren’t solid, the effort will struggle and the Time-Cost-Quality constraints will be put under enormous pressure. The well written Business Case will ultimately mean more successful projects, better profitability at company level, a business with better strategic and commercial advantage, better industry reputation, more business, higher profitability and happier stakeholders. If other parts of Project Management are not right then the Business Case alone will not guarantee better projects, but it is the first step, and a step that cannot be missed.