“Opportunity Does Not Knock, It Presents Itself When You Beat Down The Door.” – Kyle Chandler
A business case is the virtual representation of how your business idea would reap the benefits for the customers as well as the stakeholders involved. As defined by various PGDM Colleges, it is the art of painting a picture for the audience and making them believe in your idea. Therefore a business plan would be successful only when you are fully confident of what you are proposing to your audience.
The Business case is usually a document that explains the core business benefit of the business idea thereby justifying the expenditure of the initiative. It explains thoroughly regarding how the project is aligned with the strategic goals of the organisation.
The art of writing business case is crucial whether you are doing a project from scratch or joining in the mid way. Take some time out to write up a business case as it will help you understand a lot of crucial facets of the project and who knows you might come up with an even better solution than what is already laid out.
You can find a lot of templates for writing a business case in your PG Diploma Courses, but here is a step wise guide to the approach you should follow while writing it down:
Step 1 : Identifying The Problem
The base of a business case is the goal it wants to achieve. In other words, if it is not solving a problem, it is not worth hearing. Therefore the foremost step towards writing a business case is to come up with a business problem or create a business opportunity.
Carolyn O’Hara, writes in HBR that you should “Lead with the need.” In simpler terms, figure out the problem or opportunity area, explain it completely, come up with a solution and propose a time frame to deal with it.
Step 2 : Identify The Alternative Solutions
Once you have completed understood the problem statement, there are two scenarios – first there is already a solution on the table and second there is no definite solution as of now. In the first scenario, many people would just go with the flow without putting any effort to explore for alternative solutions. To all those, I have a single question, “How can you be sure that the project you are taking up is the best possible solution to the defined problem?”
To address this concern, there comes step 2 that is analysing all the alternative solutions. You can follow a 6 step approach to this:
- Make a list of all the alternative solutions.
- Quantify the benefits for each solution proposed.
- Lay down a cost structure for each solution.
- Analyse each solution on the basis of feasibility.
- Right down the issues and risks associated with each solution.
Step 3 : Come Up With A Preferred Solution
Now, you have all the solutions, their pros and cons, the costs involved etc. the next step is to come up with the most feasible solution. A word of caution, the preferred solution can be a mix of two or three solutions keeping in mind the best of everything. Do not try to justify a single solution against all parameters as this could take you a much longer time thereby wasting your effort on unimportant issues. Rather, look at each solution with an open mind and finally come up with the best possible way to solve the problem. Remember, till the time you are not convinced with the solution, nobody would ever believe in it.
Step 4 : Laying Down The Implementation Strategy
Now, you have a business problem and the best possible solution. The last step is to document it with all your heart. Your business case is not about what you have in your mind rather what you have proposed on paper. So be thorough with your research document a detailed implementation strategy with honestly describing the possible fall outs and how you will handle them if in case they occur. Writing down the possible pitfalls would propose you as a realistic leader and make a positive impression on your audience.