Business Case - Introduction
The business case documents the justification for undertaking a project and consists of:
Describe in simple terms what the project is, with a brief outline of the desired outcomes / benefits and the methods to be employed to achieve those outcomes.
Plus any of the following elements that are relevant to this project:
•   Reasons / Background
Why this project is required.
If this project is resolving a sensitive problem you can flag this section [and others] as hidden so that they do not appear in reports.
•   Business Options
What other solutions were considered and the analysis and reasons for choosing this particular solution over the others.
•   Expected Benefits
Describe in detail the benefits the project it to deliver and for how long they will be available. Identify any "in project" benefits (i.e. benefits delivered during the duration of the project).
•   Any Disbenefits
Any outcome that is perceived as negative by one or more stakeholders.
Record any advice the Project Board has given to stakeholder(s) on handling or mitigating the effect of any disbenefit and their response / mitigation plan.
The difference between a disbenefit and a risk is that a disbenefit is a predicted outcome, whereas a risk has a degree of uncertainty i.e. it is a “maybe”.
How long will the project take to complete, please be realistic rather than overly optimistic, factor in holidays and other types of absences.
A brief description of the projected costs, the method used to calculate them and of any on going operational and maintenance costs.
Has a budget been set by the customer / project board?
Is the budget set in stone or does the project manager have a tolerance they can work within before having to come back to the sponsor for additional funding?
How is the project to be funded? Is any financial authority required before the project can start? Will the cash be there to pay everyone on time?
•   Investment Appraisal (ROI)
The result of comparing the aggregate of the benefits less:
disbenefits + ongoing and incremental operational costs + any additional maintenance costs + where appropriate, any depreciation.
The objective here is to be able to define the value of a project as an investment to give a Return on Investment figure.
•   Major Risks
A summary of the key risks associated with the project together with their likely impact and action plans should they occur.
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Most projects, especially expensive or risky ones, will require a formal method [approach] for dealing with situations or problems.
It is important to agree a strategy on how to approach these issues at the outset.
Describe the means and frequency of communication between parties, both internal and external to the project.
•   Quality Management
Define the means to be used to verify that the products [features] meet the project brief and are fit for purpose.
•   Risk Management
How risks are identified, assessed and pre and post event remedial action agreed. How risks are communicated to the parties that may be affected, including stakeholders.
•   Change Control
The procedure for handling change requests. Who can make a request, the format to be used, who can authorise changes, how all affected parties are to be informed, who / how documentation is updated.
•   Version Control
Projects involving any form of product design are likely to generate various designs or models before the final product is created. It is important to have an agreed and logical method of uniquely identifying each version.