Course 180:
Preparing the Business Case

(2 days)


Course Description

A project is a temporary group of related tasks that create a specific product or service that solves a problem. According to A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), a project starts with the approval of a project charter consisting primarily of a business case. The business case details the information management needs to make a decision whether to execute a project.

Businesses are constantly faced with the issue of having too many problems to solve with the fixed resources and timeframe available. Some efforts are “no-brainers”: keeping in compliance with new regulations, fixing errors and defects in systems and processes that cause loss of money or customers, preventing loss of life, and so forth. Since solving problems on a first-come-first-solved basis has not shown to be a good approach for businesses, organizations are implementing a governance process to evaluate, prioritize, and schedule projects to solve the problems. The governance process requires information about the problem to render the decisions. That information is contained in the business case. The business case specifies what the business problem is, why it needs solving, and the value to the organization for solving the problem. This course describes how to write a successful business case so that management will authorize a project to solve the problem.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, the participant will know how to:

  • Create a business case template
  • Define the real business problem to be solved
  • Identify the supporting information to help sell the solution
  • Present alternate approaches to solve the problem
  • Define a common standard process for preparing business cases

Who Should Attend

  • Business analysts, project managers, and anyone who creates business cases
  • Business and technical evaluators who evaluate and report on business cases

Project Management Institute, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Elements of the Business Case

  • What Is a Business Case?
    • Decision Paper
    • Proposal for Work to Be Done
  • General Business Case Content
    • Rational
    • Problem Statement
    • Vision of Solution
    • Product Scope
    • Assumptions
    • Impact Analysis
    • Alternative Solutions
    • Risk Evaluation
    • Financial Considerations
  • Steps to Preparing a Business Case
    • Define Problem
    • Determine Alignment
    • Establish Vision, Goals, and Objectives
    • Specify Supporting Information
    • Assess Organizational Impacts
    • Identify and Document Various Solution Scenarios
    • As Needed, Assess Financial and Intangible Costs and Benefits
  • Challenges to Preparing a Business Case

Unit 2: Define the Problem

  • The Problem Environment
  • Why Is the Project Being Done?
    • The Problem to Solve
    • Defining the Real Problem – A Step by Step Process
    • Stating the Problem
  • What Do We Want to Do?
    • The Vision to Achieve
    • Stating the Expected Benefits
  • Who Is Involved?
    • Product Stakeholders
    • Alliances and partnerships
    • Organizational Influences
  • Checkpoint Alpha

Unit 3: Supporting Information

  • Strategic Justification
  • Business and Product Constraints
  • Product and Business Risk Identification
  • What Is Necessary to Complete the Effort Successfully?
    • Internal Collaboration and Support
    • External Assistance
  • While We Are on the Subject
    • Functional Goals and Business Objectives
    • Acceptance Criteria
  • Financial Justification when Necessary
    • Return on Investment (ROI)
    • Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)

Unit 4: Alternate Solutions

  • Define Alternate Solutions
  • Risks Per Solution
  • Benefits of Solution
  • Decision Making

Unit 5: The Bottom Line

  • Packaging the Business Case
  • Presenting the Business Case
  • Where to Go for More Information

Please Contact Your ROI Representative to Discuss Course Tailoring!