Presenting the Business Case: Information

Business cases are typically detailed in documents, but the decision makers may expect a presentation. The document is typically divided into text and appendices. The text summarizes each of the contents (we described in the previous post), but the supporting data is located in appendices.

For example, the financial analysis text may describe the basic cost and benefit models, their assumptions, and overall findings, but the appendix would contain the detailed cash flow statements, along with any detailed explanations of calculations and assumptions. The presentation is usually high-level and may include a standardized set of slides that present the topics of most interest.

A wise business analyst will make sure that the information is vetted with various members of the committee. This vetting can help uncover potential objections to assumptions and the approach, as well as foster allies within the committee. The presentation should not be the first time members of the committee see the business case information.

The Project Is Selected – What’s Next?

The project has been selected but this isn’t the end of the story. The project has not even started. One of the characteristics of a project is that it’s developed using progressive elaboration. This means that as the project matures, the project must be adjusted and updated. This also means the business case may need to be revisited. Are there new risks to the business? Are the costs and benefits still in line with the original analysis? Have windows of opportunity closed? Has the business changed directions and the project no longer aligns with the new objectives? A revisit of the business case may lead the portfolio management organization to cancel projects or rebalance the portfolio.

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