Introduction

Tony Lockwood

Hi, I’m Tony Lockwood, the founder of #TLH, and I’m delighted that you have chosen to go through this Building a Business Case Execution Plan.

As there is usually a limit on the level of ‘investment’ available across any organisation, it is vital that these limited funds are utilised on those projects that deliver the maximum return on investment.  An effective business case provides a strong foundation on which to take investment decisions.

This Execution Plan provides a guide on what you need to do to build an effective Business Case.

Good luck and let me know how you get on.

Tony

This Execution Plan has been structured in a modular, indexed way to enable it to be used as a reference/information guide rather than as a paper setting out a precise, prescriptive approach to developing a business case.

The remainder of this chapter – Section 1 – describes the value of the business case.

Section 2 identifies five stages in the creation of a generic business case and explains the potential benefits which accrue when a business case is prepared.

Section’s 3 to 5 explore in more detail each of the stages identified in Section 2 and emphasise the need to have a robust basis on which the potential benefits and costs are calculated. The rules of calculation also cover the baseline from which measurement of improvement are taken, the assumptions to be made, the incorporation of uncertainty into the figures and, perhaps most importantly, the express requirement to have the business stakeholder’s buy in.

In addition a number of appendices are attached to this document.

Appendix 1 is a glossary of terms.

Appendix 2 discusses the nature of potential benefits which are broadly defined to include not only tangible quantifiable potential benefits but also other less easily defined potential benefits .

Appendix 3 discusses costs along similar dimensions.

Appendix 4 identifies ways in which potential benefits and costs can be assessed and measured and includes a discussion of baselining; the calculation of the ‘as-is’ position against which improvements can be assessed.

Appendix 5 explains simple, commonly used investment appraisal techniques, with a note on how to construct simple financial models.

Appendices 6 and 7 include examples of forms used to track the potential benefits accruing from a given project.

Appendix 8 describes critical success factors and potential pitfalls which can arise in the course of developing and managing a business case.

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