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on June 2, 2020 in Business Case Management

When do I need to write a business case?

person sitting at desk with one hand on computer and the other writing in a notepad

Business cases can be invaluable tools that increase confidence and accelerate decision making and investments. However, it isn’t always clear when a business case is needed. Sometimes management requests a business case and sometimes they don’t. Often, when it is requested, the time it takes to write the business case slows down the entire process and delays the start of the project, which can ultimately be very costly to the business. Knowing when to write a business case and standardizing use of them across your company can not only save valuable time but also increase confidence in decision making and maximize profitability of investments. Below, we explore a handful of guidelines to help you know when to use a business case and why.

Dollar Threshold Requirement

Is there a dollar threshold requirement? Is the initiative of enough “significance in magnitude” to require detailed cost, benefit and ROI analysis? Often, reconciling this data is time-consuming and tedious, but a business case solution like Inpensa’s enables you to straightforwardly and confidently analyze business cases for optimal ROI.

Investment Justification

Management may require analysis to help justify an investment and therefore requests a formal business case. Being able to align decision making with strategy ensures there is a clear, strategic and/or financial justification for every investment made. A platform that allows you to create a library of investments and track the strategic alignment of every investment equips you with the required information and data you need to write better business cases when you need them.

Governance Requirements

At times, there may be governance requirements; perhaps your auditors may need to review supporting details of a past investment. Compliance issues are critical to guaranteeing smooth audits around initiative performance and other aspects of business case management. With a platform that offers compliance and audit capability, you can have confidence in the access and handling of important and confidential information.

Regulatory Mandates & Standardization

Your organization may have regulatory agencies that require proof of justification and governance of certain investments. Knowing when to draft a business case based on your company’s particular regulatory mandates is simpler and more direct when using a platform that is highly configurable with the capability to standardize the business case process. This approach minimizes wasted time and establishes company-wide clarity with a consistent process that allows your team to compare investments on a like for like basis and understand how they fit into the regulatory landscape.

Drive Accountability

Most companies want to hold their people accountable for the overall budget and the returns. Holding team members accountable can be a challenge when you’re unable to limit or track access to data. Role-based access is a key feature of the Inpensa platform that provides you the ability to drive accountability. Data can be entered and accessed in the system and, once a benefits certification workflow process is complete, locked in final form.

Bottom Line

There are a wide range of reasons why a formal business case may be required for a proposed initiative. These range from company policy to regulatory requirements to clarity around who is accountable for driving business results as an outcome of the proposed investment, including the metrics used for assessing those results. It is best practice for an organization to provide clear guidance for when a business case is required and the extent of detail in terms of costs, benefits, and related information, such as strategic alignment, regulatory mandates, governance requirements, and more. Institute company-wide standardization of business case usage with Inpensa’s flexible, configurable platform.

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