Download a Business Case Template
What is a business case?
The definition of a business case is a decision-making tool that weighs the benefits and costs of starting a business project. It is usually a written document, but can also be stated verbally. The purpose of a business case is to justify the allocation of funds and resources to a project.
It is outlined in the early stages of a project by the project sponsor. The executive management of the company can decide to either accept, reject, cancel, defer or revise the business case. Once accepted, the business case is a key component of the project plan and sets the goals and objectives of the project.
Throughout the project, it remains the responsibility of the project sponsor to ensure that the business case goals are met. After completion of a project, the actual project benefits will be measured against the objectives of the business case during a post-project evaluation.
One example of a business case would be an argument that the profitability of a project outweighs the time and resources that went into the project (ROI). Another business case example is the suggestion to develop new products to hopefully achieve higher profits (investment).
How to write a business case
A business case should be developed incrementally so that resources (i.e. time) are not wasted unnecessarily on an unfeasible project. It should also be reviewed and updated regularly to determine the project’s continuous viability.
The basic elements of a business case include:
- The reasons why the project is considered and the context of the problem it addresses.
- All the possible options for solving the problem (including the option to do nothing) and the anticipated results of each possibility.
- The expected benefits and disbenefits, in measurable terms where possible, of the project.
- The major risks and opportunities of the project.
- The timescale of the project and the costs involved.
Download Business Case Template
You can download a simple business case template for Word from Project Management Docs.