Funding, organisational engagement and support is essential for any successful project. Unfortunately, we often see projects that go unsupported because the formal basics weren’t developed to justify the initiative. We’d recommend you:
- Develop a project brief; this document is intended to record the high level details of the project ie background, scope and objectives, usually before the business case is written. It is based on a mandate for the project which is sometimes only a verbal agreement. The brief may be signed off by your management or the project Sponsor, depending on the proposed structure for the project.
- Develop a business case; this document gives you the opportunity to state in more detail than the project brief, why the project will benefit the organisation, what the options are for achieving those benefits, what the scope will be, how much it is likely to cost, the expected resource requirements (internal and/or external) and the envisaged key risks. Of course there are business case documents that run to hundreds of pages and others that are intended to be more preliminary. A preliminary document or outline business case, may contain all the detail available and produced just to move the project to the stage of attracting funding and support for further investigation. How much detail you put in your document will partly depend on the size of the project, that is, the number of people expected to be impacted and the project budget, as well as the size of the expected benefits to the organisation. The business case should be updated throughout the life of the project. This document is a key tool you can use to gain organisational support from commencement of the project to closure
- Communicate the business case; there’s no point writing the document unless it’s communicated and communicated in an effective manner. Think carefully about who your audience will be and the most effective style and timing for your communications. You might use a brief meeting and quick PowerPoint presentation to engage with the Executive Leadership Team. You could then ask them to review the document and provide a hard copy at the meeting, and/or deliver by email that day. Ensure that you ask the Team for a commitment to a date for a decision on whether the project is to proceed and consider whether there are any other approvals you need at that time.
As there is usually competition for project support and funding, a well thought out business case document will enable you to demonstrate the benefits for the organisation and show that the other project elements essential to successful delivery, have been considered.
We have more than 15 years’ experience with business case preparation. Please contact us to discuss the ways we can assist you with your business case and getting support from your Executive Leadership Team.