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Benefits and the Business Case: Workshop example

This two-day workshop examines how to create and critique a compelling business case for a project and how to engage stakeholders in the decision-making and adoption activities required for real changes in operational performance.

The many roles of a business case

The business case is the critical decision-support tool for making investment choices by the project portfolio committee.  To be useful, the business case must address the information needs of all the key stakeholders.

Establishing the desired outcomes

The motivation for a project should be based ona clear understanding of the desired business outcomes.  Many business cases are marred by a failure to distinguish between the value of the solution and the solution itself.  In this session, we introduce an approach to clarify the problem that needs to be addressed and the value the business will get if the problem is resolved.

Making it wanted

A benefit is regarded as a ‘good thing’.  Where does the value come from and what measures are there for gauging how good a thing it is?  In this session an analysis of value and benefits within your organisation is undertaken – setting up a mechanism for developing a benefit case.

Building a benefit case

Modelling benefits properly involves clearly distinguishing what is valuable from how that value is created.  This session explores through the use of a well-constructed benefits case techniques for identifying what products must be delivered and how they will result in beneficial change in the business environment.

Getting to the numbers

The business case indicates the motivation for the project both in terms of its stakeholder commitment and its likely return on investment.  Return on investment is traditionally measured in financial terms, but with the introduction of portfolio management, it has become clear that more sophisticated approaches, which allow comparison of projects in terms of financial and level of strategic alignment, are essential.

Cost & benefit risk assessment (CoBRA)

Business cases are not designed to cajole stakeholders into making the investment but to allow them to make informed decisions based upon an understanding of return and risk. No endeavour is without risk.  How much risk is acceptable is a management decision beyond the remit of the project manager.

Benefits realisation

The business case documentation is the framework within which management decision making is made throughout the project.  Using a benefits management approach as the basis of the change plan has many advantages- not least of which is the way it focuses attention on the changes in process and people behaviours necessary for the benefit to be realised.  This leads to what it is sensible to measure.

Make it compelling

Many organisations have worked to reduce their business cases to a single spreadsheet, often filled with numbers but often of little value.  Has the reduction gone too far?   This session looks at the purpose of the business case again and its influence on making sure managed change happens.

From workshop to workplace

A reflective session to examine what actions should you take to make this happen in your own organisation.

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