DOCUMENT ACCEPTANCE and RELEASE NOTICE
The Business Case is a managed document. For identification of amendments each page contains a release number and a page number. Changes will only be issued as a complete replacement document. Recipients should remove superseded versions from circulation. This document is authorised for release once all signatures have been obtained
This is used to introduce the business problem, briefly describe what has happened in the past to address the problem, and what the current status is at the time of writing the Business Case. In other words, set the scene for the rationale or reason(s) for developing the Business Case at this particular time?
What is the goal of the project, what is it expected to deliver? A high level description of the objective(s) of the recommended option contained in this Business Case (a one liner).
All projects should relate to and produce results that relate to a pre-defined organisational goal(s). This should be included here. The relationship between this initiative and the Corporate/Strategic plan should be described. The Relationship to the implementation of the Tasmania Together benchmarks should also be described.
Why is the Business Case being produced?
Generally it is to:
- define the business need or problem in detail,
- analyse options (where resources have already been allocated this may involve determining what can be delivered with those resources),
- identify costs, benefits and risks, and
- to put forward a proposal to senior management for approval to proceed with the project, or to the funding source for approval for funding for the project.
Who is sponsoring the development of the Business Case?
This section should clearly establish the benefit to the organisation for proceeding with the proposed project. It should contain:
- a description of the relevant environmental conditions;
- an assessment of how the business needs are currently being met or not met;
- an analysis of the gap between the current situation and the stated objective(s).
It is essential that assumptions made during the planning process are recognised and recorded.
Any requirements for specialist resources or skills should be identified and any dependencies that exist with other projects or initiatives.
Do not create any if you can’t identify any!!
This is a high level analysis of the possible alternatives that could be employed to bridge the gap between the current situation and what is proposed, as outlined in Section 4.
List the options that were identified for analysis. Generally if a detailed analysis of options is required, then fewer significant options are preferable to many. Some options that may need to be considered are:
Option 1- Do nothing
Option 2 – An option that would achieve the same result as the preferred option
Option 3 – The preferred option
6.1.1. Option 1 – <Description>
For each option, the following information should be provided:
- Benefits / dis-benefits;
- Stakeholder impact;
- Issues; and
- Other evaluation or filter criteria, if appropriate.
Note: For many initiatives the benefits/dis-benefits are not directly quantifiable or financial, for example improvements in service delivery or achievement of Government policy objectives. A possible way of assessing these is included in Appendix A. This requires all major stakeholders to be identified. An optional risk analysis worksheet is included in Appendix B.
Costs should include the cost for producing all of the outputs (deliverables), project management costs, risk management costs and quality management costs. These include direct, indirect and recurrent costs to provide a full picture of the associated costs for each option.
6.1.2. Option 2 – <Description>
Repeat the process as per Option 1.
6.1.3. Option 3 – <Description>
Repeat the process as per Options 1 and 2.
Compare the options by summarising the benefits, dis-benefits, costs, risks and issues. The following table is an example.
The recommended option from the previous analysis should be identified here.
Based on the information outlined in Section 6 for the option that was recommended, begin to scope the project that will implement the recommended option and describe how the project will be managed. The information in the following sub-sections are important, as they will form the basis of a Project Business Plan if the project/initiative proceeds. It defines the scope of the project!!
(XYZ) – Abbreviation and Long Title.
List the target outcomes/benefits, the measures which will be used to measure their success, the dates for achievement and who is accountable. These should be derived from the table in section 6.2.
List the project outputs (deliverables). These are new or modified products, services, businesses, or management practices that need to be implemented to meet each identified outcome. Identify who (project customer) will utilise each output to generate the target benefits.
Outline of project phases, major areas of work and key milestones.
Summarise the project’s budget and expected expenditure.
List other resourcing requirements, for example human resources, accommodation, IT equipment, information requirements.
Determine what parties will form the governance structure for the project and identify who may be approached to fulfil each role.
As a minimum you will need in your governance structure a:
You may have one or more of the following parties in your governance structure.
Briefly describe the approach to quality management, which may include:
- methodologies and standards;
- change, issue, and problem management; and
- review and acceptance procedures.
Briefly describe the approach to managing organisational change throughout the project.
Briefly describe the approach to capturing the lessons learnt throughout the project and what review will be done to assess whether the initiative delivered the intended benefits.
Appendices can help the document flow better, especially during the analysis and justification sections (i.e. during the “argument” parts) by extracting information out of the body of the document for reference. For example, the following may be useful:
- A detailed cost/benefit/risk analysis for each option (only if required)
- A risk analysis plan.
For each option assess how each key stakeholder group (or individual stakeholders) may be impacted by the project and how they may impact on the project. This may be positive or negative. Allocate a rating, High = 3, etc and total in the right column.
Summary of Options
For each stakeholder group transfer the total ratings onto this sheet to give a direct comparison between the options.
For each option fill in the worksheet on the next page with the major risks.
- For each risk work out what grade there is associated with it. This is only a quick estimate using the table below to produce an A to E grading. Ignore those risks with a grading of D and E. (see risk management fact sheet for more details)
- For the A and B gradings estimate what minimisation and mitigation strategies should be put in place, their cost and the resultant grading (i.e. the impact of the strategy).
- For each grading allocate a numerical rating, eg A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1.
- Add these together to get a total grading for each risk. The lower the total score the lower the level of risk.
- Add the scores for each risk to get a total for the option. This allows a comparison to be made between options as to the comparative level of risk of each option.