Simply put, a business case provides good reasons (or an argument) for a proposed action, usually, an investment.
An IT business case makes the argument for an IT project, product, or service.
ROI models are only part of the business case. A good business case has words and numbers pulled together into a cohesive, well-structured argument.
Business cases do three things:
- Quantify and value a business opportunity. Your technology product or service is simply a means to this end.
- Justify the investment of resources based on a sound (not self serving) return on investment (ROI) model. This financial model calculates the expected benefits (always the trickiest part), total costs, and the overall return on investment.
- Serve as a plan to deliver the business opportunity. Business cases help sequence work based on its value, which, then, drives the more traditional task-based project plans.
For more ultra-concise, practical information on IT business cases and IT due diligence, please see the The Business Case Checklist.