Business case training: What is a business case?

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:

  1. Quantify and value a business opportunity. Your technology product or service is simply a means to this end.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.