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Sample Business Case

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					This template provides a sample business case that presents the reasoning for
undertaking a business project. Typically, business cases include the background of
the project, the expected business benefits, the options considered, the expected costs
of the project, a gap analysis, and the expected risks. This template can be fully
customized to meet the specific needs of any industry. This template should be used by
small businesses or other entities that want to provide a business case justifying the
commencement of a business project.
Sample
Business
Case                     2010
For Project Management
Sample Business Case

For Project Management




[A good business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. Formal business cases
typically include background of the project, the expected business benefits, the options considered (with
reasons for rejecting or carrying forward each option), the expected costs of the project, a gap analysis
and the expected risks. .Prior to detailing the recommendation for the project, you should describe the
alternatives considered, including the alternative of not taking any action, as well as the reasons for
rejecting alternatives, and the risks associated with taking no action. Remember that those evaluating your
case for a project will be looking at:
       value, risk and relative priority in the context of overall business mission and strategy
       costs and return on investment as a measure of value
       quantifiable methods to compare alternative proposals.
       Objective methods to measure effectiveness and results]
[Depending on the size and complexity of the project, and availability of information, you may need to
include some or all of the components detailed on the following pages.]
[Gray-shaded bracketed information is instructional in nature, and should be deleted prior to submission.
Angle-bracketed information highlighted in yellow is meant to be replaced by your own information.]




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                       3
Table of Contents

Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... 6
Value Proposition/Business Opportunity ..................................................................................................... 6
   Background ............................................................................................................................................... 6
   Current State ............................................................................................................................................. 6
   Desired Outcomes..................................................................................................................................... 6
   Strategic Alignment................................................................................................................................... 7
   Risks........................................................................................................................................................... 7
   Benefits ..................................................................................................................................................... 7
Alternatives ................................................................................................................................................... 7
   Evaluation Criteria..................................................................................................................................... 7
   Alternative 1.............................................................................................................................................. 7
   Alternative 2.............................................................................................................................................. 7
   Choosing not to Proceed ........................................................................................................................... 8
Project Recommendation ............................................................................................................................. 8
   Objectives.................................................................................................................................................. 8
   Scope ......................................................................................................................................................... 8
   Key Stakeholders ....................................................................................................................................... 9
   Assumptions & Constraints ....................................................................................................................... 9
   Dependencies.......................................................................................................................................... 10
   Deliverables............................................................................................................................................. 10
   Impacts & Cost/Benefits Analysis ........................................................................................................... 10
       Intangible Benefits .............................................................................................................................. 12

   Required Resources ................................................................................................................................ 12
   Workload................................................................................................................................................. 13
       Project Approach ................................................................................................................................ 13

       Key Project Dates ................................................................................................................................ 14

   Commitments.......................................................................................................................................... 15
       Budget ................................................................................................................................................. 15

       Controls ............................................................................................................................................... 15



© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                                                                     4
    Reporting............................................................................................................................................. 16




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                                                             5
                                                                                          Sample Business Case



Executive Summary
[The Executive Summary provides a high level synopsis of the main points of the business case.]




Value Proposition/Business Opportunity

Background
[Provide background information on the need for the project you are recommending. Include information
on the issues that led to the current need, supporting data, and anecdotal evidence to support the
contention that the project is needed.]
[Present the need or opportunity within the context of current business conditions, including how it fits
within the business’s priorities and how it aligns with strategic objectives. Consider using charts to
illustrate trends or historical patterns]
<Company name> has seen stagnant sales in the XXX and YYY product lines for the last three quarters.
Corporate sales staff report that the existing order entry procedures are inadequate for addressing
customization, accessories and supporting products, as well as consultation services, which slow down
the overall sales cycle and reduce opportunities for selling a comprehensive solution. Order entry on our
current system cannot interface with vendor X, necessitating manual order entry and follow-up in current
systems. Moreover, our 2010 corporate objectives specify reductions in cost of sales as a major factor in
improving our revenue picture.
Implementation of a tightly integrated, customized sales entry and inventory management system has the
potential to reduce overall sales cycles by up to X.X days per sale. However, other related processes must
be upgraded to support the new system, as well as improving sales productivity in and of themselves.
To reach revenue goals by mid 2010, an aggressive implementation is required the incorporates training
and support to ensure successful change management and control.


Current State
[Describe the current organizational state with respect to the need or opportunity. What processes are
affected? Do these processes have gaps or bottlenecks with identifiable costs? What environmental
factors are in play (e.g. resource constraints, compliance activities, financial conditions, workforce needs,
legacy system costs, customer pressures, other projects, new policy implementation, etc. Often process
flowcharts, trend flowcharts, or other graphical representations of current state can be used to support the
description of the current state)?


Desired Outcomes
[List the desired outcomes, in general terms, of the overall need or opportunity.]




                                                      Page | 6
Strategic Alignment
[Describe the need for the project in terms of fit with organizational mission, strategic objectives, current
goals and priorities.]


Risks
[Summarize the risks associated with not taking action to address the need or opportunity, as well as with
moving forward with the project you propose.]


Benefits
[Summarize the benefits to be received from executing the proposed project, particularly in terms of how
these benefits map to corporate or departmental goals and objectives. You may wish to quote from
corporate or department documents that list those goals and objectives.]



Alternatives

Evaluation Criteria
[Describe the criteria used to evaluate alternatives. The same criteria should be used to evaluate each
alternative. You may want to consider creating a table that lists all criteria and the scoring of each
alternative. These criteria typically include costs, benefits, ROI, project and business risks, complexity of
implementation, timeframe for implementation, and availability of resources, among others].


Alternative 1
[Summarize the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, using the evaluation criteria outlined
above.]
We researched the possibility of implementing <system alternative> which is produced by <Vendor A> a
subsidiary of <company> which also owns the primary supplier of Product line XXXX. We may be able
to see significant discounts on annual CALS based on our existing relationships, however, using Vendor
A ties us to a single supplier for a period of XX years, which represents a particularly high risk to
effective supply chain management.
Alternative 2
Implementing <system alternative 2> requires upgrades of server and desktop/laptop operating software,
a significant investment over and above the system implementation. However, since vendor support for
our current server operating system ends on <date> and IT has scheduled enterprise-wide upgrades over
the next 18 months, the costs will be incurred anyway. This alternative provides a wide range of
customization options, and plug-ins already exist to interface with all suppliers of product lines XXX and
YYY.




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                    7
Choosing not to Proceed
[Choosing not to take any action is an alternative that should be evaluated. Describe the risks associated
with taking no actions.]
We anticipate maintenance costs of the existing inventory-only system to increase exponentially over the
next five fiscal years, due to sunsetting of the current version, and the attendant costs in finding and
retaining personnel skilled in maintaining such an esoteric system. Lack of integration with a sales entry
system continues to keep the average sales cycle for XXX and YYY at X.X months, which represents an
increase in cost of sales.


Project Recommendation
[Provide a one or two paragraph description of the project you are proposing. You will provide the
details of the project in the following subsections.]
The Feasibility Study Team recommends initiating <projectname> over the course of 18 months, utilizing
system alternative 2 as the foundation for essential improvements in sales cycles and inventory delivery
timeframes. We have detailed our recommendations in the following sections.


Objectives
[List the specific, measurable objectives you plan to achieve with this project. You should make sure that
relevance to overall organizational objectives is very clear.]
Recognizing the importance of reduction in cost of sales to overall revenue projections through 2013, the
<project name> objectives are as follows:
       Implement <sales/inventory system> for <count> users by <date>
       Reduce average sales cycle for products by #.# days.
       Increase average sale by XX percent.
       Provide X.X hours of systems and follow-up sales skills training to < count> sales associates.


Scope
[Describe the parameters of the proposed project. Parameters should timeframe, the organizational
elements—divisions, departments, locations, etc—impacted by and involved in the project, the business
functions to be impacted by the project, and the technology or other resources required. Equally
important, describe what elements are out of scope for the project.]
The scope of the <projectname> scope comprises installation and configuration of <sales/inventory>
system, for corporate sales associates and five distribution centers. The system will integrate with the
existing accounting system, and will be customized to address cross-sell/upsell scenarios. Training for
sales associate users on the system will take place during the implementation phase, with follow-up
training to be provided 9-12 months after implementation of the initial release.



© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                  8
<projectname> will not be implemented for resellers or franchisees. Sales scenarios will be implemented
in the sales/inventory system, but will not be implemented in the customer service support system during
this project.


Key Stakeholders
[Stakeholders include the internal and external entities that can impact or are impacted by the project.
Identifying key stakeholders is crucial to scope management, requirements development, project
organization and approval of deliverables. Throughout the project, stakeholders may be called upon to
elicit requirements, validate assumptions, advocate for resources, and provide feedback. You may wish to
provide key stakeholders in a table that includes their anticipated roles in the project.]
Implementation of <projectname> impacts a wide range of people across several departments of the
company as well as external organizations. Key stakeholders in successful implementation include:
       Corporate Sales organization
       Distribution Centers
       IT implementation teams
       Southeast Data Center
       Major vendors supplying XXXX and YYYY product lines
       Executive Management
       Human Resources Intern program
       Corporate Training


Assumptions & Constraints
[Identify any assumptions you have made in proposing the project]
We have made the following assumptions in proposing this project:
       Funding will be available.
       Enterprise initiatives for upgrading operating systems will go forward as planned in 2010.
[Describe any constraints—pre-existing conditions—that would affect how or if the project moves
forward]
Plant maintenance upgrades to AAAA Distribution Center in Anytown are planned for <date range>,
which includes a three week overlap in the proposed installation schedule for inventory system
components. Delays in the upgrade schedule may negatively impact the installation and training
schedules.




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                9
Dependencies
[are there any factors outside of the project that affect the project’s initiation or execution? Are elements
or factors outside the project dependent up the project to move forward or take action?]
       The proposed system operates on <name> operating system version X. Current enterprise IT
        upgrades call for upgrades to sales/marketing dedicated servers to this version no later than
        <date>.
       <Vendor> is the training vendor of choice for this project, and training commitments for certified
        instructors extend into 2011. We are dependent upon availability of certified instructors to
        successfully complete implementation by <date>.


Deliverables
[List the key deliverables of the project—these typically include key project documents, but other key
deliverables may include items such as training, a new system (hardware and/or software), or new or
improved business processes]
The following components comprise the deliverables for the <projectname> project:
       Approved Project Scope Document
       Approved Project Plan and Budget
       Six standard modules of <system> for XXX users
       Three customized modules of <system>
       Implementation schedule
       Test Plan
       Training Plan
       Installation/Configuration Plan & Schedule
       XX training sessions over XX weeks
       Training materials for XX trainers and XXX students
       Weekly Status reports to management
       Project Closeout Report


Impacts & Cost/Benefits Analysis
[Any project to be undertaken will have both negative and positive impacts, which should be described
here. These might include impacts to work being done by other departments during the reassignment of
personnel to the project, inconveniences or productivity issues such as noise, blocking of normal routes,
loss of meeting space during the project, etc. This section should also include positive impacts such as
improved skill sets for personnel, improved capacity of systems or environment, as well as the specific
objectives of the project. Are there trade-offs between negative and positive impacts during and after the
project?]




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                     10
The Feasibility Study Team has assessed the costs and benefits of undertaking <project name>.
Successful implementation will positively impact the sales organization by making an effective automated
tool available that supports efforts to reduce cost of sales. Sales associates can focus on providing better,
more comprehensive solutions, and close these sales faster than ever before. At the same time, operations
and distribution personnel have real-time access to sales orders, and can improve inventory management,
and delivery times accordingly. Installation, configuration and training on the new system represent
challenges to scheduling, and will impact acceptance of this major change to the way we do business.
Careful planning, combined with collaboration between sales and operations will mitigate the risks from
resistance t change.
[The cost/benefit analysis should include the “numbers”, what it will cost to proceed with the project
compared against the benefits received when the project is implemented.]
[a chart showing the Return on Investment (ROI) should include an explanation of how ROI is calculated
and what cost items go into the calculation. The following is a sample ROI calculation table.]
We have calculated simple ROI based on the quantifiable elements listed below:

         Return on Investment              FY 2009      FY 2010      FY 2011      FY 2012       FY 2013
 Expenditures (Costs)
 Salaries & Benefits
     Project Team
     IT Staff
     Corporate Training Department
 Maintenance contracts
 CALS
 Equipment upgrades
 Supplies

 Total:
 Benefits (Cost Savings)
 Cost of Sales
 Maintenance costs
 Headcount Reduction
 (salary/benefits)

 Total:
 Other Tangible Benefits
 Normalized database of customers
 Consistent web browser standard

 Total:
Note: the above figures are accurate with XX% based on current economic conditions and existing
financial forecasts.



© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                   11
[Include a list of definitions for the elements used in your ROI analysis.]
[You may want to define the intangible benefits that cannot be specifically quantified.]
Intangible Benefits

       Integrated Tools
       Usability of system interfaces


Required Resources
[Resources include more than the funding for the project. Describe what personnel, with the what kind of
skill sets will be needed, and over what timeframe. List tangible resources such as computers, facilities,
and office equipment as well, to provide a full picture of the true cost of the project. The examples given
in the following subsections should be modified and expanded as needed to adequate describe all the
parameters of your project.]
We recommend the following roles be set on the project team, and have provided names of qualified
personnel wherever possible:
       Project Sponsor: Sales Vice President, Joe Anybody has already committed to serving as project
        sponsor
       Project Manager
       Project Coordinator
       Development Lead
       Training Lead
       Implementation Lead
       System Architect
       Development team members
       Training development team members
       Implementation team
       Testing lead
       Testing team


To successfully implement the <name> project in the timeframe outlined here, the following resources
must be made available:

Resource                                 Description
development/web programming:             Requires 3 full-time senior developers with JavaScript, C# skills.
1920 man-hours
system and integration testing:          Skills with rational testing software
400 man-hours
                                         Automated test script execution


© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                    12
Resource                               Description
curriculum development:
120 man-hours
Dedicated Wiki
Server
<Software>                             Development toolkits for integration of sales/inventory with current
                                       operational environment
<Software>                             Curriculum development software to build self-paced sales training
                                       modules
Project Room                           Equipped with teleconference capabilities and network
6 laptops




Workload
[Use this section to describe the work effort, how it will be broken down, required activities, project plan
and schedule, and tasks and deliverables deemed to be on the critical path]


Project Approach

Following rigorous project management methods as outlined in PMBOK, the <project name> will initiate
the project with defining and getting approval on the scope of the project. Key to successful
implementation will be thorough requirements definition. Requirements Definition is expected to take up
to eight weeks and the project team will elicit requirements from key stakeholder groups based on the
assessment of current state and the project scope.
Approved Requirements will serve as the foundation of the system architecture, and planning for
development, testing and installation/configuration.


Delivery Activities
The following activities are required to execute the process successfully:
       Project kickoff
       Requirements Definition
       System Design/Architecture
       Development
             o   Plan
             o   Technical Requirements


© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                   13
            o     Development
       Testing
            o     Test planning
            o     System testing
            o     Integration testing
            o     User acceptance testing
       Training
            o     Curriculum development
            o     Scheduling
            o     Training delivery
       Implementation
       Production Go-Live
            o     Parallel testing
            o     System cutover


Key Project Dates

Key project dates are outlined below. Dates are "best guess" estimates and are subject to change based on
the dates of project approval and kickoff.

Description                                      Start Date      End Date        Duration
Project Start
Milestone 1:Project Scope
Milestone 2
Phase 1: Requirements Definition
Phase 1 Complete
Milestone 3
Milestone 4
Phase:2 Customization
Milestone 5
Milestone 6
Phase 3: Implementation
Milestone 7
Milestone 8
Project End




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                14
Commitments
[Describe what is required to launch, manage, complete and close out the project according the plan
presented. Include the financials-a budget / schedule for funding—as well as a description of project
controls, deliverable schedule, and reporting processes.]


Budget

                               FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013         Comments

                  Facilities

      Consulting Services

       Vendor Consulting
      Training Consulting
               Hardware

                    Servers
                Networking
           Laptops/Desktops
                 Personnel

          Project Manager
       Project Coordinator
        Development Lead
              Testing Lead
            Training Lead
        Development Staff
     Implementation Lead
      Implementation staff
       Corporate Trainers
          IT Tech Support
        IT Implementation
              Maintenance
       Software Licensing

  Maintenance Contracts

                   Supplies

                  Training

                     Total



Controls

Two key types of controls will be utilized during the project:


© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                 15
       Risk Identification/Mitigation: The project team will follow corporate guidelines for submitting
        and following a risk identification and mitigation strategy.
       Change Control: Monitoring changes throughout the project, including changes to scope,
        schedule and budgeted activities is key to successful implementation. The project team will
        comply with requirements to submit project documentation and change requests through the IT
        change control board.


Reporting

Several levels of report are used to monitor status of the project:
       Project Team Status reports
       Project Status report to management
       Change Reports
       Project Financial Reports




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                 16

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: This template provides a sample business case that presents the reasoning for undertaking a business project. Typically, business cases include the background of the project, the expected business benefits, the options considered, the expected costs of the project, a gap analysis, and the expected risks. This template can be fully customized to meet the specific needs of any industry. This template should be used by small businesses or other entities that want to provide a business case justifying the commencement of a business project.
This document is also part of a package Business Planning Starter kit 22 Documents Included