Building a Business Case



Course Description

You’ve developed a great idea that will help your organization and your group achieve its objectives, but how will you get the buy-in you need to get the idea approved? Building a strong business case that clearly shows your idea’s value is not always easy. Perhaps you don’t know what type of data your stakeholders will trust, or maybe you are intimidated by number crunching. This course gives you the guidance and the tools to make a strong case. The class is very hands on: participants engage in numerous exercises developing and presenting a business case. Topics include:  

  • Specify the business need for your idea
  • Align your case with strategic goals
  • Build the right team to shape and test your idea
  • Calculate the return on investment
  • Analyze risks and opportunities
  •  Present your case to stakeholders


A basic familiarity with the subject matter is helpful, but not required.

Course Outline

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Preparation

  • Basics of Business Cases
  • Learn How Your Organizations Evaluates Business Cases
  • Organizational and Goals, Strategy, Portfolio, Program, Project, and Operations Management
  • Market Analysis: Understanding Factors That Necessitate Change (e.g., Changing Customers, Suppliers, Regulations)
  • Perform a SWOT Analysis, Including Organization Environmental Factors
  • Gap Analysis: Clarify As-Is and To-Be States
  • Project Selection Criteria, Success Metrics, and Operational Goals
  • Case Study Selection
  • Create a Benefits Measurement Plan
  • Considering Business Case Constraints
  • Evaluating Different and Competing Solutions

Lesson 2: Get to Know Your Audience

  • Perform a Stakeholder Analysis
    • Stakeholder Power: Informational, Expert, Organizational, Reward, Penalty, Others
    • Stakeholder Interest
    • Stakeholder Involvement
  • Stakeholder Power: Informational, Expert, Organizational, Reward, Penalty, Others
  • Stakeholder Interest
  • Stakeholder Involvement
  • Understand Your Audience’s Objectives
  • Create a Stakeholder Register
  • Create a Stakeholder Engagement Assessment

Lesson 3: Build the Case

  • Clarify the Need
  • Build a Cross-Functional Team
  • Consider Alternatives
  • Think Through the “How” at a High Level
  • Develop Project Charter

Lesson 4: Crunch the Numbers

  • Estimate Costs
    • Project Costs
    • Operational Costs
  • Calculate Benefits
    • ROI
    • Benefit-Cost Ratio
    • Payback Period
    • Time Value of Money: IRR and NPV
    • Softer Business Drivers: Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction, Employee Turnover, Security Breaches, etc.
  • Account for Risks

Lesson 5: Present Your Case and Move Forward

  • Prepare Your Documents
    • Vision Statements
    • Elevator Speech
    • Project Charter
  • Shop Your Case Around
  • Prepare to Present
  • Create a Business Case Presentation
  • Make Your Pitch
  • Get to a Decision
  • What Next?

Lesson 6: Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Not Addressing Common Goals
  • Ignoring Other Perspectives
  • Neglecting Transition Costs
  • Poor Risk Management
  • Excessive Jargon

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Course Code


Course Duration


Instructions Method

Instructor Led