With gloomy expectations for reduced IT budgets, the pressure during project review and budget approval, your business case must be compelling and relevant to receive attention. What. steps can you take to best demonstrate the value of that IT improvement business case?
First, avoid focusing solely on money savings. In a squeezed budget year, it would seem natural for IT managers to promote the direct and indirect savings that are expected from the project. Although outlining the savings is absolutely expected, focusing on that one goal may reduce your chances for approval and funding. Ask yourself how this project relates to corporate and CIO‐specific goals. How can you present the value of the project in relation to those goals? Unless you can answer this question and include it in your business case, it is unlikely that you will be funded.
Second, avoid stating benefits solely from an IT operational perspective. A business case that does not lay out the benefits to customers (internal and external) is unlikely to win the funding contest. Certainly, operational improvements will occur when the project is completed. Will the CIO be able to figure out the global value of risk reduction of loss or theft if you only explain the expected improvements in the life cycle process?
Stepping back from the heads‐down detailed view to analyze the global value can be the hardest part of preparing a business case. We cannot assume that our executives will take the time to figure out how this project relates to their ultimate goals. We have to do it ourselves.
To assure that your project receives a proper review and is compared at full value with other possible budget items, consider taking the following steps before hitting send on that business case: