Building Better Business Cases


Project professionals often find themselves developing business cases for the performing organization. When asked to do so, it is critical to create a solid business case. All too often, project teams are asked to implement a solution before the underlying problem is known or assessed. An essential ingredient to successful projects is a clear and relevant business case. It provides both insights into and a proposed solution for important business needs. Strong business cases contain feasible and effective ways of justifying and recommending projects that squarely address business needs, both problems and opportunities. Through this course, you will learn a repeatable process that starts with identifying business needs and ends with a strong business case. You will learn and practice applying each step in a 5-part approach to developing business cases.

This course has been approved by PMI for 7 PDUs and by IIBA for 7 CDUs.


Describe the essential components and roles needed for an effective business case.
Explain the need for business cases.
Plan and execute the steps needed for a business case effort using a structured approach.
Define business needs through solid situation statements.
Select and use appropriate techniques for determining root cause.
Use one or more of the methods presented to formulate recommendations in a business case.
Perform cost-benefit analysis for business cases using standard financial valuation formulas.
Prepare an implementation plan and evaluation measures for a business case.

Course Outline:

1 – Business Case Basics

  • Key terms & concepts
  • Benefits of a business case
  • SARIE Framework for business cases

2 – Define the Situation (Business Need)

  • Determine the right problem to solve or opportunity to seize
  • Create a solid situation statement

3 – Analyze the Situation

  • Analysis tips
  • Three root cause techniques (5-Whys, Fishbone Diagram, Process Diagram Analysis)

4 – Recommend Solution Options

  • Develop recommendation options based on analysis results
  • Techniques (weighted ranking, risks-assumptions-constraints)

5 – Financial Analysis

  • Benefit types and tips
  • Cost types and tips

6 – Determine Implementation Approach and Define Evaluation Criteria

  • Implementation considerations
  • Plan evaluation criteria
  • Prepare and present a business case

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