Who Should Write A Business Case

in tutelage •  21 days ago

The business-case writers should be members of the project team. They should have an overall understanding of the project, and be able to synthesize all the team's contributions into one document.


WHO SHOULD WRITE A BUSINESS CASE


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Jan, a financial manager in an architectural firm, is working on a business case for an improved payroll system.

She and her team have done the necessary research, aligned the project with the company's strategic goals, and identified the key decision makers. Now Jan needs to write the business case.

Everyone on your project team should be involved in the development of your business case. This ensures a broad range of perspectives, and may generate information and ideas that you might have otherwise ignored.

However, this does not mean that everyone on the team will write a section of the business case.

Three people are involved on Jan's team: Lisa, Ruth, and Rob. Jan needs to decide which of them should be involved in writing the business-case document.

Lisa

Lisa is the IT expert on the project team. Her input at the research stage of the project has been crucial to the successful analysis of the project's costs, benefits, assumptions, and constraints.

Ruth

Ruth is the marketing expert on the team. She has contributed to the identification of the key decision makers and the questions they are likely to ask.

Rob

Rob is the sales specialist on the team. His knowledge of the company's strategy enabled the team to align the project strategically.

Only one or two people should actually write the business case. However, the content of the business case is usually the result of a team effort.

The business-case writers should be members of the project team. They should have an overall understanding of the project, and be able to synthesize all the team's contributions into one document.

Keeping the number of writers to a minimum ensures a consistent style throughout the document.

A business case should not contain excessively technical language or jargon that may not be understood by the audience. You should bear this consideration in mind when you choose a writer.

If a member of your team has prior writing experience, this may be a useful skill for writing the business case.

Finally, your chosen writer or writers should have enough time to devote to writing the business case. It's not a good idea to choose someone with restricted availability, regardless of their suitability for the writing task.

Jan meets Lisa, Ruth, and Rob to discuss the designation of the business-case writers.

Jan: Now that we're ready to write the business-case document, we need to designate at most two writers to do the job. Does anyone have any thoughts on who we should choose?

Lisa: Well, my view of things is restricted to the IT area. I wouldn't know that much about the marketing or sales areas, for example. So I don't think I'm the best person to write the business case.

Jan: OK. But obviously your research is going to form a significant part of the case. The same goes for everyone on the team. We need someone who's able to pull the different areas together.

Rob: I could try, but I don't really have much experience in report writing. I think you should be one of the writers, Jan. You're the one with the most comprehensive overview of the whole project.

Jan: OK, I'm happy to take that on. Ruth, I know that you view this project from a marketing perspective. But you have some report-writing experience, right?

Ruth: That's right. I've written a lot of reports that brought together different types of data from just about every source you could think of. It's part of my job.

Jan: Great, that's just what we need. If you'd agree to write the business case with me, then we can get started right away.

Ruth: Sure, I'd be happy to do that.

On the basis of her discussion with her team, Jan decides that she and Ruth should write the business case.

As the project leader, Jan has the most comprehensive overview of the project, as well as the most active communication channels with other team members.

Ruth has experience in putting together marketing reports using disparate sources, so her skills will be useful in synthesizing the team members' varied contributions into a single document.

Ted's Project Team

Ted is considering the following people to write his business case:

Nathan

Nathan is the sales manager of the university's online bookstore. Although he is not actually a member of Ted's project team, he provided Ted with insight into the organization's retail strategy so the team could align the project strategically. His interest in the middleware project is confined to its impact on sales.

Jack

Jack is the IT manager, and has contributed expert IT analysis on the project team. He is the only person on the team with indepth knowledge of middleware technology, and is proficient in the technical language necessary to explain complex middleware concepts.

Louise

Louise is the HR manager. She has contributed valuable assistance to the team in forecasting personnel resources and costs for the project. Her view of the middleware project is informed by its potential capabilities in the area of integration of employee and student databases. She is frequently out of the office, giving staff training courses at offshore sites.

Ted

Ted has coordinated all the other team members' contributions to the project. He has the most experience of all the team in producing finished business cases, and he has had regular meetings with the decision makers in the university during the research stage of writing the business case.

Ted, a project manager with a large university, is working on a business case for the deployment of a middleware tier in the university's IT network. Now that his team has done the research, Ted needs to decide who should be involved in writing the business case.

QUESTION 1

Whose contributions should make it into the final business case?

  1. Just Ted's, as he is the project leader
  2. Jack's and Louise's, but not Nathan's as his area of interest is too narrow
  3. Everyone on the project team

Ted's job is to coordinate everyone's contribution, including his own, into the business case.

Nathan's input is significant and should be included in the business case even if its focus is narrow.

Everyone on the project team should contribute to the development of the business case. However, not everyone should write the actual business case.

3. Everyone on the project team

QUESTION 2

Which of these considerations should influence Ted in deciding who will write the business case?

  1. Louise's frequent travel abroad means she will not be available to write the business case
  2. Nathan's sales knowledge means he should be involved in writing the business case
  3. Ted himself should not write the business case, as he does not have enough of an overview of the case
  4. Jack's technical nature could be a drawback if he alone writes the business case

Writing a business case takes time, and Louise's traveling schedule makes it difficult for her to write the business case.

As Nathan is not a member of the project team, he is not the best person to write the business case.

As Ted is the project team leader, he has the most comprehensive overview of the project.

Jack may assume that the audience is technically literate, and may use over-technical terms.

1. Louise's frequent travel abroad means she will not be available to write the business case
4. Jack's technical nature could be a drawback if he alone writes the business case

QUESTION 3

Who should write the business case?

  1. Ted and Jack
  2. Ted, by himself
  3. Jack, by himself

Both Ted and Jack have an understanding of the entire project, and Ted has prior experience in writing business cases.

Ted has little knowledge of middleware technology, so he would benefit from Jack's input during writing.

Jack knows all about the technology, but needs help in writing a case that will be understood by a non-technical audience.

1. Ted and Jack

To ensure a broad range of perspectives, everyone on your project team should be involved in the development of the business case. However, only one or two people should actually write the business case itself.

The business-case writers should be members of the project team, have an overall understanding of the project, and be able to synthesize all the team's contributions into one document.

Keeping the number of writers to a minimum ensures a consistent style throughout the document.


I have been teaching and training agents, team leaders, supervisors, managers and admins of call centers and other businesses in BPO related fields. This series, comes as a result of that experience. I have more than 4,000 modules that I plan on sharing here. This is # 007-13

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