The Business Case is used to obtain commitment and approval for investment in business change (a project), by providing the rationale for the investment. It is prepared by the college or unit sponsor and, if a commitment to proceed is obtained, the project will be monitored against the business case on an ongoing basis.
For larger projects, the business case should be developed in three stages:
The level of detail required at each stage depends on organizational standards and the scale or complexity of the project. For small projects, you may only need to produce the business case in one stage, with confirmation of prices, funding availability etc.
A minimal business case provides information similar to an Executive Summary containing the following:
Give a brief historical sketch: Why did this proposal arise? What previous decisions are relevant? Does this report deal with a specific project? If so, is the project in compliance with the University planning documents? What other bodies or officers (e.g. Board Committee, Committee, Deans) have reviewed or approved this proposal? Has there been consultation with those who might be affected by this proposal? Is there a communications strategy in place?
What is the current policy, procedure, or protocol in dealing with the matter? What impact will the decision have? What will change and who will be affected?
Why is the business change (project) needed now? What key benefits will be realized?
What is the financial impact of this proposal?
Example: $$$$ per annum from the Operating Budget.
What will it cost and where will the money come from? What revenues will be received and where will the money go?
Example: $$$$ start up funding from the President's Office
What are the health and environmental impacts of this proposal?
Example: Notable health and environmental benefits should accrue.
What legal obligations will the University incur? Is the proposal within the statutory powers of the University?
In this section the rationale or argument for why the business change (project) should proceed is provided. It provides an answer to the question: "Why should the Executive approve this resolution?"
Consider including the following information in this section: