Project Management

The Elements of a Business Case

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

The business case for your project can help or hurt you depending upon how well it is written and how well it is received by the audience. Many times, projects begin and the business case is already partially formulated; after all, the people involved usually understand why the project is being done and are at least somewhat familiar with the business case for the project. But if you are creating a business case from scratch--or if you are trying to polish your business case to make sure you get sponsored or funded--then it is important to review what elements need to be covered.

The Current State
The first item in your business case should be the current state. Whatever exists that is going to be changed by the project must be documented. If you do not know where you are right now, how can you run a project that will get you to a different--and hopefully better--place? The current state might be the processes that exist now or the current software release or the lack of landscaping in front of the building. By documenting the current state, the audience of the business case will begin to understand the reason for the project and may even start to look favorably at the project because they understand the current state.

The Future State (or the “Big Idea”)
Now that the audience understands the current state, you can hit them with the big idea of the …


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- Alice Roosevelt Longworth