Building a Solid Business Case

John Galyon is a Portfolio Manager in Tennessee.

A solid business case is one of the fundamental building blocks of project management. The goals and objectives of any given project, at a high level, are simple—we must be good stewards of our limited resources to ensure long-term competitive edge for the business.

At the individual project level, we must propose spending resources only when absolutely necessary, and only on those critical few projects with the most compelling business cases upon which all levels of management can align. Especially in times when our available resources are severely limited, we must ensure that we solve more problems and take full advantage of as many opportunities as possible—thus the emphasis on the importance of building a solid business case.

Building a Solid Business Case: Strategic & Operating Plan Alignment
Any business case must start with both short-term operating as well as long-term strategic plans, because those plans establish the framework within which potential projects/investments are initiated. These plans establish clear goals and objectives for the future, enabling review of current operating conditions versus target conditions required to achieve those goals and objectives. This process is often referred to as gap analysis.

The purpose of gap analysis is to obtain a list of problems and opportunities that must be resolved to close gaps between …


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