Project Management

A recipe for a program business case

From the The Money Files Blog
A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

About this Blog


Recent Posts

The Psychology of Estimating

3 Skills Areas To Help Your Team With

Closing out a Programme

3 Ways To Be More Strategic As a Project Manager

Introducing The Public Sector Advisory Community for Estimating

Categories: business case, program

During the stage in a program lifecycle where you are identifying the need for a program, you’ll have to put together a business case.

You will need:

A program mandate
A program brief
Some business drivers
Strategy to taste

  1. Mix the strategic objectives for the program with the vision statement.
  2. Align the mix with the organisational context and the business environment.
  3. Add in the expected benefits.  Don’t go too overboard here – you don’t want the mixture to over-inflate.
  4. Chop up the overall risk profile, and add in the major risks related to program delivery and benefit realisation.  Don’t sprinkle in the entire list of risks; keep the detail in the risk register.
  5. Add in estimated costs and stir through the overall timescales.
  6. Does it look like you have enough costs in?  If not, fold in some more now.  Be generous but realistic!
  7. Stir to combine all the ingredients with the options and approaches, remembering to add in ‘do nothing’ at this point.
  8. Look at the mixture again.  Does it look appetising?  If not, whisk up the costs, objectives and benefits again until it does.
  9. Bake slowly and serve to the Senior Responsible Owner.

Hopefully it will be tasty and the Sponsoring Group will want to go ahead with it!

Posted on: August 02, 2010 04:36 PM | Permalink

Comments (1)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
I like this approach, and the proof of the pudding is in the the outcome will need to be tested to ensure it tastes as good is it loooked in the cook book and you are getting what you thought you were going to get.

I have asked the question about benefits realisation more times than you can imagine, and I have received many fantastic comments and have hypothesized until the cows came home....still no results.

Therefore, borne out of my frustration, I built a Business Benefits Realisation template wnich is based on a full Benefits life cycle.

There is a life cycle to the beneifts, most of which you have covered in your recipe.


Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


"One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. "

- Bertrand Russell