BUSINESS ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
identifying the options available;
reducing the possible options to a more manageable shortlist;
preparing the elements of a business case;
presenting the business case to management for decision-making.
Identify options (Technique 41)
This involves getting as comprehensive a list as possible of the options available,
without eliminating any too early (before they have been properly considered).
Shortlist options (Techniques 42–43)
The initial ‘longlist’ of possible options needs to be whittled down to a more
management set that can be considered more carefully. This can be done by using
SWOT analysis (Technique 6) or PESTLE (Technique 1), both described earlier in
the book, and also by employing feasibility analysis or force-ﬁeld analysis, to be
introduced in this section.
Prepare business case (Techniques 44–47)
For the selected option (and maybe for the key alternatives too), the business case
now needs to be constructed. The issues to consider here are:
cost–beneﬁt analysis – contrasting the expected costs of the option with its
impact analysis – identifying and assessing any non-cost impacts of the
proposed change, such as new ways of working;
risk analysis – identifying the risks to success and possible countermeasures;
investment appraisal – putting the (ﬁnancial) costs and beneﬁts together to
see whether the project pays for itself.
Present business case (Techniques 48–49)
Finally, the various elements of the business case need to be presented to senior
management for their decision. This can involve either, or usually both, of
business case report creation (Technique 48) and business case presentation
Technique 41: Options identiﬁcation
The starting point for putting together a business case is the exploration of the
options available for addressing the business problem or issue. And the starting
point for that is generating a list of possibilities to be examined.
There are two kinds of potential solution to consider: the business options and the
technical options. The ﬁrst type are the diﬀerent ways in which the organisation
might tackle the issues, whereas the second are the various technical – which in
practice usually means IT – possibilities. At one time it was recommended that
these two aspects be considered separately, and, indeed, methods like SSADM