Defining the Project and Producing a Business Case
In This Chapter
Setting down clearly what your project will cover, but also what it won’t
Writing a Business Case – the justification for the project
Understanding the different types of benefit
Avoiding the pitfalls of Business Cases
All projects are created for a reason – you identify a need and devise a project to address that need. You then determine the success or failure of the project by how well it meets that need and whether it delivers the business benefit that justified expending all the effort on the project in the first place. This chapter helps you develop clear boundaries for the project – the scope – and then set down the justification, or Business Case, for running the project.
The scope and Business Case go hand in hand. Each affects the other, so thinking about them together is helpful. The Business Case lists the business benefits of running the project; it may be worth adjusting the scope in order to get better business benefits. Equally, it may be advantageous to chop another part of the project out because it isn’t absolutely necessary and very few benefits exist in that part to offset the work involved – it just isn’t worth it. The scope, then, is the ‘What?’ and the Business Case is the justification, the ‘Why?’
Although you may need to adjust the degree of formality from project to project, you shouldn’t ever leave out the work of defining the scope and justifying the work. You always need ...