The Atlanta IIBA Chapter meeting this week focused on Enterprise Analysis, specifically business cases. Pamela Robinson of Financial Voyages (http://www.teamfv.com/), gave a great presentation on business case development. Her organization has developed a Business Case Development Framework to help organizations improve their business case development process. It was great to hear another successful professional talk about business cases in the same way that we do.
Pamela listed several characteristics of a business case. These characteristics were good reminders for those of us writing business cases, whether for large projects or small. One of the most important characteristics is the description of why the business case was developed. In other words, what triggered or caused us to write the business case. Just as in everything that BAs do, the WHY is always critical. Not only do we need to articulate why the change should be made, we need to build a case for why the change should be made now.
She also reminded us that business cases are time sensitive. A minute after a business case is finished, a factor in the environment can change and make the business case obsolete. This is why it is important that we work to get a go/no go decision as soon as possible after the case is developed. It also reminds us that we should not get too bogged down into detailed requirements. The business case is high level, detailed requirements will be gathered once the project is approved and initiated. The author of the business case is also a salesperson. We need to sell the idea to our decision makers but clearly describe the benefits and convince them that time is of the essence!
Pamela’s presentation will be posted on the Atlanta IIBA web site http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/iibaatlanta