Developing a Business Case

Overview


The Pocket Mentor series offers immediate solutions to the challenges managers face on the job every day. Each book in the series is packed with handy tools, self-tests, and real life examples to help you identify strengths and weaknesses and hone critical skills. Whether you’re at your desk, in a meeting, or on the road, these portable guides enable you to tackle the daily demands of your work with greater speed, savvy, and effectiveness.
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Overview


The Pocket Mentor series offers immediate solutions to the challenges managers face on the job every day. Each book in the series is packed with handy tools, self-tests, and real life examples to help you identify strengths and weaknesses and hone critical skills. Whether you’re at your desk, in a meeting, or on the road, these portable guides enable you to tackle the daily demands of your work with greater speed, savvy, and effectiveness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781422129760
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 12/2/2010
  • Series: Pocket Mentor
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 717,525
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Mentor's Message: The Advantages of a Solid Business Case xi

Developing a Business Case: The Basics

What Is a Business Case? 3

A preview of key facts about business cases

Business case versus business plan 4

When you should create a business case 5

A complex document 6

Seven steps to a business case 6

Step 1 Define the Opportunity 9

Tips for articulating the opportunity you want to pursue

Identifying a problem or opportunity 10

Developing an opportunity statement 12

Identifying your business objectives 14

Prioritizing your objectives 14

Assigning metrics to your objectives 15

Step 2 Identify the Alternatives 17

Ideas for making sure you have many options to choose from

Generating a list of options 18

Gathering input 19

Narrowing your choices 23

Step 3 Gather Data and Estimate Time Frame 25

Suggestions for obtaining crucial information about your opportunity

Identifying the information you need 26

Collecting the data 27

Setting a time frame 29

Documenting your estimates and assumptions 30

Step 4 Analyze the Alternatives 33

Recommendations for comparing all your alternatives

Evaluating alternatives against your metrics 34

Understanding common financial metrics 35

Creating a framework for comparing alternatives 35

Step 5 Make a Choice and Assess the Risk 45

Advice for selecting a course of action and weighing its pros and cons

Selecting the best solution 46

Weighing the risks 49

Deciding how to mitigate the risks 50

Determining whether to modify your recommended course of action 51

Step 6 Craft a Plan for Implementing Your Idea 57

Tips for ensuring that your proposed alternative can be put into action

Understanding the purpose of an implementation plan 58

Listing your milestones 59

Communicating with decision makers 60

Identifying resources you'll need 61

Clarifying responsibilities 61

Indicating expected payoff 62

Tracking your results 63

Step 7 Communicate Your Case 65

Techniques for presenting your case to decision makers

Understanding your audience 66

Using visuals to present your case 67

Tips and Tools

Tools for Developing a Business Case 73

Worksheets for identifying alternatives, tracking implementation of your idea, ensuring that you've taken all the right steps for creating a business case, and documenting an actual business case

Test Yourself 87

A helpful review of concepts presented in this guide. Take it before and after you've read the guide, to see how much you've learned

Answers to test questions 90

To Learn More 95

Further titles of articles and books if you want to go more deeply into the topic

Sources for Developing a Business Case 101

Notes 103

For you to use as ideas come to mind.

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