I got talking to a Project Manager who had recently moved to a government department from a software development business and he was taken aback by the effort, time and analysis that went into business cases within this organisation.
Having lived and breathed operating in an Agile environment for a little while and then having to get involved in shaping a deep and detailed business case was quite a shock. In saying that he did make a comment that 'at least there are some lenses looking at detail and data before making large investment decisions'.
In the last 12 months I've seen the demand for Business Case writers increase. Certainly this is the case in the public sector where taxpayer money is at stake and the analysis needs to be done to ensure available options are assessed and the benefits of progressing are clear and defendable.
On top of that, given our current economic situation, funding is going to get constrained even more, so there will be more and more analysis and optics on funding requests. So to help paint a picture on why an idea is a good idea, a robust business case is likely to be requested.
More and more we've seen demand for experts who bring the Better Business Case framework understanding which originated out of the UK but is now driven locally by the Treasury.
There are many different business case designs and templates available to businesses and a BBC type framework may not suit or isn't the right lever for someone who wants to build a website for $20K - but when someone wants to spend $20 Million dollars on a large public infrastructure project, I really hope there is some rigour that goes into such a business case!!
So yes, I do think Business Cases are very, very useful whether you are SME or a large Government Department or even on your own personal decisions. I've seen people do their "pros and cons" on whether they think a new job is the right one. Can I call that a mini business case?
If you are in need of expertise in and around Business Cases please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have some talented Business Case designers / writers in our stable ready to help your business case succeed.