A business case is indispensable when a team seeks funding for a program of change. The business case provides a defensible financial position for an investment. The business case, and the value model on which it is based, clearly communicate the benefits, risks, and costs of an initiative.

Business Case Development is one of the services that Microsoft Enterprise Architects conduct with businesses as part of the Microsoft Value Realization Framework.

Overview of the Business Case Development Service

The Business Case Development Service provides financial analysis based on a recommended architecture definition and planned program of change. A Microsoft Architect creates a business case and associated value model to produce detailed predictions of cash flows, costs, and benefits for a program.

Objectives

When we perform the Business Case Development Service:

  • We analyze and support the investment decision for a client’s planned program of change.
  • We primarily focus on quantifiable financial benefits
  • We include non-financial quantifiable benefits linked to key business performance KPIs (e.g. speed of response)

Activities

  • We determine the 3 or 5 year cash flow projects based on the Value Plan the client created during the Value Planning Service.
  • We determine the probability of benefits and costs based on the remaining system design uncertainty, identifying risks, and proposing risk mitigation strategies.
  • We calculate the return on investment using the methods that the client selects (e.g. Risk Adjusted Net Present Value).
  • We generate the business case document.

Outcome

The Business Case Development Service produces a business case that illustrates the financial benefits of funding a program of change.

Deliverables

  • Business Case document. Summary of the projected benefits, costs and risks for the initiative.
  • Business Value Model workbook. Detailed projection of benefits, costs and risks for the initiative.

What’s the Value of Doing This?

When a business engages a Microsoft Architect to perform Business Case Development, the business obtains:

  • Precise knowledge of results to expect
  • Defensible financial position for an investment
  • Ability to support proposed initiatives against competing investment proposals within the organization
  • Microsoft’s technical depth and expertise, and broad awareness of value drivers
  • Realistic business case data about benefits, risks, and costs
  • A professionally prepared business case that straddles audiences, including dimensions for IT, executives, and business stakeholders.
  • A business case that is relevant to the client’s value system and taxonomy
  • A living, owned tool for future follow-up and tracking
  • A tool for evaluating risks and scenarios

How Do We Achieve Value?

To perform the service, a Microsoft Architect works with the account team, financial personnel from the client, and the management and steering committees for the program of change. Using information obtained from an enterprise, and expertise and proven practices from Microsoft:

  1. We review the Architecture Definition and Value Plans, basing the business case on accepted architecture and plans.
  2. We identify, sequence and estimate program benefits, aggregating program benefits derived from business, people and technology changes.
  3. We identify, sequence and estimate program costs (one-time and on-going), aggregating program costs derived from business, people and technology changes.
  4. We identify and quantify risks to value realization, adjusting value projection based on known risks to benefits realization and risks of higher costs.
  5. We generate Business Value Model summaries for the Business Case, assembling the summary content to facilitate stakeholder review and approval.
  6. We facilitate review and approval of the Business Value Model and Business Case, driving stakeholder review of business value and approval of the business case.

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