The Business Case
In order to receive support and funding for your proposed technology solution, you are required to write a business case. A Business Case provides the reason, or justification, for a proposed project. A strong business case provides the justification for pursuing one project over another, as the preferred project is seen to be in the best interest of the organization. A business case should be comprehensive, yet concise. It describes the project clearly, estimates its cost and the time it will take, and identifies the benefits to the organization over other alternatives. A business case makes the œcase for change and provides the economic justification in terms of a cost/benefit analysis and return on investment. It can be used to explain a proposed solution or project, to establish criteria for measuring success, and to obtain funding. When organizations must choose among investments they often use business cases to determine which investments they will pursue. A business case assists organizational stakeholders in making decisions regarding the viability of the proposed project effort. Use of a business case is considered standard practice throughout private and public industry. Additional information on business cases is included in Course Module 4.
Purpose of this Assignment
This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the concepts of this course to address the planning, development, implementation and on-going management of the technology solution you have proposed by developing a business case for it. This assignment specifically addresses the following course outcomes to enable you to:
evaluate information systems and enterprise solutions to determine the best fit to enable the organization’s strategic outcomes
use enterprise systems to support business intelligence gathering and decision making
apply best practices and methodologies to develop enterprise level information system solutions
identify and evaluate trends and determine applicability to enterprise information system solutions
Using the Case Study provided and your proposed IT solution, prepare an annotated outline 3-4 pages in length (no cover sheet),as if you were preparing for a presentation to the IT steering committee. The outline will address the basic elements of a formal business case shown below.External resources are not required, but if you use them, remember to correctly cite and reference them in APA style format. Use the Grading Rubric to be sure you have covered everything. Your outline should be in Microsoft Word outline format. Submit your paper via your Assignment Folder as a Word document with your last name included in the filename.
An annotated outline provides the basic information in full sentences, but in outline form rather than in paragraph form. In this case, you will address each component of the business case to support your proposed technology solution. You should provide all of the important facts, without the expanded discussions used in full papers. Each of the topics in the list below should be explained as they apply to your proposed technology solution and to the Case Study, using one or two sentences for each topic and providing information specific to your solution.
Here is an outline example “
I recommend using no more than 3 levels for clarity. Using the automatic outlining format in Word will help.
The components of a Business Case, as described in Course Module 4 (figures 4.1: Components of a Business Case and 4.2: Business Case Tips) where you can also find examples of each of these), are shown below. These should form the basis for your annotated outline:
- Business Need: What is the business issue, problem or opportunity that the proposed system will address?
- Business Objectives: What will be the result when the need identified is achieved? Include any short-term, long-term or operational goals and objectives.
- Proposed Solution: What is being proposed to meet the needs and objectives? (a few sentences telling what the solution does, not a list of hardware/software, etc.)
- Other Solutions Considered: A high level description of what other alternatives were considered and why they were not selected,and the rationale for selecting the proposed solution. Other alternatives could include: reusing existing people, equipment and processes; build/buy/lease; outsourcing; Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solution vs. building a solution.
- Cost Components: Identify the cost components of the proposed solution. Rather than projecting the dollar costs, provide the components of cost to implement the proposed solution (for example, the cost of a house might be $200,000, but the components of cost include building materials, land, etc.). If you are consolidating the financial systems, you should calculate the costs over a five-year period (annual licenses, support, one-time fees, consulting, etc.) for each company. You should present the information in a spreadsheet embedded into the outline. If you chose Sales or Supply Chain solutions, you should research the software that you have chosen and determine the initial and costs over a five-year period.
- Detail the Benefits: What value and benefits will the organization gain from the proposed solution? Provide details beyond meeting the identified business objective(s).
- Other Implementation and Impact Issues: What, besides acquiring a new system, should the organization consider?