Business Case Sample & Templates

What is a Business Case and Why is it Important?

Before participating in a new activity or joining a new organization, a person analyzes the entire situation before making the final decision. An individual weighs the advantages and disadvantages of the circumstance. And evaluate the possible impact of the event to the person. In the same way, corporations need justifications on why a particular project or program is vital for the company. The relevance of business cases lies in the quality of the supporting justifications. These reasons and rationale are the main content of a business case.  A business case is a crucial material during the initial planning stage of a proposed project. Essentially, it is the summary of a possible answer for a business need. And as a summary, it provides the logical basis of the proposed solution. Alongside the possible benefits, costs, and potential risks.

The Components of a Winning Business Case

Without projects and developmental programs, an office is a small building or space full of office equipment, supplies, and aimless employees. Likewise, the corporate vision and mission remain as hallow statements without plans for growth and expansion. The intention of the projects may be well-meaning, but it brings in more harm than good without proper planning. Business cases contain the necessary information in helping the executives decide whether to implement the project or not. The list below states a business case’s key components.

Executive Summary: Statements pointing to the critical topics of the case make up the summary. Similar to the abstract of a research study, it is one of the last ones to compose. The core ideas of the following elements compose the executive summary. It is the ideal tool to capture and heighten the interest of the readers of the business case.Project Objectives: A key element in a business case is the establishment of the objectives of the project. The development of the case answers to a particular business need. Consequently, the purposes must cater to or solve a specific need. One thing to consider in creating the objectives is if it establishes a causal relationship between the demand and proposed actions. Presenting the goals of the case must paint a picture of what the project will contribute to the organization after its accomplishment.Evaluation of Available Options: In increasing the likelihood of getting the go-signal for a project, make sure that the preferred project stands out from the other available options. You can initially showcase the advantage of the project by comparing it with other available alternatives. Acknowledging and presenting other viable projects is evidence of comprehensive research. Proof that the team considered all or most of the possible courses of action. A table or diagram is the best possible way to highlight the similarities and differences of the choices. These visual presentation options are also easy to comprehend, which makes it the best way to relay the information to the stakeholders.Possible Benefits: Another critical element of a winning business case is the list of the benefits that it can contribute to the organization and principal stakeholders. It must include both the short and long term. Even though it is often forgotten, declare the implications of the benefits to the major players of the organization. These stakeholders often include investors, employees, customers, suppliers, government, and society. Specifying the benefit it brings to each player creates a bigger and more comprehensive picture of what the organization can reap, even before the implementation of the project. Presenting the best case scenarios are also more believable and relatable with the available data of its advantages.Estimation of Risks: Decisions without possible risks are too remarkable to be true. Intriguing yet implausible. Exclusion of the risks of the preferred alternative defeats the purpose of the business case. Keep in mind that the primary objective of a business case is to convince the executives and sponsors to implement a project. Without the details about the risk, the people responsible for making the decision will not make an informed decision. The details of a business case are accurate forecasts and projections of the available data in the organization’s system. A comprehensive list alone is not enough. The business case must also present the effect of these risks on the institutions on its primary stakeholders. These factors are crucial in the decision-making process of the executives and possible sponsors. Introducing the benefits of the project, alongside its risks, are basically the pros and cons of the preferred alternative.Costs and Investment Appraisal: The financial aspect is always a make-or-break factor in implementing projects. More often than not, the final say of the executives and sponsors lies in the cost of the project. Often, computing it alongside with the return of their investment (ROI). A business case must be transparent in presenting the capital fund to start the project. It must also contain information regarding the other possible costs as the project starts enforcement.Anticipated Project Timetable: A business case will not be complete and feasible without a project timetable. Since a business case is similar to a project pitch, the schedule may only include the key dates that indicate milestones in the project’s development. The project timetables provide an idea of how the rest of the operations of the organization will follow through as the project starts. It is also a crucial factor to consider in the decision-making process because there are possibilities of its events overlapping with other projects of the organization.

What are the Qualities of a Convincing Business Case?

Businesses make a society thrive. It provides services, goods, and employment to the people. Likewise, It opens up chances and opportunities for people to experience more comfortable lives. Thus, as businesses help people grow, the people within also formulate projects, programs, and plans to develop the organization. And the stepping stone of all these developments is a business case. A quality business case produces top-notch programs that are beneficial to the organization and its people. And as expected, weak business cases lead to the failure of a project. Listed below are some of the necessary qualities of a top-tier business case.


An integral quality of a winning business case is completeness. And by completeness, it means that a business case should have all its necessary components to carry out its main objective—to win the go-signal for a specific project. A complete and thorough case is expected to efficiently identify the risks and to briefly present methods that prevent or mitigate the risk. As a matter of fact, comprehensive business cases do not equate to a long and wordy document. It can be an outline of the necessary details of the project. The case directly caters to a specific business need. For smaller projects, one page is enough to cover all the necessary details. There are also some instances where infographics help a great deal in relaying the information, especially when there are several factors to deal with.


As business cases help in making decisions, it is important to keep it transparent. The transparency of the information, especially regarding the possible risks and costs, helps foster trust between the involved parties. Moreover, a transparent business case includes prospect key dates that help monitor the status of the project. Being explicit with the details of the proposal also establishes accountability. The details on who is responsible for what is stated clearly and straightforwardly. It also increases the possibility of the project’s implementation. There is a natural inclination towards situations and circumstances that are properly elaborated with little to none are left to one’s imagination, especially when it deals with business operations.


Aside from the transparency of a business case, it also needs to be measurable to effectively track the progress of the project upon its implementation. Setting and establishing the goals of the project while making the business case streamlines the entire framework of the project. It establishes the milestones and key developments of the program that directly links to its success. Moreover, the details regarding the costs and valuation of the investments need to be precise. And if the exact details are not available, it is necessary for the estimate to be roughly calculated and not based solely on pure speculation.

How to Compose a Powerful Business Case

Regardless of the brevity of a business case, it posses the same level of power as the lengthier ones. Granted that it contains the essential elements, it will provide the same output. As long as it effectively assesses problems and opportunities of the organization, it is good to go. But, if you want to go above and beyond in creating the business case for your preferred project. Then, here is a list of steps and tips that will help in crafting your document.

Step 1: Evaluate the Entirety of the Business Need

Before starting the write-up of a business case, exhaustive research is necessary. The research of the circumstance leads to looking into all the angles of the need, thus coming up with a list of all the possible alternatives to cater to the need. Aside from figuring out all the possible options, evaluating the situation beforehand helps in pointing out the implications of the need for the organization and its key stakeholders. In essence, research helps in accurately identifying and assessing the extent of the problem. Consequently, it also aids in pointing out the perfect and most feasible solution for it.

Step 2: Conduct an Analysis

After coming up with a list of the possible alternatives, the next best thing to do is to identify the advantages and disadvantages of each. Identifying these factors for each method or plan helps in the deciding process. It helps in making sure that the method is the best possible one, and it is a critical element in convincing the executives and possible financial sponsors for the project’s implementation. The list of pros and cons of each project leads to figuring out the best method. The analysis will produce details that will support your team’s preferred method. You can acquire the details regardings its benefits, costs, impact on operations, and capability of the organization to produce and sustain the project.

Step 3: Come up with Feasible Methods

The analysis points out the best method that can cater to a particular business need. Upon doing so, it is best to support it with details on how to carry it out. Your team can present feasible methods, alternative techniques, and available tools. Providing these pieces of information makes the method more achievable. The viable methods also make the entire business plan more understandable for the stakeholders who are not completely immersed in the industry, such as the customers or end-users. Take note that you only need to formulate the methods for your team’s preferred alternative.

Step 4: Place Emphasis on the Costs

And to effectively support your proposal’s methods, remember to be transparent in indicating the necessary costs to carry out the plan. As previously stated, the financial aspect of a project is sometimes the last hurdle before its approval. Always keep in mind that there are some executives whose priority is the capital, so do make sure that you have strong justifications for your costs. In most cases, the costs are justified by the advantages that it will eventually contribute to the company.

Step 5: Establish a Clear Timeline

The last thing to include in a business case is an evident project timeline. A projected timeline in a business case shows when the project will start and its estimated end. Aside from these details, the timeline can also focus more on pre-implementation activities such as budget meetings, project proposal pitches, and biddings—when outsourcing of services is necessary for the execution of the project.

Business cases showcase the justifications of pushing a particular project or program for an organization. It involves a review of all the available options that answer a business need. As well as an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages that it will bring to the institution. As you formulate a business case for your organization, always keep in mind that it will not only affect the course of your life, your decisions and how you support it will also significantly affect other people.