Programming & Development

BA03 - Writing Effective Business Cases


Learn the steps to effective business case development and support your strategic business recommendations with sound budgeting and financial back-up. The one course you need to make high-impact recommendations and receive full management support for your ideas. NOTE: This course will earn you 14 PDUs.

Who Should Attend
This course is intended for intermediate business and requirements analysts who are looking to improve their business case development and presentation skills. This course is also a great fit for project managers and product owners who work closely with business analysts or who perform some form of business case work themselves.

Course Objectives
Students will be provided a deep exploration of how to perform pre-project activities necessary to develop a well-structured business case.
The course begins by providing students an understanding of the business analyst’s role in pre-project activities.
Techniques are provided to support the business analyst in analyzing the current state business environment, identifying the current business problem (or opportunity) and creating a ‘situation statement’ to communicate to decision makers why a change is required in the business.
Students then explore how to go about determining a desired future state and identifying the needed changes and capabilities that will support the enterprise in achieving the business need.
A thorough exploration of the business case is presented, including feasibility analysis and the various areas of a solution option the business analyst must explore in order to build a convincing business case.
Students learn the components of a well-structured business case and walk away understanding how to logically present a business case and obtain buy-in.
Techniques are also discussed to help prepare a business analyst for the challenges that often are presented when delivering business cases to management.

Course Outline:

Module Learning Objectives
What is Business Analysis
Polling Question
International Institute of Business Analysis
BABOK® Guide Components
Project Management Institute
Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide
BABOK® Guide Knowledge Areas
Benefits of Business Analysis
Polling Question
A Business Analyst can Influence Project Success Factors
Challenges of Business Analysis
Polling Question
Polling Question
Purpose of a Business Case
Exercise 1a: What Should a Business Case Include
Define the Business Case Elements
What to Look Out For
Who is Involved
Exercise 1b: Review Business Case Outline
Module Learning Objectives
Module Learning Objectives
The Definition of a Business Analyst
The Role of a Business Analyst
Responsibilities of a BA
BA Role vs. PM Role
Business Analysis vs. Systems Analysis
Business Analysis Competencies
Polling Question
Business Analyst Role and Stakeholders
Exercise 2a: Review the Case Study
What is a Stakeholder?
The Importance of Stakeholders
Stakeholder Identification
Tips for Identifying Stakeholders
Other Stakeholder Tips
Stakeholder Identification/Analysis
Exercise 2b: Identify Roles and Responsibilities
Stakeholder Map
Stakeholder Matrix & Onion Diagrams
Stakeholder Map
Onion Diagram
Why do we Need to Understand the Enterprise?
Why Study the Enterprise?
What is Enterprise Architecture?
What is Strategy Analysis?
About Strategy Analysis
Purpose of Strategy Analysis
When to Perform Strategy Analysis
Strategic Planning
Module Summary
Module Learning Objectives
Business Need Defined
Define Business Need
The Needs Assessment Process
Problem or Opportunity
Exercise 3a: Problem/Opportunity Identification
Understanding Why
Situation Statements
Business Need and Current State
Determine the Stakeholders
Polling Question
Goals and Objectives
Polling Question
Exercise 3b: Give 3 Examples of Business Goals
Define Business Need Techniques
Exercise 3c: Identify the Business Need
Definition of Strategy Analysis
When Business Strategy is not Driving Project Definition
Typical Project Profile
The Executive Paradox
Solution to the Paradox
Exercise 3d: Describe 3 Outcomes You Would Expect from the Case Study
The Four “Ares”
Understand How to Create a Business Model
Business Model Example
Exercise 3e: Create a Business Model
The Business Case Approach
Financial and Strategic Measurement Tools
Module Summary
Module Learning Objectives
Business Need and Current State
Purpose of Analyzing the Current State
Analyzing Current Capabilities and Process
Capabilities Defined
Techniques for Analyzing the Current State
Define the Future State
Define the Future State
Techniques for Defining the Future State
Assess Capability Gaps
Stakeholders Involved when Reviewing Capability Gaps
Discussion: Assessing New Capabilities
Defining Solution Scope
Determining Scope Boundary
How to Define Solution Scope
Defining Solution Scope
Project Scope and Product Scope
Scope Modeling
Techniques Used to Define Scope
Define Scope Boundaries
Modeling Scope: Context Diagram
Exercise 4a: Create a Context Diagram from the Case Study
Communicating Solution Scope to Stakeholders
Stakeholders Participating in Scope Activities
Exercise 4b: Discuss Managing Expectations
Module Summary
Module Learning Objectives
Financial Analysis
Purpose of Financial Analysis
Costs versus Benefits
Financial Models
Timing for Assessing Financial Benefits
Assessing Risks
Risk Process
Exercise 5a: Identifying Risks
Risk Analysis
Capturing and Categorizing Risks
Risk Strategies
Tolerance for Risk
Determining Solution Options
Solution Option Process
Determining and Analyzing Solution Options
Conducting an Outcomes Focused Brainstorming Session
Stakeholders Involved in Determining Solution Options
Exercise 5b: Determining Solution Options
Feasibility Analysis
Discussion: Ranking Solution Options
Discussion: Recommending the Most Viable Option
Exercise 5c: Assess the Most Viable Options
Solution Approach Definition
Exercise 5d: Review the Business Case Templates
Module Summary
Module Learning Objectives
Circumventing a Business Case
Documenting the Business Case
Value of the Business Case Process
Business Case Components
Business Case Techniques
Build a Convincing Business Case
Discussion: Identifying Decision Criteria
Exercise 6a: Supporting a Go/No Go Decision
Packaging the Business Case
Planning Business Case Delivery
Discussion: Planning Stakeholder Buy-in
Information and Communication Needs in the Business Case Process
Presenting your Business Case
Exercise 6b: Anticipating and Responding to Challenges
Module Summary

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