As a business leader, you are constantly faced with decisions that impact the success of your organization. From choosing which projects to pursue, to deciding how to allocate resources, your choices can make or break your business. That’s where a business case and Two Roads, a transformation expert, comes in.
A business case is a document that links a great idea and its execution, outlining the problem or opportunity being addressed, the proposed solution, and the expected benefits and costs. It provides a clear rationale for decision making and aligns stakeholders around a common goal. In short, a business case serves as a North Star to help you make better decisions for your business.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how to bring a great idea to life through the development of a business case:
Never Forget Your Purpose
A well-developed business case provides a clear and compelling argument for why your project is worth investing in. It can help you secure buy-in from key stakeholders, such as investors, board members, and senior leadership who may be instrumental in helping you secure the resources you need to succeed.
On the other hand, not creating a business case can have serious drawbacks. Without a clear understanding of the problem you are trying to solve and the benefits and costs of your proposed solution, you may end up making poor decisions that can jeopardize the success of your project. Inadequate planning and a lack of stakeholder buy-in can lead to project delays, budget overruns, and ultimately, failure.
Two Roads is in the business of transforming businesses. In our experience, building a business case is critical, not only in establishing your organization’s plan to tackle a project, but also in keeping you focused and aligned through execution.
In one case, a client wanted to collect and consolidate cross-business customer data in a more cost-effective and complete way. They were using different services and tools across the organization to collect this data, with each source storing it in CRM instances that weren’t connected to each other. Approaching the business case, the goal was to create a single, accurate view of the customer journey by, 1) consolidating customer data, and 2) providing visibility of the consolidated data across the company to better inform and tailor the customer experience.
During the initial requirements gathering of the business case, the stakeholders drew some very specific lines in the sand – one of which was that the customer data solution needed to be cost-neutral to the company. This new requirement re-focused our goal and we prioritized creating visibility of the customer data over consolidating it.
Two Roads supported the client in researching and identifying lower cost solutions to connect the CRMs and craft the data into a single customer journey. Our research revealed existing technology that connected the various databases and was already producing analytics. Utilizing the existing technology would enable us to bring valuable data insights to the client’s end users much faster, and at a fraction of the cost.
We were able to unlock immediate value for the client by establishing a business case focused on the goal of the project (bringing value to the end user) and addressing the problems of piecemeal analytics through a comprehensive solution.
Know When to Pivot
Once the objectives have been set and stakeholders have approved, your business case will continue to serve as a benchmark to measure progress and delivery throughout the life of the project. It should also be adaptable as new information causes you to pivot the solution.
In another example, we helped a client develop a business case to transform their digital retail experience by improving price transparency on products. The third-party retailers who sell these products all rely on different website providers, so we needed to partner with each provider to add the new price transparency tools.
It was decided early on to leverage the website providers’ own platforms by providing them with all the specs and resources needed to integrate our client’s tool into their products. However, as time went on, the providers continued to miss deadlines, didn’t prioritize the work, and delivered subpar results. This meant major delays across the whole program and increased costs substantially. As an active partner, Two Roads continued to advise our client on budget and progress, and it was clear we had a decision to make: either continue on the current path with the risk of losing more time and money, or pivot and find an alternative solution.
In reviewing ways to adapt our business case to address these issues, we proposed a “frame in” solution that would allow our client to embed their tools on the website providers’ platforms. Our team researched and analyzed the feasibility, implementation, and cost assumptions of this new solution so the client could make an accurate comparison and informed decision. The client elected to pivot to the frame in solution, which was significantly easier for the providers to integrate with and allowed the client to maintain more control over the experience, leading to faster updates and lower costs.
In cases like this, the business case is your North Star. It keeps you focused and moving in the right direction to accomplish your goal. You will inevitably learn and grow along the way, and you may even need to modify the plan to be successful. Just like a pilot’s compass, your business case can help you avoid costly deviations or mistakes that take you further from your destination. It’s crucial to keep adjusting your heading as needed in order to reach your end goals.
The value of a business case cannot be overstated. By taking the time to develop a thorough and well-reasoned business case, you can make better decisions for your business, secure the resources you need to succeed, and avoid the pitfalls of inadequate planning and stakeholder misalignment.
As a transformation expert, Two Roads has plenty of experience in not only finding the North Star and drawing the map, but also in holding the compass and course-correcting along the way. Our team has put together many business cases for Fortune 500 companies across North Texas, performing early cost benefit analysis, analyzing the current market and competition, and tracking the many variables across resource costs and timing. We partner with our clients in documenting the right strategic approach, then supporting them through approvals and execution. Two Roads can provide the outside, unbiased perspective needed to ensure your project delivers value and ROI.