You’ve discovered a great new software that will be perfect for helping your team and business achieve its goals. But the excitement dwindles when you realize you’ll need to develop an airtight business case to help other stakeholders understand its value.
There’s no way around it: The quality of a business case directly impacts the decision to go with new software. BCG found that a goal-oriented strategy and leadership commitment are two factors that can increase the success rate of digital transformation from 30% to 80%.
Because a business case is so important in supporting your software adoption aims, we’re providing guidelines to help you develop a great one.
A business case is, of course, a method of obtaining buy-in for your chosen software, but it also serves a few other purposes.
A well-developed software business case:
Increase the chances of securing stakeholder support and following through with a successful implementation by taking a methodical approach to business case development.
Identifying and describing the reasons your business needs new software is a critical first step. Note the pain points, challenges and inefficiencies you’ll address with the help of the chosen platform. When you present or discuss your business case, you’ll need to be able to thoroughly articulate the circumstances that drove your team to seek out a better way to get work done. These might include decreased productivity, increased costs or missed deadlines.
Defining the problem for yourself and those who work on the business case with you will help you collectively understand its purpose and enable you to confidently speak about the issues you’re hoping to solve.
Whether you’re writing a formal business case, putting together a slideshow or using another format, you need a definite structure. It’s easiest to dive in if you’ve seen examples of business cases. You might also choose to take notes in a predefined business case template.
Lay out what you’ll include in the intro, body and conclusion, then work carefully on one section at a time.
In a brief introduction, capture the audience’s attention and provide context. Remember that not everyone in the business is up close and personal with your existing workflows every day. The problems that brought your team to this search may not be obvious to them. Your introduction needs to set the scene clearly and leave no doubt as to why a new solution is necessary.
To wrap up your business case, summarize key points while emphasizing benefits. Like a good story, an effective business case will remind your stakeholders of the moral — the core reason you wrote it. This portion is as important as the closing remarks in a court case.
Don’t forget to seek feedback!
Before you’re ready to present or submit a business case, it’s helpful to have a few colleagues or industry experts review it for clarity. You should expect that it will go through several iterations, so it’s best to leave time for this process.
No matter how much effort you put into your business case, there’s one factor that can throw a wrench into every stage: your platform selection. If you haven’t fully evaluated the software for its compatibility with your business model and capacity to solve key problems, your request for company-wide support is likely to be denied.
Before you compile a business case, be sure to do your due diligence. Take advantage of a free trial, if it’s available, and check out third-party reviews and testimonials. Then, attend a demo, ask specific questions of sales reps and read case studies to find examples of how the platform has been successfully applied to other businesses of a similar size or in your industry.
Not sure you’ve found the right one yet? If your service business is struggling with inefficient communication, lack of visibility, resourcing troubles and more, an end-to-end client work management platform could be the solution. Start the process of building a solid business case with a free trial and demo of Accelo.