- The level of detail required is commensurate with the complexity of the project and the amount of funding being requested
- For a simple project, the Project Definition template will usually be sufficient (just change the heading at the top of the first page)
The best way to approach the Business Case is as if a contract was being created between the FFCoVE Board (which will provide the funding), the project owner (who will assure the FFCoVE Board as to the quality of the project’s outcomes) and the project team (which will deliver the project outputs and is represented by the project manager). The following attributes contribute to a quality business case:
- Strategic alignment – the project’s goals and objectives must clearly align with the FFCoVE Strategy (the ‘FFCoVE Test’). The scope must logically describe the building blocks which need to be delivered for the project to achieved its projected outcomes and the benefits section should clearly describe what will be different when the project is successfully delivered..
- Economic Case – this identifies the options considered (including the cost of doing nothing) and recommends the option which provides the best value to the sector, including broader considerations such as social and environmental effects.
- Commercial Case – describes how the project will be resourced i.e. what resources or materials (or in-kind services) from which sources and at what cost. The detail should factor in any contingencies that might occur within the delivery of the project.
- Financial Case – This section demonstrates that the project is affordable. That is, it analyses the capital and operational spend required and ideally presents this as a budget aligned to the deliverables and presented against the month-by-month project timeline. If it is possible for the project to identify downstream savings (even if these relate to subsequent adapters and adopters of products or services) these should also be outlined; along with any assumptions or caveats necessary to qualify their inclusion.
- Management Case – shows stakeholders that adequate plans are in place for the delivery, monitoring and evaluation of the recommended option. This includes a list of key constraints, assumptions, risks and issues such that it the risk profile the project carries is clear. A risk matrix is optional although should be strongly encouraged if there is any doubt.
Once all parties are agreed, the draft Business Case is emailed to the FFCoVE.
Options for the FFCoVE Portfolio Manager include:
- Engagement with the Technical Reference Group if required
- In collaboration with the working group, obtaining quotations for the delivery of the project. The recommended quotation will allow the working group to confirm the delivery timelines and may result in minor changes to the scope (e.g. if the supplier has a superior solution or a better way to deliver it than originally planned)
- Once everyone is happy with the detail, the Business Case is submitted to the FFCoVE Board for funding and approval to proceed.