To validate that the project's value is attainable, you need to assess the risks to project and benefits success.

Can You Deliver The Business Case Value?

Having a Value Equation is only of value if it is deliverable.

In this section of the Business Case, you need to show that the approaches you’re proposing (including any technical solutions you are adopting) are feasible and the best approach, and that the associated risks are manageable.

Rationale for chosen approach

There is always more than one way of approaching any project so what is your proposed approach and why will this deliver the best value to the organization as quickly as possible?

I’m not a great believer in cluttering up the business case with detailed discussions and analysis of multiple alternative approaches; these should have been assessed beforehand so that the business case is a clear, providing a single value proposition (and this does not give senior management an opportunity to become project delivery option experts). This is not to say that you cannot spell out the other alternatives considered and why they were rejected as part of the proposed approach’s justification.

Risks to success

Key in this section is the risk analysis — can we realize the value? What are the greatest risks? How are they going to be managed?

Hopefully your organization has a set of common, systemic risks that are consistently scored so as to give you comparable risk profiles across the project portfolio. Systemic risks exist in relation to the delivery of any project and its the benefits plus risks from the project to the organization, its customers, brand, suppliers and other projects. All of these dimensions need to be 'scored' on a comparable basis so that management can assess the level of risk this project is proposing vis-à-vis other proposed projects and programs.

High-risk projects can be done IF they are governed and managed as high-risk projects. What tends to happen is that they are rated ‘high risk’ and then managed like any other project in the hope that the risks are being managed (somewhere, somehow). This is a recipe for disaster.

One of the best run projects I’ve seen in recent years was high, high risk; but was managed as such; with massive business commitment and involvement and the requisite risk management focus on the project. It was successful (but a lot of hard work).

As part of a project’s risk profile we include the stakeholders as their commitment (or lack of it) as this is always key to getting a successful result.

Section Contents

At the end of this section you need to have defined

  • what your proposed approach is, and why it is the best approach for this solution
  • when you’ll deliver what aspects of the project – nb they’ll be looking for progressive delivery of value to reduce the net cost and attendant risks
  • what the risks and risk profiles of the project are, and how they’ll be managed
  • who the key stakeholders are that will need to enable and support your success. 


Topics: Business Case


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Revision History

First published: Simms, J. (Oct 2009) as "The Business Case 5 – Is The Value Achievable?"

Updated: Chapman, A. (March 2020), Revisions and Corrections