The business case is a proposal for an investment decision. Decision makers must have the relevant information needed to rationalize the investment opportunity. In most cases, they must make decisions against competing investments in order to optimize the use of their limited funds. Some of the common challenges we find today with this process are as follows:
- Lack of standardized process leading to data quality issues and delays
- Process is lengthy with roles not clearly identified
- Cannot compare like-for-like financials—multiple spreadsheet templates
- Version control is difficult are creates errors during the revision process
- Lack of approval workflow, scenario analysis and automated reporting
- No source system—dependency on Excel, Word and PowerPoint (no follow through post-approval)
- No way to drive accountability—lack of governance process
Of the seven challenges identified above the most common is the lack of a standard process for managing business cases. In most large organizations we find that the process is disparate and often managed on a one-off basis. Different groups have different spreadsheets, assumptions and calculations and they work their way up the approval chain differently. Executives are frustrated with looking at different formats and not having the appropriate data to rationalize and prioritize the business cases presented.
The best way to solve these key challenges is to automate the process in a source system. This will allow for standardization, a structured process, accurate financials and knowledge management.