When implementing a custom software solution, it is vitally important that shareholders understand and buy into the project. This is why you need a business case for custom software.
A business case is a document that presents the benefits, risks, costs and timeframe of the project to the business in order to justify the expenditure of resources. The document needs to be engaging and readable by all parties involved and should convey the value and benefits that the project will bring to the business.
The structure of a business case
A business case is made up of four sections:
- The executive summary
This is a short summary of the business case as a whole. The summary needs to convey essential information to the reader and give them a clear idea of the custom software’s purpose.
- The finance section
This section is directed at the stakeholders who approve funding and it consists of a financial appraisal and a sensitivity analysis. The financial appraisal identifies the financial implications of developing custom software by comparing the costs against the benefits, ensuring the project is affordable, and assessing the value for money it will provide. The sensitivity analysis explores possible scenarios by analysing the project risk and looking at possible futures.
- The project definition
This is the largest section of the business case and should answer any questions the stakeholders may have. The project definition details the reason for getting custom software developed, including its goals, benefits and limitations. It also identifies potential solutions to the problem that the software will tackle.
This section also sets the scope of the project, putting in place important boundaries to prevent the project from ballooning out of control. The project outline plan and schedule also fall into this section. Finally, this section includes market and risk assessments.
- Project organisation
This section is primarily for the project manager, developers and managers responsible for contributions to the project. It shows how the project is structured and lays out the roles and responsibilities.
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A comprehensive, well-written business case ensures everyone involved has a clear understanding of what is needed and what the custom software will accomplish. This can only contribute greatly to the success of the project.
Business analysis and project planning are part of Netgen’s development process. If you’re looking to implement custom software, contact us and we’ll make sure all the bases are covered.