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The Successful Completion of a Compelling Business Case

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Are you looking into building a successful case for change for your business?

Building a compelling business case for change to be submitted to senior management is a major undertaking — and to succeed you’ll need to cover the three Ps: preparation, preparation, preparation!

Below, we’ll outline a number of tips for building a great document that will help you build a smoother process and get things right first-time.

Stage one is research.

Who are you targeting with the case for change, and what is your central argument? How does the current situation stand in your business? What are your immediate competitors up to — and what are they doing better, or worse? Conduct a full audit of the relevant areas to gather the correct data, whether that’s costs, processes or personnel, and look at the impact on productivity, profitability and efficiency. Build a map of where your company stands today.

Road Map

Next, think about the roadmap for your company tomorrow. By what processes will you actively implement change? Will your ideas need new workflow pipelines, software or suppliers? How much do you stand to gain in the marketplace by enacting change now rather than further down the line? How can you, as a leader, convince and influence those around you in your goals towards a positive and effective change?

The A-to-Zs of your change roadmap are essential to convincing others to join your vision. Grand declarations of a vision are one thing, but the nitty-gritty of how your plan will be carried out is where you will succeed or fail.

So, for example, carry out an audit of what you expect the costs of your business case for change to be. Capital expenditures (CAPEX) vs Operating expenses (OPEX), need to be scrutinised, particularly in a before-and-after simulation. Will the long-term savings on operating expenses be justified by the immediate capital expenditure required to move it into gear? Our old friend, Return on Investment is a key player here. The greater the change you’re proposing, the more likely it is to incur stress and operational instability — will the long-term trend in ROI justify the work put in?

These key questions about finance and profitability are also vital to making sure that your proposal for change stands on solid ground — if you can’t back up your vision without facts and evidence, you will be unlikely to affect a widespread change.

The Risks

Finally, it goes without saying that your case for change needs to take a serious look at any potential risks

and issues. All but the most meticulous plans survive unchanged into the real world, and although it is impossible to consider all the possible pitfalls a case for change may encounter in its journey from paper to reality, being prepared and aware of the pitfalls will make for an increased resilience should those fears come to fruition.

Building a coherent document, with all of these factors put together and laid out in a structured, ordered plan is essential to presenting an effective case for change. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail!

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