When projects fail to deliver results, ensuing conversations can often become accusatory. The division manager says, “Even with all the resources and money put into this new product, the quarterly numbers show that it’s another loss. Plus, one of our competitors brought out an equivalent product before we were ready to launch ours”.
The head of the department responsible for the project responds, “We did the job, delivered on time and stayed within budget. It’s not our fault if the product didn’t generate the money you expected”.
The problem is…they’re both right! But even with everyone doing their best, the results were disappointing and the second-guessing begins. Were the business’ expectations too high? Was the original scope of the project assessed correctly? And that competitor who introduced an equivalent product – was the possibility of that risk ever identified at either the outset of the project or during its life? If so, were those involved-stakeholders included-aware of the potential risk so measures could be taken to mitigate it? Or was it decided the team was just there to deliver a product and not manage external events?
Applying the Business Case
Questions like these are often argued once the project is over.
Unfortunately, it’s usually too late to repair the damage. That’s why successful project teams take the time to consider such issues by building a solid Business Case at the inception of every project. This enables a team to address potential risks and plot alternative strategies while providing a tool for future variables throughout the project.
Once the Business Case has been developed, it is then applied at four critical phases in the project’s life cycle in order to ensure that the project-once completed-will deliver the return on invest