Build a Solid Business Case to Get the Go Ahead from Management

Amanda White

In a recent guest opinion piece here on IT Business Edge, Daniel Teachey, a data management evangelist for SAS Institute, discusses selling a data quality project to upper management. Selling any kind of project to upper management can be a very daunting task, for as Teachey explains, “It can be extremely difficult to express how the initiative will impact the bottom line.” And let’s face it: The bottom line is what really matters in most organizations.

But where do you begin? Trying to come up with a comprehensive business case justification is a large — and overwhelming — project that could involve focus groups, prototypes and data models. And as ITBE contributor Ken Hardin points out, it’s a lot of time and resources to devote “so that an executive committee can simply say ‘no’ and scrap all that effort with no tangible deliverable.”

All of this isn't to say that you should give up and head for the hills; it's just to say that you should tread carefully when constructing your plan. And the IT Downloads library has a variety of tools to help you build a solid business case so that your project can get the green light from upper management.

Info-Tech’s TCO Calculator: This calculator will help you determine if an IT project will create financial benefits for the enterprise over a 3-year window.

The Business Case Checklist Excerpt: This checklist provides you with 12 questions to ask of any business case, as well as an investment score to guide your decision.

Knowledge Warehouse Business Case Sample: Use this sample business case to find out the types of analysis and modeling your team needs to present to senior management.

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