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Posted by Chip Gliedman on June 15, 2012
I am periodically asked whether a business case should be required for those projects that fall into the "must do" category - projects such as those required to meet regulatory or auditing needs, bring a system up to security or other standards, or migrate off of end-of-life platforms. Why do a business case for these? you might ask. We know we're going to do them, and since there's no incremental business benefit, an ROI calculation is not practically calculated. So why go through the effort?
My view is simple - even without a quantifiable business benefit, the business case analysis helps in three ways:
It should be no surprise that the three categories of analysis outlined - costs, risks, and flexibility - are three of the four categories we use in our Total Economic Impact methodology. In fact, the fourth category, benefits, have also been discussed, though not explicitly quantified. However, in each of the scenarios analyzed, benefits remain a constant and what will be analyzed are the changes in the other three categories.
So, how do you analyze and communicate the factors around your "must do" initiatives? Do you bother with business case or other forms of analysis? How do you communicate the reasons you're adding specific "must do" projects to your strategic plan? Please feel free to share your insights and experiences in the comments to this blog post.
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