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Six Sigma Tools: Building a Business Case

published on April 30, 2012

Building a business case is important to more than your improvement project, it should be one of the pillars of your decision making. A business case helps you understand why a decision is necessary, what you anticipate the solution to look like and how it will help you reach your long-term organizational goals.

Business Case Components

Strictly speaking a business case is the first direction you take in describing your project to the people who will okay the resources and the team working with the resources. At its core a business case should have the following components:

  • A definition of the end product/ service that you sell to your clients.
  • How your team will measure the output.
  • A primary baseline (how can you measure and interpret results if you don’t have a starting line).
  • An explanation of the performance gap and how that affects your business objectiv

What doesn’t it do?

A business case does not provide a magic bullet. What it does do it allow you to logically create a path to alternative solutions. The business case does not work if your team has not made a cohesive acceptance of the proposed alternative, in the case of differing opinions it may actually serve as tool that further divides the team.

Why it does work

It works because it creates focus and more often than not project teams lack a sense of focus. The best business cases create a uniform goal and team rationale. When constructing a business plan, it’s my belief that this is what you should strive for.

Change is hard and as with all of my posts, I believe in the guidance of a good belt. Talk with your belt and have a conversation about your challenges and your thoughts on solutions. Your belt is not your guru, they are a part of your solution. Utilize them.

published on April 30, 2012

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One Response to Six Sigma Tools: Building a Business Case

  1. PM Hut says:

    Hi Leona,

    We have published an article on the business case in PM before (see here), but it’s been a long time since we have published another one.

    That’s why I would like to republish your post on PM Hut, where many project managers will benefit from it. Please either email me or contact me through the contact us form on the PM Hut website in case you’re OK with this.

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