Business Case Workshop Outline

Course Overview


This two day seminar will provide people with the tools to prepare and present effective business cases that will optimize the use of organizational resources.


The “Total Impact™” approach to Business Case Analysis requires an analysis and evaluation of a complete set of decision criteria.  By valuing Financial Efficiencies and Returns as well as Sustainability of the Organization in the Economic System, Stewardship of the Natural Environment, Safety Of Employees and The Public and the Satisfaction Of Customers and stakeholders, a decision maker can be assured that a business case in support of a decision is pointing to the best alternative.


Since 1989, over 8,000 managers from a variety of public and private organizations have used the “Total Impact” approach to improve their business cases.




Participants will be made aware that:

  1. there must be a thorough analysis of the alternatives and options in the development of a case analysis.
  2. business cases must be closely linked to the corporate strategic plan and divisional operating objectives.
  3. business cases must report measurable results in terms of corporate objectives
  4. business cases must be prepared to satisfy a variety of approval authorities including the project initiator, internal management, and other external stakeholder groups
  5. a business case must be Complete, Concise, Consistent, not Contrived and it must use Common sense.


Participants will be able to :

  1. clearly identify the link between a particular business case and the realization of corporate strategic objectives.
  2. develop problem statements that lead the analysis in a logical direction.
  3. identify relevant criteria that will be used to rank alternative solutions to the problem.
  4. utilize a systematic approach to developing feasible alternatives that will prompt the discovery of a wide range of alternative courses of action .
  5. develop qualitative measures of project impact for each alternative.
  6. complete a thorough financial evaluation of each alternative using discounted cash flow analysis.
  7. engage in a logical ranking of those alternatives against business unit related criteria and strategic plans.
  8. develop quantifiable measures of project results that will feed into the performance management process.
  9. match the style of presentation to the listening needs of selected audiences.



This seminar is designed for any person who is involved in the decision making and justification process. Not everyone is responsible for the preparation of a business case, but virtually everyone has some involvement in the process. It is customary for clients to send managers and support personnel to the workshop.



Participants will be given:

  • a 150 page course manual describing the elements of a business case
  • an 8 step workbook that provides a template and guides the completion of a business case,
  • an Excel spreadsheet that does a full financial evaluation, social impact analysis and decision matrix for prioritizing alternatives.
  • Six months free e-mail access to Graham Fane to guide and assist in the development of active business cases from the desks of participants


Day 1:

“Total Impact”™ Business Case, what, why and when

The seminar begins with an overview of the Business Case model and a discussion of how business case preparation fits in to a management cycle that begins with the organizations strategic plan.

The remainder of the workshop deals with the “8 steps to a successful business case.”


Step 1, Defining the Problem

Proper problem definition or identification of an opportunity is the most important, and often one of the most neglected elements of a business case preparation.


Step 2, Defining Decision Criteria and Measures

At this point in the workshop we develop a thorough understanding of financial and non-financial criteria and possible measures to use in the decision process. Criteria dealing with Sustainability and Social impacts are defined, measured and understood.


Step 3, Defining Alternative Solutions

The quality of the ultimate solution depends on the range of the search for alternative courses of action. In ideal circumstances we wish to search a sufficiently broad range of options so that we can be sure that the optimal solution is contained in the set.


Day 2:

Step 4, Evaluating Alternatives

The workshop materials include a user friendly and comprehensive Excel spreadsheet that does a complete financial evaluation, an analysis of the social impacts and provides a decision matrix to rank alternatives in order of attractiveness.


Step 5, Making a Choice

Selecting the best alternative requires identifying the one that comes closest to accomplishing the objectives of the project.  Selection must wait until all attractive alternatives have been evaluated.  You shouldn’t choose to soon.


Step 6, Measuring Project Performance

When solving a problem or acting on an opportunity, it is very important to communicate expected results to the decision-maker. Expected results need to measured.


Step 7, Making an Effective Case Presentation

We will follow simple rules of case presentation and document formatting so that your decision-maker will clearly understand the implications of your case and be able to make a fully informed judgment.


Step 8, Implementation and Control

Controlling projects and initiatives is an absolutely critical element.




The program is offered over two days, separated by one week. The interval is used to have participants apply the principles covered in the first day, work on developing their business cases, and preparing questions to be answered in the second day.


The session is a mix of lecture, group discussion, hands on break out groups and individual practice on key points. Participants consistently rank the workshop as excellent, and they cite the practical approach to problem solving using issues and examples that are current to the organization as the reason.