Annual planning and budgeting is in full swing. If you want to ensure that your 2010 business case is approved, keep in mind these three immutable facts…
1. Your business case can be “torpedoed” without your ever knowing why. We’ve seen this happen a bunch of times. Here’s one key to reducing your chance of getting the “Mystery ‘No'”: make sure you know what each stakeholder’s opinion of the project is before you make the final presentation. Address any major concerns in the plan and in your presentation.
2. Reduce, reduce, reduce. Your audience likely will be composed of execs with gnat-like attention spans. Make sure you have an easily-digestible version of your pitch, and get the most important content on the table first. What’s that content? Depends on your organization and the management team, but the consistent top-line facts to present are problem, solution, expected reward and resources needed.
3. It’s all about the audience. OK, that’s an overstatement… But if you understand your audience – what they care about, what they have committed to do, what they know and what they fear – you’ll have a much better chance of developing and pitching a successful business case. After all, business cases are as much about selling skills as about the quality of the data.
Apply it now: First, take stock of the likely set of approvers for your business case. Do you know who will be in the room? If not, find out asap! Then, gather information on each approver as described in point #3 above. It’s a good start to being much better prepared to sell your business case.
Learn more: If you want to get really good at building and selling business cases, consider getting some training, like our upcoming four-part Distance Learning class. For more details see the course description of Business Case Secrets.