Building a Business Case: 3rd April 2022

Building a business case is an enjoyable task. At least, I think so. How many ways can this project or initiative help the company? Let's break down business cases into two aspects: tangible and intangible.

Tangible are the aspects that drive ROI (Return on Investment). You can measure them, and build the business case in a straightforward way. Here are a few from the ecommerce arena:

Tangibles can help build solid, tangible business cases. Business cases based this way have a higher chance of success because, so long as your numbers are sound, it's hard to argue with the logic.

Business cases based on intangible or immeasurable aspects are much harder to justify. Let's think of a few examples of intangibles:

You can argue some of these can be turned into tangibles, which is true. We should strive to do so where possible when presenting a business case. The more we do this, the more tangible and understandable to boards and committees the business case will be.

We should not forget the intangibles. Often, a weak set of tangibles metrics can be much stronger with intangibles attached.

It can be these aspects which can be important to a project in the long run. Indeed it's best to try and find some intangibles to include in any business case, and especially include any that sparked the idea you have in the first place. It's rare that good ideas come from simply thinking about how to be more profitable, after all.

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