Business Cases that Mean Business by Jim Maholic

Business Cases that Mean Business

A practical guide to identifying, calculating and communicating the value of large scale IT projects

KIRKUS REVIEW

Maholic lays out the best way to analyze large-scale IT projects.

When companies consider spending money on a large project that’s intended to provide an attractive return over many years, specifically in the realm of information technology, they primary rely on a tool called a “business case.” This case may be prepared internally, by the team that’s lobbying management to approve the project, or externally, by the sales team working to persuade a prospect company’s decision-makers to buy their product. Either way, the parameters of a successful business case tend to be much the same: a compelling argument, supported by objective evidence, describing and explaining why the expenditure makes sense; a reasonable analysis of the current business situation; and either an internally generated recommendation to management or the external team’s “closing” sales pitch designed to motivate acceptance of the proposed expenditure. Anyone charged with building business cases will be interested in the teachings carefully laid out here, based on lessons the author learned from creating more than 100 business cases. Unlike The Business Case Guide (2002), by Marty J. Schmidt, which clarifies key differences among cases used within for-profit, nonprofit, educational and government organizations, Maholic writes strictly from within his own information technology experience. However, the strategic and tactical elements of powerful, persuasive business cases remain, for the most part, consistent across departmental and industry-specific lines—marketing campaigns, training programs, factory relocations, new product development and much more. Many other books, such as Developing a Business Case (2010), cover the basic concepts of effective business cases in simplified form. Maholic covers those basics then takes the reader an extra step to lay out highly technical aspects of business cases, including benefit-realization timing, maturity modeling, ramifications of business growth, and tax considerations. He includes useful case-building tools and offers lessons on such important nuances as building and retaining credibility, focusing on each project’s inherent drivers, elucidating nonfinancial benefits, choosing appropriate methods for gathering relevant evidence, and gaining individual commitment from key decision-makers and their advisers. Overall, this helpful tool will increase readers’ confidence and competence in building business cases.

Extremely valuable content packaged to be readily absorbed.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1481246767
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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