APMG Better Business Cases - 3 stages to the RIGHT decisions

Ever since the banking crisis started (whenever that was – it seems like the current economic crisis has been going on for a lifetime if you listen to the news!) it has become more important for organisations to make sure which projects they invest in are the right ones. This is true for either public or private sector organisations.

In the public sector both central and local government budgets are being slashed due to the austerity measures in place so when a public body makes an investment they need to be able to show that it is worthwhile - basically that they are spending the public’s money wisely.

But it’s just as important in the private sector that organisations make good investments. There is less money around just now for most organisations so again they should want to spend it on projects that will add the most value.

So the decision on what projects to invest in is highly important. So what is out there to help organisations make the right decisions and make sure they only undertake projects that will add real value?

APMG Better Business Cases

Let me introduce you to the new Better Business Cases accreditation scheme that’s been released by APMG. The scheme is sits along side the HM Treasury’s Green Book and is a tool to help you implement it.

3 Stages to Better Business Cases

APMG Better Business Cases consists of 10 steps which tell you what to do during the business case development process. These are split into 3 stages. At the end of each stage the business case would be reviewed to see if you should move onto the next stage.

Let’s have a look at the 3 stages in the business case development process.

1 - Scoping the Scheme and Preparing the Strategic Outline Case (SOC)

The first of these stages is to prepare a Strategic Outline Case (SOC). It is vital to know that any investment will be aligned to the strategic objectives of the organisation (the Strategic Case). The SOC allows you to do this.

In this stage you will look to make a robust case for change and also look to recommend a preferred way forward. This will be done by first of all creating a long list of options then narrowing that down to the short list.

2 - Planning the Scheme and Preparing the Outline Business Case (OBC)

The next stage is to prepare an Outline Business Case (OBC). In this stage you will revisit the Strategic Case and begin to look to make the Economic, Commercial, Financial and Management Case for the project.

This stage is all about making sure the chosen option will provide value for money and be affordable. You will determine the procurement strategy and also look to make sure all you have a strategy for managing the project and its benefits, risks and change.

3 - Procuring the Solution and Preparing the Full Business Case (FBC)

The final stage is to prepare the Full Business Case. This stage is all about procuring the best Value for Money (VFM) option and making sure the appropriate management tools are in place to manage the delivery of the project.

There is no point having made the right decision of which project to invest in if we then don’t manage it effectively.

So you can see Better Business Cases takes you through the development process helping you quite simply to write a better business case. I’m sure that is something that all project managers out there would like help with!

How do I get trained in Better Business Cases?

Find out about Better Business training & qualifications:

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