Archives > January 2015

Our Business Case Methodology (why do one, anyways?) (part 1 of 9)

This post is part of an ongoing series on the Tantus business case methodology, written by Dave McGarva (dave.mcgarva@tantus.com).

These articles will describe the purpose, content, and use of a business case to support executive decision-making. This introductory post is intended to clear up some misconceptions about what a business case is, how it differs from a business plan, and what it’s used for.

Business Cases 101

A business case is a decision making tool, based on a thorough analysis of the available options. Based on our experience with business case development, we have identified three core reasons, or common purposes, for why clients require a business case. Specifically the three common purposes for clients are:

  1. Seeking funding or approval
  2. Analysis for business decision making
  3. Maximize value of an investment

One of the reasons clients require business cases is to show that they have conducted a thorough analysis of all of the options available when seeking funding or approval from a finance or decision-making entity in their organization. Another is to gain information on all of the options available to them in order to make a business or investment decision. The final reason most people require a business case is to ensure that the decision or investment they want to make maximizes the value. A business case, including a thorough cost benefit analysis and stakeholder impact analysis, ensures the selection of the available option that provides the greatest value.

What is a Business Case?

An effective business case is a multi-purpose document that generates the support and participation needed to turn an idea into reality and for making decisions regarding complex business problems or projects. It is a structured methodology, explaining what the idea, problem, or opportunity is, how and who it will impact, what others are doing, each of the alternatives, the associated impacts, risks and cost/benefit of each alternative, and makes recommendations. The business case is intuitive and inclusive in its examination of all aspects of a business decision or project. A comprehensive business case leads to a logical and rational conclusion for making a decision to proceed with the optimal alternative.

The business case is a comprehensive process that can become complex depending on the nature of the business initiative. For instance, the extent to which an initiative has some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Multi-functional
  • Multi-departmental
  • Affects many stakeholders (internal or external)
  • Involves substantial changes to service delivery or operational processes
  • Involves high risk or possible impacts
  • Highly visible to senior management, legislature, council,  general public or shareholders
  • Significant in terms of funding, resources, stakeholders
  • Multi-year costs and multi-year return on investment
  • Multi-year realization of benefits
  • Contingent on timeframe

These characteristics will determine whether the business case may be developed in a few hours or take many months to develop. It may even be necessary to initiate a trial or pilot projects to test the feasibility of a particular approach before the business case is completed. In this case, a separate business case will be needed to support the pilot project.

A business case is related to a business initiative. The business initiative could spawn multiple projects (i.e. feasibility study, request for proposals, development/construction, implementation, transition), each one may warrant their own sub-business case, for funding/resource allocation.

Who Might Require a Business Case?

A business case is useful tool for anyone with a business initiative or decision and needs an objective analysis of the alternatives available. Often people needing a business case are looking for funding or buy-in for a particular initiative or decision. A business case is a tool used to present to an executive team or finance entity to secure funding or approval to proceed with a project. People in need of this tool can include:

  • People who want to make capital investment decision making
  • Someone pitching a financial entity or executive team
  • Someone going for funding / approval
  • Usually from a functional area wanting funding / approval for a project, investment, etc
  • Often have to go through a decision-making body, as seen above

When is a Business Case Required?

In general, any initiative that will have a significant impact on either internal processes or the delivery of services to clients, particularly if it requires significant allocation or reallocation of resources, should be justified by means of a business case. Each organization should follow its own practice/guidelines, to establish when a business case is required, but there are certain indicators that can help identify need:

  • When a business decision is being made
  • To demonstrate that the “thinking” was carried out
  • Typically required to gain funding
  • Need to thoroughly explore the options that are available to them
  • Need to take steps to make decisions on spending options
  • Require rigour in the decision making process
  • Maximize the value of dollars spent

Tantus Continues Growth Through Hiring of Two New Senior Industry Executives

In order to support the growth of the organization, Tantus Solutions Group has expanded their senior management team through the hiring of two senior Industry Executives.

Glenn De Roy, Chief Executive Officer – Mr. De Roy is an experienced IM/IT executive, holding progressively senior positions over a period of more than 34 years. He has lead business units for a number of organizations as an Executive and Partner, with the most recent being TELUS Health prior to joining Tantus. Glenn has supported clients throughout North America in a number of consulting capacities, with a special focus on strategic planning and program leadership of large and complex projects at the organizational, jurisdictional, provincial/state and national levels, both in Canada and the United States.  Prior to assuming the CEO role with Tantus, Glenn had been the firm’s Chief Strategy Officer and had also been sitting on the Tantus Advisory Board for the last 4 years.

Sam Scaber, Managing Principal, Business Development – Mr. Scaber is an experienced senior business leader with over 30 years of consulting expertise. He previously held senior business development, solution development and consulting roles with IBM Canada and LGS Group. Sam has overall responsibility for business development and account management for Tantus Solutions Group.

Tantus President Jeff Young commented, “We are extremely excited to have Glenn and Sam join our organization.   Their experience and background complements our current experience while also increasing our capabilities and capacity as we continue to execute on our growth plans.”

About Tantus Solutions Group, Inc.

Tantus Solutions Group is an innovative Alberta-based information systems and management consulting firm. Tantus optimizes our client’s value and benefits of their IM/IT strategies and investments by providing consulting services that are founded in excellence and experience.

To ensure we provide value for our clients consulting and IT investments, Tantus has developed a team of professionals that are among the most skilled and experienced resources in the industry today. Utilizing the skills of a progressive and forward thinking leadership team and combining these with a proven toolkit of methodologies, best practices and processes, Tantus delivers premium services that support our clients business and IT goals.

Tantus has continued to grow as a result of providing valued service to our clients evidenced by our inclusion in Alberta Venture’s list of Alberta’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies the last four years running, as well as being identified as one of Profit Magazine’s Top 200 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Visit us at: www.tantus.com

 

Media contact

Tony Schiebel
TANTUS Solution Group, Inc.
tony.schiebel@tantus.com
(780) 490-0874, ext 107

Ste. 101, 10722 – 103 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5J 5G7