This post is part of an ongoing series on the Tantus business case methodology, written by Dave McGarva. This is part 4 of 9. The next instalment will be posted in May 2015.
Last month we posted the first two steps for maximizing your investment value from a business case. Step 1 was to define the problem. Step 2 involves creating a clear definition of the project. Step 3 is where we test the alignment of the project with the existing strategy of your organization.
Step 3: Test Alignment with Strategy
Step 3 includes an analysis of how the overall project will align with, or contribute to, the strategic initiatives of the stakeholder organizations. This analysis includes a thorough scan of the strategic planning documents of each stakeholder group to identify which initiatives will be impacted by the project. The project is assigned a rating based on how significant the impact or alignment is on each strategic initiative identified.
When assessing the project for strategic alignment, it is important to include an assessment for external stakeholders. Identifying project alignment with stakeholders outside of the organization provides an opportunity to identify potential strategic partnerships and relationships. This also provides opportunities for cooperative problem solving.
Not conducting a strategic alignment analysis can weaken your business case. There is a risk of not receiving approval or funding if you have not identified how the project contributes to the overall corporate strategy. Other projects with impact on yours must be considered.
A small government ministry was tasked with undertaking a large project, but couldn’t attain the necessary funding. After being repeatedly rebuffed, the Ministry decided to take a different approach.
Using a business case methodology, they highlighted the strategic alignment of their project with the government’s overall goals. This way, the benefits of the project for other larger ministries was also illustrated.
An emphasis on strategic alignment showed the funding body the benefit for all parties involved, and the project was approved.
Watch for our next instalment in May when we talk about the next steps for maximizing the value from your business cases.