Stage 2 - Justification

Assessing why it is worth doing

The project manager now develops the project from concept into a formal business case . The business case shows the justification for undertaking the project by presenting the project's value/business need and its strategic value to Oxford Brookes. This returned value is presented against the investment required, including cost, time, resource and risk. This should include both the costed activity needed to achieve the change and the activity needed to sustain it in the longer term.

The project manager works with stakeholders to appraise the options that best provide the solution to the project deliverables. Each option is assessed for viability, best value for money and best fit for purpose, and this is all detailed within the business case, supported by the project's recommendation. It is good practice to appraise a number of solutions for the project board to consider and approve. Project managers should talk to the project accountant or financial business partner for advice and support in costing and options appraisal.

The business case also presents the value of the anticipated benefits and how they map to the the relevant strategic objectives. The benefits management process should have begun by this stage, if not before, with a benefits map or list of benefits produced. If you would like any support or facilitation with benefits mapping workshops, please talk to the Strategic Change and Project Governance team.

Key actions

  • Engage team on project with emphasis on roles and responsibilities, vision, deliverables, challenges, benefits and opportunities.
  • Involve stakeholders in definition and requirements specification.
  • Engage with procurement and legal teams to identify the most appropriate procurement route, if required, and include this in the business case.
  • Ensure that supply options are realistic. Consider undertaking soft market testing in advance of the business case, to gain useful insight about what the market can offer and to provide indicative financial costings. Speak to procurement for advice.
  • Engage your Finance Business Partner or Project Accountant to ensure costings are sound.
  • Complete document templates: business case.
  • Business case approved by the sponsor and ready to be presented to the appointed board for decision at gateway 2.