Using Business Cases to Champion New Ideas and Advocate Business Growth

March 3, 2014 • Strategic Spotlight, STRATEGY & MANAGEMENT

By Wolfgang Messner

Despite clear business-growth objectives, managers often have to make decisions on projects with uncertain outcomes, which can result in failed initiatives, missed goals, and overrunning costs. In this article Wolfgang Messner, author of the book Making the Compelling Business Case, outlines how a business case can be used as a tool, document, and process to build consensus among stakeholders and give decision-makers the rationale evidence for the go-ahead.

As a CEO, do you remember the last time your team presented an idea and your initial reaction was “I don’t understand it?” As a business planner, do you remember how your CEO simply brushed over your financial analysis with “I don’t believe it?” These two killer phrases immediately turn down even the best-intended business case and the ambitious new market-entry approach, the excellent new product, or a brilliant cost savings idea is dead on presentation. But why does the CxO league either not believe or not understand the business cases that their teams have created? Why do we have so many bad business cases out there?

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