Product Business Case Template


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Use this Microsoft Word template to help you design a Business Case for any corporate product investment. Get this template @

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Product Business Case Template

  1. 1. Product Business Case TemplatePurposeThe purpose of this tool is to help you design a Business Case for any corporate productinvestment. Business cases are developed for many reasons, such as acquiring a company,developing a new market or to capitalize on a high-growth opportunity. This businesscase template is designed to help prepare a request for significant funding outside yournormal annual operating budget to invest in product development.How to Use this TemplateComplete the following sections with your project team and/or stakeholders. Cut & pasteinformation into a document that reflects your corporate image, and deliver your BusinessCase to senior executives interested in sponsoring the project.Title Page [Insert Company Name or Logo] Business Case – (insert project title) [Insert Completion Date] Completed By: [Insert Project Manager Name] Completed For: [Insert Project Sponsor Name]
  2. 2. Table of Contents1. Executive Summary 4 1.1 What Problem does this Business Case Solve?2. Market Need & Solution 4 2.1 Market Opportunity3. Product 5 3.1 Description 3.2 Place 3.3 Promotion 3.4 Price 3.5 People 3.6 Process 3.7 Physical Evidence4. Business Objective 7 4.1 Strategic Objectives 4.2 Business Model5. Market 8 5.1 Competitive Landscape 5.2 Competing Products 5.3 Positioning6. Customer 9
  3. 3. 7. Program 9 7.1 Scope 7.2 Schedule 7.3 Cost8. Financial Analysis 12 8.1 Profit & Loss Projection 8.2 Risk Assessment (3-5 year)9. Recommendations & Conclusion 13
  4. 4. 1. Executive Summary1.1 What Problem does this Business Case Solve?Provide a brief description of the problems that this business case was designed to solve.Consider cost-savings, revenue growth, increased customer satisfaction, better productmanagement, higher retention, employee growth & development, or pain-points for yourorganization.Write your Executive Summary last, after you’ve completed every other section of thedocument.2. Market Need & SolutionIf you have a Market Requirements Document to support this business case, refer to it as asource of input for this section.2.1 Market OpportunityDescribe the market opportunity that exists for a new or enhanced and cite supportingevidence.2.2 Key Success FactorsIdentify the Key Success Factors that are critical to a product’s success in the marketopportunity you’ve identified.Examples include: adequate budget & resources, skill sets, time to do the project amongstother priorities, project sponsorship.
  5. 5. Key Success Factors Justification 1. Insert KSF #1 Why is this critical? 2. Insert KSF #2 Why is this critical? 3. Insert KSF #3 Why is this critical? 4. Insert KSF #4 Why is this critical? 5. Insert KSF #5 Why is this critical?3. ProductIf you have a Market Requirements Document to support this business case, refer to it as asource of input for this section.3.1 DescriptionAt a high level, provide a description of what the product is, who it is for and why it isbetter than competing alternatives. Use the Positioning Statement Worksheet to developthe product position.3.2 PlaceDescribe how you will get the product to customers. Which channel(s) will you use? Whatkind of marketing coverage are you planning?3.3 PromotionSummarize your marketing communications strategy for the product. Which marketingchannels will you use? How will these produce qualified leads? Does personal selling orthe sales force have a role to play? Which promotional messages will resonate with themarket?To help prepare this section of your business case, use the following tools:
  6. 6. 1. Marketing Channel Ranking Tool 2. Message Mapping Tool3.4 PriceDiscuss your pricing strategy and the objectives you have for it. Use the Pricing StrategyTemplate to help determine a pricing strategy.3.5 PeopleDescribe the human actors who are involved in achieving success in the market with thisproduct: 1. Employees: what kind of recruiting, training, motivation, rewards and teamwork are required? 2. Customers: what sort of education and training will customers need to adopt and use this product?3.6 ProcessProvide detail on the actual procedures, flow of activities and supporting systems by whichthe product is delivered to customers in the market. For example, you may wish to use thePurchase Process Diagram Tool to describe the sequence of activities leading to thepurchase of this product.3.7 Physical EvidenceList all tangible representations of the product beginning with the product itself andincluding: business cards, brochures, packaging, documentation, signage, equipment andphysical facilities. Emphasize how each tangible component will communicate theproduct’s purpose, quality, intended use, target market and benefits.
  7. 7. 4. Business ObjectiveThis section outlines the objectives the product will achieve when launched.4.1 Strategic ObjectivesList the specific objectives identified for this product. For each objective, describe how it is: 1. Consistent with corporate strategy and vision. 2. Appropriate for where the product is in its lifecycle. 3. Complementary to the positioning strategy for this product.4.2 Business ModelUse the Business Model Canvas found at to prepareand document your business model:
  8. 8. Your business model will provide detail about: Key Partners  Value Propositions  Customer Relationships Key Activities  Cost Structure  Customer Segments Key Resources  Revenue Streams  Channels5. MarketIn this section you will discuss the market factors that will impact or facilitate the product’ssuccess: competition and market position.5.1 Competitive LandscapeAssess the competition at the corporate level. Use the Competitor Analysis Tool to helpcomplete your assessment. Your assessment should include:  Each direct competitor or substitute product  Their strategy  Strengths and weaknesses  Financials  Estimated capabilities, resources and ability to execute  Predicted response to your actions5.2 Competing ProductsAssess competing products, using the Competitive Products Sales Reference Tool.Compare competing solutions at the feature level to determine where you have acompetitive advantage and which product is the market leader.
  9. 9. 5.3 PositioningPositioning is the process of defining a market position for your product. Once defined, thatmarket position is expressed as a Positioning Statement that describes your product, defines itsdifferentiation and expresses how you will create value. A Positioning Statement is a succinctexpression of your market position that is externally focused, describes the target customer,primary benefit, references the competition and answers the question: why should I buy fromyou?Use the Positioning Statement Worksheet to articulate a market position for this product.6. CustomerTo have sales success, you will need to tailor your sales pitch to your target customer, so inthis section, you will define your target customer segments and provide profiles ofrepresentative customers. Use the Customer Profile Template to create a persona for eachtype of customer represented in the buying process. Keep in mind that for B2B segments,you may have several personas involved in the process of making a single sale, such asexecutives, managers and the actual users.7. ProgramThis section will outline the key risks that need to be mitigated and provide contingencyplans for each identified risk. Risks include: lack of end-user adoption, project over-time/over-budget, technical risk, and senior management commitment.7.1 ScopeDescribe the scope of this project, broken into phases, including:  How to accomplish the project successfully
  10. 10.  Total development time  The approach  Key resources  Support requirements and resources  Product Marketing plan  RolesUse the Product Charter Template to ensure you’ve captured and documented the scope elementsof your Business Case7.2 ScheduleFollowing is a sample project schedule that you can customize further:Product Development/Launch Milestones Deadline1. Idea Generation June 1, 20122. Business Case Development July 15, 20123. Features Specification July 31, 20124. Product Development September 1, 20125. Beta Testing October 15, 20126. Launch November 20, 2012
  11. 11. 7.3 CostUse the following worksheet to identify the costs and the benefits of developing this product: Cost/Benefit Analysis WorksheetProject CostsIncremental Costs Description High Low Total CostsProject BenefitsIncremental Benefits Description High Low Total Benefits % Benefits/Costs
  12. 12. 8. Financial AnalysisThe purpose of the financial analysis is to indicate the product’s potential and provide atimetable for financial viability.8.1 Profit & Loss ProjectionProvide a detailed analysis of how many units you must sell in order to break even. Use theBreak Even Analysis Tool to help complete this projection.8.2 Risk AssessmentProvide an assessment of risk over a three to five year horizon for developing this product.Consider the following dimensions of risk:  Investment Risk: what are the risk factors that would lead to not getting a return for investing in the development of this product? Example risk factors could include: lack of end-user adoption, project over-time/over-budget, technical risk and senior management commitment.  Opportunity Risk: what are the lost opportunity risks of not developing this product or not delivering it to the market at the right time? This part of your analysis should predict what might happen if you don’t proceed with product development. Examples include loss of market share, loss of perception as a market leader and loss of revenue to competitors who do have products in this niche.Use the Risk Assessment Tool to help identify the risks and predict their impact andprobability.
  13. 13. 9. Recommendations & ConclusionConclude your Business Case with specific recommendations: what should the companydo?