The new mode of writing business cases focuses on the benefits of the idea rather than the cost. It should also be about speed and capture of data rather than tomes of content. Find out how to create a better business case.
About Nick Coster
Head of Training services and Co-founder at
I have been developing and managing products
for over 20 years.
I have trained the Essentials of Product
Management to over 2000 product management
I have also consulted to clients whose products
include legal accounting software, implantable
medical devices, fashion, personal training, pay
TV services and financial services.
Who is Brainmates?
A Product Management consulting
and training business
To provide experienced Product
Management to businesses that want
to truly understand their customers’
... to develop innovative products that
their customers love.
The Business Case Is A Decision Making Tool
It helps the business quantify the opportunity.
Maximise its investments.
Find the opportunities that can deliver the highest return.
It helps the business prioritise it’s activities.
Businesses have limited resources.
Determine the best opportunities to allocate it’s people and
Captures Assumptions and Risks
Understand the risk of any new opportunity and the impact it may
have on the business.
The Business Case is the Champion of the Idea
The Business Case is the sales pitch.
It must tell a story.
It must demonstrate that the idea
will enable the organisation to hit its
Without a Business Case, ideas
remain as ideas.
Don’t Apply The Usual Process
The usual process is to speak to a few
stakeholders, write a Business Case for the full
investment, circulate to the stakeholders and
This means that the Business Case inputs are
not entirely accurate.
Don’t Justify The Spend
Business Cases are too focused on defending
the solution and the amount required to fund
the solution or project.
Don’t Make It All About The Spreadsheet
There is more to the Business Case than the
Often many find it difficult to understand the
bigger picture in the spreadsheet.
Don’t Start With A Document
The Business Case
process begins before
Investigate the benefits
of the idea by engaging
Reverse The Perspective
Focus on describing the opportunity investment
before justifying costs.
This means researching the benefits of the
Quantifying the benefits through additional revenue or decrease
cost in the business.
Do It Incrementally
Instead, ask for investment to fund the learning
of the opportunity, the solution design and the
final delivery of the project.
The incremental learnings will enable better
inputs into the final business case.
1st Investment 2nd Investment Final
Make It About The Story
Storytelling is part of our DNA.
Humans have been passing on key cultural and
historical information through narratives for all of
It's how we have and will continue to absorb and
Business cases are no different.
To get buy-in, it needs to focus on a compelling
Cost StructureBusiness Benefit
Use A Business Case Canvas
Capture your findings in a 1 page Business
Cost StructureBusiness Benefit