An afterthought for the business case

7 Feb

Once the business case has been endorsed, it is imperative that an implementation plan is in place to supplement the business case. The implementation plan provides the project manager with clear direction on where the project should go and the appropriate time-frames for each milestone of the project. Another important factor is to make sure that costs remain under control. Clear deliverables and outcomes need to be in place to allow for the key performance indicators to be measured.

Image Source: http://www.fasttrakauto.com/blog/2012/11/27/7-steps-to-implementing-an-auto-repair-business-growth-strategy/

Scope creep can happen all too easily in a new IS project. Scope creep refers to the uncontrollable or continuous growth in a projects scope. According to Deloitte.com scope creep leads to “project overruns both financially and time-wise and compromises the success of the implementation of functionality that is in scope”. In order to prevent scope creep, both the business case and implementation plan need to be water tight. Therefore the project requirements that are contained in both need to be sufficiently clear, specific and detailed, and make the risk of deviating from the original boundaries of the plan next to impossible.

The internal cost to the organisation is another factor that needs to be considered. these internal costs include time spent by staff members on the project team, the time and costs associated with training employees and the inevitable disruption of day-to-day business activities. It is vital that the business case illustrates the exact cost of intangible such as the time spent by employees working on the project when they could be performing other tasks and system downtime caused by the implementation process. If these factors are accounted for then these costs will not come as such a shock once the project goes live. Attaining funding for an IS project will no doubt be a lot easier if ‘down the road’ costs and scope are effectively quantified and accounted for in the business case.

Sources:

Guideline: Writing a business case. http://prov.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/1010g4.pdf

The key to implementing successful technology projects: http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-SouthAfrica/Local%20Assets/Documents/The%20key%20to%20implementing%20successful%20technology%20projects.pdf

Project smart: Managing scope creep: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/managing-scope-creep.html

 

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