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Systems Analysis & Systems Engineering

Creating and Presenting an Effective Business Case

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  • Overview

    Today’s economic environment demands that organizations use all resources to the utmost effectiveness in order to meet organizational goals. Often, however, professionals are ill-equipped to respond in ways that management understands. This workshop addresses that requirement.

    In this course students will learn to develop and deliver a business case for project initiatives, and to do it in such a way that decision makers will make the right choice.

    The crux of the course is the examination of the six aspects of feasibility: technical, risk, economic, legal, operational, and schedule.
    Specifically, participants will learn to perform cost/benefit and risk analyses and to use a weighted decision model to evaluate alternate solutions to a business initiative.

    Lastly, they will learn how to assemble and communicate the business case in the business language that decision makers understand.

  • Who Should Take This Course

    AUDIENCE

    The Primary audience for this class would be Business Analysts, Project Managers, Development Managers, and Key Stakeholders in projects.  A secondary audience would include decision makers, senior managers, and anyone performing the role of the Business Analyst.

  • Why You Should Take This Course

    OBJECTIVES

    Upon completion of Creating and Presenting an Effective Business Case, students will be able to:

    • Discover the true requirements and constraints that will drive the decision-making process
    • Accurately evaluate costs and benefits using accepted return-on-investment calculations
    • Perform a risk assessment for  a project initiative
    • Use ideation techniques (Brainstorming, Nominal Group Technique, etc.) to generate and evaluate alternative solutions to a business problem
    • Structure and present an analysis of alternatives using a weighted decision model that reflects the decision makers true wants and needs.
    • Present the Business Case in an organized and understandable fashion.
    • Employ communications concepts that will enable you to influence the decision makers to make the best choice.
    • Compile relevant documents from the feasibility study, Project scoping activities and risk analysis into the Business Case decision-making package
  • Schedule
  • Course Outline

    Introduction

    • Understanding the users request for services
    • Definition of the business case
      • IIBA
    • Purpose of business case
    • Overview of activities

    Defining the Problem

    • Identifying the real problem
    • Finding true causes
    • Formatting the problem

    Defining the Objective

    • Mapping to the problem statement
    • SMART Characteristics
      • Measurable:  using an explicit format
      • Relevant:  showing the right content
    • Alignment with organizational objectives

    Deriving the benefits of the System from the Objectives

    • Types
    • Increased profits
    • Avoid losses
    • Reduce expenses
    • Special considerations for government agencies and non-profit organizations

    Project Scoping

    • How the project scope provides the basis for the business case
    • Using simple models to portray project scope
    • Context Diagrams
    • Use of the Current State  model
    • Demonstrating the solution with the future state model
    • Supporting documentation
    • How much detail to provide
    • Assessing Feasibility
    • Using creativity to create alternate solutions
    • Conducting a SWOT analysis
    • Evaluating alternatives to determine feasibility
    • The six factors:  TRELOS
      • Technical:  is it possible?
      • Risk
        • Weighing risks vs. benefits
        • Using the portfolio approach
      • Economic
        • Developing cost estimates
        • Calculating the return on investment
      • Legal: is it against the law?
      • Operational: will it work for us?
      • Schedule: can we deliver it in time?

    Cost/Benefit Analysis Overview

    • Definitions
      • Cost/Benefit analysis
      • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF)
      • Profitability Index
      • Return on investment (ROI)
      • Payback Period
      • Internal Rate of Return
      • Net Present Value (NPV)
    • What does it consist of

    How to Do a Cost/Benefit Analysis

    • Calculating benefits by using objectives
    • Calculating operational costs
      • Present costs
      • Future costs
    • Spreading the costs over the estimated life of a project
    • Calculating return-on-investment
      • Simple formula
      • Net present value formulation

    Packaging the Cost/Benefit Analysis

    • Weighing the results against other economic factors
      • Total development costs
      • Budget impact
      • Intangible costs and benefits

    Putting it all together: Using a Decision Model to Evaluate Alternatives

    • Stating the ideal in terms of requirements and desirable traits (“wants”)
    • Classifying the wants
    • Specifying the alternatives
    • Evaluating the alternatives (use of Delphi and Nominal Group Techniques)
    • Assess adverse consequences
      • Probability
      • Seriousness

    Creating and Presenting the Business Package

    • Preparation:  general
      • Understanding the nature of all management decisions
        • Types:  technical, tactical, strategic
        • How they are made: art vs. science
        • What kinds of information are used?
      • Gearing the presentation accordingly
      • Choosing the correct media
    • Preparation:  specific
      • Establishing the objective
        • Stop
        • Go
        • Modify
        • More work
        • Wait
      • Doing audience analysis
      • Choosing the correct approach

    The Final Product

    • A typical approach that works
      • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses
      • Statement of system objectives
      • Key output formulas
      • Information flow
      • Recommendation and evaluation of alternatives
      • Risk and cost/benefit analysis
      • Schedule for delivery

    Summary

    • Evaluating alternate formats based on objective of presentation
  • FAQs
    Is there a discount available for current students?

    UMBC students and alumni, as well as students who have previously taken a public training course with UMBC Training Centers are eligible for a 10% discount, capped at $250. Please provide a copy of your UMBC student ID or an unofficial transcript or the name of the UMBC Training Centers course you have completed. Online courses are excluded from this offer.

    What is the cancellation and refund policy?

    Student will receive a refund of paid registration fees only if UMBC Training Centers receives a notice of cancellation at least 10 business days prior to the class start date for classes or the exam date for exams.

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