Artifacts > Project Management Artifact Set > Business Case

Business Case
The Business Case provides the necessary information from a business standpoint to determine whether or not this project is worth investing in.

For a commercial software product, the Business Case should include a set of assumptions about the project and the order of magnitude return on investment (ROI) if those assumptions are true. For example, the ROI will be a magnitude of five if completed in one year, two if completed in two years, and a negative number after that. These assumptions are checked again at the end of the Elaboration phase, when the scope and plan are defined with more accuracy.

Role: Project Manager
More information:

Input to Activities: Output from Activities:

Purpose To top of page

The main purpose of the Business Case is to develop an economic plan for realizing the project vision presented in the Artifact: Vision. Once developed, the Business Case is used to make an accurate assessment of the return on investment (ROI) provided by the project. It provides the justification for the project and establishes its economic constraints. It provides information to the economic decision makers on the project's economic worth and is used to determine whether the project should move ahead.

At critical milestones, the Business Case is re-examined to see if estimates of expected return and cost are still accurate, and whether the project should be continued.

Timing To top of page

This artifact is developed during the Inception phase, approved at the lifecycle milestones, and updated on an ad hoc basis as the result of some assessment at further milestones.

Responsibility To top of page

The Project Manager is responsible for the Business Case.

Tailoring To top of page

The form and depth of analysis required for this artifact depends on the level of investment required for the project. The requirement for high levels of investment will demand a very formal, well researched and well founded Business Case. The greater the amount of investment, the more estimates will be challenged by senior management.

In the case of a project performed under contract (as a result of a bid award, for example), the Request for Proposal, the response, and the subsequent contract together form the Business Case.

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