Does Business Case Proof Really Prove Anything?

The Business Case Intends to Prove Something

Business Case Proof uses the same reasoning as scientific proof

Business case proof relies on the same reasoning that delivers decisive proof in the science lab..

Make no mistake, most business case authors have a desire to prove something. They might as well write in the opening lines,

I’m going to prove that …

  • My proposal action justifies itself in financial terms.
  • Funding my project is a good business decision.
  • We are acting wisely and responsibly in taking this course of action.

Case builders intent on proving something often go on to produce the return on investment (ROI), internal rate of return (IRR), or net present value (NPV) they expect from their proposals. Their financial metrics may be attractive, but for some reason, they just don’t “make the case” with CFOs, review boards, or other senior managers. There may be doubts all around that anyone can proved anything with a business case.

The good news, however, is that business case analysis can indeed deliver a very strong form of proof—if everyone involved understands the nature of business case reasoning and business case evidence. Continue reading “Does Business Case Proof Really Prove Anything?”

Build the Brand! Enhance Your Image, Charge Premium Prices

The value of strong brands and branding is clear to everyone familiar with names such as Coca-Cola, Apple, IBM, BMW, Ericsson, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and Disney.

Successful Branding brings a competitive edge

In competitive industries, branding plays a central role in competitive strategy.

The companies that own these names have built successful brand names over many years. Their brands now work as powerful assets for market pricing and selling. Why do they spend so much and work so hard to build strong brands? And, why do they pay so much attention to protecting their brands from misuse, damage, or slander?

The answer, of course, is that strong branding pays off at the bank. The financial payoff stems from customer qualities that every company founder, officer, and marketer aims for: strong brand equity and strong brand loyalty.

Continue reading “Build the Brand! Enhance Your Image, Charge Premium Prices”

Avoided Cost, Opportunity Cost. Are They Legitimate Costs?

Avoided costs, opportunity costs, and cost savings, can all play an important role in business planning, budgeting and decision support.

Avoided Costs? Opportunity Costs?

avoided cost is purpose of preventative maintenance

A routine oil change is a familiar example of cost avoidance. Small investments in preventative maintenance avoid the much larger cost of engine replacement later.

I spoke recently with a project manager whose project funding proposal had just failed.

The Project Management Office—and the company CFO in particular—turned thumbs down on the manager’s Stage-0 business case. Why? Where was the red flag? Avoided costs! Continue reading “Avoided Cost, Opportunity Cost. Are They Legitimate Costs?”

Business Case Templates Make Your Case

Business Case Templates  Package

Templates 2019: Because sometimes a back-of-the-envelope ROI just won’t do. Because … 

Sometimes You Need a Real Business Case!

Business Case Templates for case building success

2019 Edition
Solution Matrix Ltd 2018
Excel, Word, PowerPoint, PDF Package.


Orders process through PayPal. You can purchase with any AMEX, VISA, MC or  PayPal account.

The Business Case Templates 2019 package will guide you to a professional quality business case quickly and easily. Build your case in the shortest possible time, free of uncertainty about case structure and content.

Complete the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint templates in the package to build a professional quality business case report, ready for presentation and review. Also, know that your case will stand up to critical scrutiny from financial professionals, analysts, and skeptical managers.

Templates 2019 have a proven track record in companies, non-profits, and governments, worldwide, since 2004. Templates 2019 get results because they focus above all on the reasoning and evidence that “make the case.” Continue reading “Business Case Templates Make Your Case”

Is Activity-Based Costing Worth the Time and Effort?

Cost accountants know that traditional costing can skew their measures of product production costs. Thus, many firms turn instead to Activity-Based Costing.

Is Activity-Based Costing Worth The time and-effort

Companies that produce what they sell know well they must understand product costs accurately and in detail. This kind of information is essential for planning operations, pricing, and evaluating business margins. For product cost data, management relies on the firm’s cost accountants. But how, precisely, do the accountants develop this information?

Why Adopt Activity-Based Costing?

The Income statement gross margin is in fact an average for all products (or entire product lines). The real gross profits and gross  margins for each product can tell a very different story: A high overall GM, for instance, can obscure the reality that the firm actually takes a loss on particular products. The problem is that traditional product costing methods do not always show particular product costs accurately.

Managers turn from traditional costing to activity-based costing driven by a keen want to improve costing accuracy—get closer to the true cost and true profitability—of individual products and services. They are also moved by a wish to understand better the true costs and ROI from projects or other initiatives.

Companies Try ABC When they Need Accuracy

Companies try out ABC in their own environments to find out how well the method:

  • Identifies products that are truly unprofitable.
  • Finds the true costs of products to support pricing policy.
  • Reveals truly unnecessary costs for elimination.

Continue reading “Is Activity-Based Costing Worth the Time and Effort?”

Annual Report Insider’s Guide: What Are They Telling Me?

The Modern Annual Report to Shareholders does not look like a dreary financial report. Instead, it looks more like a glossy marketing brochure. In fact, annual reports do have a marketing purpose.

Insider Guide to Reading Annual Report

Yes, the mandatory financials, notes, and auditor’s opinion are all there. These are usually in black and white and small print.  But the “financials ” have to sandwich in between many glossy pages with striking images, creative typography, colorful graphs, and artful prose from the Board, CEO and other officers

In response to the non-mandatory gloss, report readers naturally ask: “What are they trying to tell me?” Or, more to the point, “What are they trying to sell me?” And, “Do I buy it?” Continue reading “Annual Report Insider’s Guide: What Are They Telling Me?”

Your Business Case Critic: How to De-Claw the Cat

If you don’t want nasty surprises from the hostile business case critic at your own case review then don’t surprise your audience!

Prepare for the Worst—Your Business Case Critic!

De-Clawing the Cat your business case critic.

There are some things you just do not want to hear at your business case review. You are trying, after all, to build confidence that supporting your proposal is a wise business decision. At your case review, however, certain remarks from the business-case critics can dismantle that confidence—if you are not ready for them. One hard-hitting question from a devious skeptic can undermine the credibility you work so hard to build—unless you know in advance how to turn it to your advantage. Continue reading “Your Business Case Critic: How to De-Claw the Cat”

Business Case vs. Business Plan: Do You Know the Difference?

Business case, Business Plan. Can you explain the difference?
The Business Plan outlines tactics for reaching objectives in the Business Strategy.

Many businesspeople ask

Business Case, Business Plan. What’s the  difference?

It’s a question that surprisingly few people in business are ready to answer. It’s a question you may have to answer many times for your colleagues. And, it’s a question that many participants bring to our business case seminars.

People often use the terms interchangeably or ask for one of them when they mean the other.  Why?

Continue reading “Business Case vs. Business Plan: Do You Know the Difference?”

Business Case Essentials: Build A Compelling Case

Business Case Essentials. The Best-Selling Case-Building Authority.

Business Case Essentials ebook

Business Case Essentials

5th Edition ISBN 978­1929500031
by Marty Schmidt
Published by Solution Matrix Ltd 2018
PDF ebook, 110 pages

Buy Now  US$ 29

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The Best-Selling Authority in Print

The concise, complete introduction to case building and business case analysis. Essentials is written for those who must learn quickly what belongs in a business case and why—those who must build a compelling case in the shortest possible time.

Since its First Edition in 1998, Business Case Essentials has helped thousands of professionals in all lines of business answer questions like these: Continue reading “Business Case Essentials: Build A Compelling Case”

Business Case Competency: Think Program, Not Point Solution.

What does it take to build high level business case competency in the real world? Training? Templates and software? Directives?  

Business Case Competency: It’s an Objective

“We are going to stop making bad decisions and we are going to stop now!”

It sounds like the voice of a leader who is decisive and impulsive by nature. And, it sounds like the overdue response of a manager burned one time too many by a direct report. Or, it sounds like a reaction due to an ultimatum from the boss. In any case, the goal and the urgency were clear: “I announced this morning that we are going to stop making bad decisions and we are going to stop now!”

Business case competency for the organization resides in the skills and the knowledge of individuals.

The group’s business case competency resides in the skills and the knowledge of its people.

This was in fact a Senior Vice President at a US Fortune 100 company  who had just phoned to ask what it would take to build establish good business case practice in his company. Certainly, he was feeling the pain from a long history of costly bad decisions.

Read the full article  Business Case Competency online

A Real, Long Term Solution

The Vice President was not talking about the next proposal needing support. And he was not thinking about about just one or two individuals needing business case skills. Continue reading “Business Case Competency: Think Program, Not Point Solution.”