Maturity Level for the Business Case Matters. What’s Your Level?

Captain’s Log, Entry 8169.4—Everyone involved with the business case wants to know upfront how many hours and how much labor the case will require. They also want to know if the results will be worth the time and effort.  Answers to these questions depend directly on the Business Case Maturity Level of the organization.

Business Case Maturity Level matters because everyone involved with your business case is likely to have serious questions about the case-building process. As a result, the project manager, outside consultant, and senior managers all want to know what they are in for! And they want to know if the results are going to be worth the effort.

Does Business Case Maturity Level Matter?

You might expect that answers to this question depend on such things as the scope of the project or action under analysis, or the size of the funding request. Answers are in fact easy to predict, but they usually depend little on those factors.

Those involved in building the case will want to know, specifically:

  • How long will it take to build the business case?
  • How many labor hours should we budget for case building?
  • Will case results give decision-makers the understanding and confidence they need to take action?

Answers to these questions are easy to predict—if you know the group’s Business Case Maturity Level.

Where Does Business Case Maturity Level Reside?

Planning a case building project begins when case builders try to estimate time and resource needs. And, from the start, case builders will also try to estimate the practical value they expect in case results.

For both estimates, we start by rating the business case maturity level of the group building the case. Competency resides in two places:

  • Firstly, in the skills and knowledge of the group’s people.
  • Secondly, in their ability to work together productively on case building.

Start building your own business case competency. Learn case building as you build your own case from How to Build a Compelling Business Case in Six Steps.

Where Does Business Case Maturity Level Pay Off?

Knowing the group’s level is useful because there are strong links between this level, on the one hand, and case building effort and case quality on the other.

  • When a group’s maturity level rises, the time, effort, and resources needed for case building decrease.
  • Also, when a group’s maturity level rises, the credibility, accuracy, and practical value of cases they build increases.

Does it really matter where your people and your group stand on the maturity scale? In fact, the benefits of higher levels are tangible, easy to measure, and large. There is, in other words, a strong “case” for lifting your group’s business case competency.

Rate Yourself!

For more on the nature of business case competency, and for a guide to self-scoring your group’s maturity level, see Business Case Competency.

Business Case  Maturity Level:  Take Action!

Start building your own business case competency. Learn case building as you build your own case from How to Build a Compelling Business Case in Six Steps.

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By Marty Schmidt. Copyright © 2004-2020.
Solution Matrix Limited, Publisher.

Author: Marty Schmidt

Marty Schmidt is Founder and President of Solution Matrix Limited, a Boston-based firm specializing in Business Case Analysis. Dr. Schmidt leads the firm's Management Consulting, Publishing, and Professional Training activities. He holds the M.B.A degree from Babson College and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. View all posts by Marty Schmidt