Project Office and Business Case Development


Project Office and Business Case Development

The Project Office needs to become an expert in business case development.

Most project managers are appointed after the business case is developed.

Reasons:

  1. Project manager may not be able to contribute to the business case.
  2. Project might not be approved and/or funded and it’s an added cost to have the project manager on board early.
  3. Project is not well-defined yet. It may be too early to determine who would be the best choice for project manager.

Issues:

  1. The project manager ultimately assigned may not have sufficient knowledge about assumptions, constraints, and alternatives considered during business case development. This could lead to a less than optimal project plan.
  2. Project charter–prepared by someone else—may not have all the necessary assumptions, alternatives and constraints.
  3. The earlier the project manager is assigned, the better the plan and greater the commitment to the project.
  4. Business case development often results in a highly optimistic approach with little regard for schedule and/or budget. Pressure is then on the project manager to deliver–irregardless.

Conclusions:

  1. Project Office should develop expertise in feasibility studies, cost-benefit analysis and business case development.
  2. Templates, forms and checklists should be readily available to help in business case development.
  3. Project Office becomes a practical support to the sales force in making more realistic promises to customers and aid in generating more sales.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th edition).

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