How to get executive sign off on your business case
There are lots of reasons why projects stall at the business case sign-off stage. From the timing clashing with another operational issue that’s pulling focus, to wider cost concerns and competing priorities, it can be hard to secure investment for your technology transformation project.
Often, you’ll be putting together a proposal at a crisis point. You’ve hit a moment when the pressing needs of your organisation are overriding your ability to continue functioning with, and patching on, your legacy technology. In situations like this it’s even more important to create a compelling business case to ensure boardroom success.
Convince senior leadership of the issue
Your customer and staff experiences are suffering, and a technology transformation holds the key to making the fundamental improvements required. However, there are still hoops to jump through and executives to convince before you can access the budget you need.
The first step of this process is to achieve collective buy-in from your executive. To do this, you need to document all the impacted business processes, the opportunities and challenges. Crucially, this information needs to be presented in a way that everyone can immediately understand. Drop the jargon and IT shorthand and talk about the problems and impacts in a way that everyone outside your team can also understand.
Getting this early buy-in before you go too far through the process lays the foundations for support when it comes to final sign-off as you’ll have an actively engaged executive by the time you present your business case.
Get set on the scope
Members of your executive are all likely to have their own competing priorities and focus on individual operational issues in their areas. Once they’re all engaged with the idea of your transformation project, you need to work alongside them to agree a clear scope and set of business-wide priorities for improvement.
Not only will this increase their willingness to focus on the project if their own aims are addressed, but it will also rule out the possibility of pushback at a later date thanks to a firm outline agreed by all parties.
Define the journey
With a scope agreed, you can map out all the functional business processes that fall within the remit of the project. This is also the stage to clearly define your customer experience journeys. Knowing exactly what has been agreed within the outline means you can incorporate every element and then move on to assess the impact your technology transformation will have on each of them.
Be clear on the benefits
When it comes to securing investment, it’s essential to demonstrate how the overall project all aligns and what the benefits will be to the business. Your executive will be looking for ROI after all.
You have a detailed breakdown of all the business processes and journeys that are involved in the project so you can now carry out an assessment to determine exactly what impact your technology transformation will have in each instance.
Now you have everything you need to build a business case that will succeed in the boardroom.
Make your case
Having done all the necessary preparation and groundwork, you can use all of the information you’ve gathered to build your detailed business case. The range of detail to define and include in a successful business case includes:
- A full outline of solution scope
- Costs that are as accurate as possible
- Possible risks and issues with the project
- Detail of the opportunities available
- Clear KPIs
- Mapped out future customer experience journeys
- Any interdependencies with existing or pipeline projects.
If your numbers add up and the perceived benefits outweigh the costs; you incorporate responses to any concerns raised by the executive when you’ve engaged with them on the project and you present a clear, easy-to-understand business case, success should be yours.
Sound like a lot of work? We can’t give you a simple three-step approach to nailing your business case as there aren’t any shortcuts if you want to get the sign-off you need to push ahead with that technology transformation you need.
The outline above is a simplified version of our proven business process investment framework. If you want to achieve boardroom success, we’re here as your trusted technology partners to take care of the entire process and equip you with a business case that will help you secure the budget you need to move forward.
You can learn more about our framework in our white paper.