by CIO Staff

IT Value: 10 Common Flaws in Business Cases

Apr 15, 20032 mins
IT Leadership

Compare your business case to the leaks below and answer “true” if they fit the description or “false” if they don’t.

1 Little or no discussion about intangible payoffs benefits are a part of every management decision.

2 Little or no discussion about risks No investment choice is without risk. Risk analysis provides an essential perspective.

3 Payoffs are explained mainly in systems/data terms Good IT investment decisions are based on business value?not technology appeal.

4 Unclear linkage of proposed I.T. investment to enterprise business goals How an IT investment will help achieve business success must be crystal clear.

5 Unsubstantiated validity of key metrics Due diligence is vital. Even key metrics, originating from supposedly trustworthy sources, often contain hidden assumptions and dubious conclusions.

6 Benefits focus on direct users of the proposed system, not beneficiaries of the system’s outputWe live in a highly interdependent world. Often a new system’s major value is its data usage for better decisions by managers outside the group’s main users.

7 Numbers, rather than text, make up more than 50 percent of the content Excessive use of numbers obscure rapid and accurate understanding of the “how” and “why” of true business value.

8 Business case is primarily in presentation-bullet format The complete logic and rationale of the business case’s analysis and conclusions should be fully available to those influencers who cannot attend an oral presentation.

9 Business case size is more than 20 pages in length (not including appendices) Communication is as important as content. Executive decision-makers need succinct and to-the-point input.

10 Business case is not used after the I.T. investment decision is made Business cases should be the foundation of value realization from IT investment selection until the system’s operational retirement.

How Did You Do? If you answered TRUE to more than two questions, chances are your business case is seriously leaky.