Explore the need for a program business case and how it is developed. Also, learn about its relationship with the vision statement and the TOM.
- Every program should have a business case. It provides a justification for the program, validates that the investment will be worth the outcomes and benefits, and it's used to continually validate the viability of the program. So let's take a look at how the business case is developed. It begins with the vision statement, which describes the future state of the organization. This is used to help develop a target operating model, which sets out the current state and the future state and the gap that needs to be filled to achieve the vision. Alongside the target operating model, the benefits maps and profiles are created, which then leads to a benefits realization plan. The benefits maps and profile play a large part in driving the design of the target operating model, which in turn validates the benefits. Once the target operating model has identified the gap, this then identifies the projects that will fill the gap, which is captured in the program plan. It is only once all this information has been compiled and validated that the business case can be refined. Sometimes it's possible that a vision may be too challenging, and therefore the business case does not stack up. But this will not be known until these steps are undertaken. It may be necessary to revise the future state for different solutions to find the business case that can be justified. So now let's take a look at where it's developed and maintained in the program life cycle. The business case is first created in the concept phase by the senior responsible owner in an outline format. There will be just enough information gathered to assess the feasibility of the program. The business case is then reviewed by a sponsoring group to ensure justification exists before the program commits to the definition phase. Once in the definition phase, the business case will be further refined following more detailed planning by the senior responsible owner and used again at the formal gateway review at the end of definition. Delivery may occur in multiple sequential and parallel phases, and there should be some clearly defined reviews carried out. At each of these reviews, the business case will be updated, and the justification will again be checked by validating the progress of the program against the forecasts. During the closing phase, the business case will be reviewed yet again to check which benefits have already been achieved and which are outstanding. So as you can see, the business case continually evolves through the program life cycle. Finally, please remember that every project in the program will also have its own business case, and these should be aligned with and reflected in the program business case at all times.
- Recognize three elements of a program.
- Recall the information provided by the target operating model (TOM).
- Identify the phase in which the program business case is reviewed.
- Name the major factor used to decide what constitutes each phase in a program.
- Summarize the role of a project manager.
- Detail the responsibilities of the sponsoring group.
- Explain what the completion of the post-transition activities provides for a program.