Business Case

Project Business Case (DOCX)

Purpose of Project Business Case

The purpose of the project business case is to clearly outline the business benefits and strategic alignment of the proposed project, in order to justify the expenditures (budget and people/time) and seek approval to proceed.  A successful project business case should address a specific business need, assess all alternatives to lead towards a strong recommendation, describe what success would be and how it would be measured, anticipate concerns and questions from senior leadership and those who are asked to provide resources, and persuade the decision maker to take the recommended action.  

A project business case is needed as part of the project pre-work when a project is medium or large in size, with moderate or substantial complexity, according to the project complexity chart. Projects of this nature may include risks that need to be monitored and mitigated, a resource commitment (expenses and people time) of at least $250,000, a significant change in processes or how resources are used, a solution that requires collaboration and commitment across various business units/departments, and/or justification for a chosen solution over various alternatives.

Project Business Case Participants and Approvers

Input into the project business case may come from many different stakeholders including, but not limited to senior leadership, subject matter experts within business unit(s), a potential Sponsor or Project Manager for the project, and other stakeholders (such as staff, students, faculty).

The author is typically someone who is acting within a Business Analyst role.

The approver of the project business case should be the Customer(s).


  1. Conduct appropriate analysis to determine the problem or opportunity this business case addresses, and an assessment of the possible alternatives. Tools and techniques that can be used may include interviews, SWOT analysis, root cause analysis, gap analysis, and decision matrixes.  Sources of information for the business case may include existing departmental documentation that pre-dates the submission of the project request.

  2. Create the project business case with input from applicable participants (stakeholders) by filling out the sections in the template.  The green italic text contains instructions for filling out the template and can be removed for the final version of the document.

  3. Obtain appropriate approvals for the business case to indicate completeness of document and agreement by participants on content.

  4. Send a copy of the signed business case to the Project Management Office.

Next Steps

Once the project business case have been submitted, the project requestor will be contacted to schedule an intake meeting with relevant stakeholders.  The participants of the intake meeting and relevant IT Governance bodies will determine if the proposed project will be added to the portfolio, providing the final approval on the proposed project.

Once approval is obtained to add the project to the portfolio, the project charter can be drafted.