Centre for Continuing Education

Making the Business Case Course

Project Management. Take the lead.

The business case (also called a cost benefit analysis or feasibility study) is a key document and the very basis of many projects and investments. Making a good business case is often a vital part of effective project managment. It should provide clear evidence that a project is worthwhile, that the benefits as described are achievable and that the associated costs can be contained.


Aimed at project managers, team leaders and business analysts, cover the entire process involved in justifying a project by means of a business case. It is intended to bridge the gap between the bare-bones technical justification of a project and the expectations of the business users and executives who will approve it.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • structure, plan and develop a technically accurate and well structured project business case
  • effectively document and present a business case to win stakeholder support
  • elicit the financial and non-financial needs and expectations of management for the business proposal
  • determine appropriate financial and non-quantitative factors required to justify a project
  • choose the appropriate methods of analysis
  • develop alternatives for analysis, including identifying suitable scenarios, examples, measures, targets and options requiring analysis and comparison
  • identify the relevant costs and benefits in each alternative requiring assessment
  • carry out a quantitative analysis of the proposal using Excel or other spreadsheet tools
  • combine a quantitative analysis with non-financial measures to create a project "scorecard"
  • use the supplied templates and flowcharts to improve existing processes
  • accrue 14 PDU’s towards retaining PMP credential.



  • Objectives, contents of workbook and, templates
  • What is a business case? When is it required? When should it be reviewed/revised?
  • Overview of business case process, roles of business and IT
  • Sponsors, stakeholders and other animals
  • Case study – stakeholders: identifying the balance of power

Identifying the options

  • Defining the problem or opportunity – seeking out the documentation
  • Identifying the options, making a framework for structuring the investment decision
  • Screening the options and using the data in later evaluations
  • Group case study exercise to review alternatives and set non-quantitative criteria for evaluation
  • Templates: Alternative solutions report; project screening matrix

Building cost scenarios

  • Defining the various costs that will influence the investment decision
  • Direct upfront costs, ongoing costs
  • Indirect or hidden costs: initial losses in productivity, support, corporate overheads
  • Business/client direct and indirect costs
  • Group exercise to identify typical costs from case study
  • Template: budget spreadsheet

Defining and analysing the benefits

  • Defining how to identify both quantitative and qualitative benefits
  • Comparative advantages – cost reduction and productivity gains
  • Level-of-service advantages
  • Quantifying benefits – tangible and intangible, conditional benefits
  • Examples of benefits and measures
  • Group exercise to identify major benefits from case study


  • Defining the risk factors affecting investments
  • Minimising the risks
  • How to deal with risk in a project or investment. Product, development environment and project risks. Other obstacles
  • Overview of the risk management process: sources of risk in projects, assessing the risks (identifying, evaluating, prioritising and developing a response plan)
  • Short group exercise to identify major risks from case study

Option analysis

  • Choosing the best option
  • Understanding the organisation’s goals, priorities
  • Selecting the investment criteria: cost effectiveness, avoided costs, labour cost savings, applying the non-quantifiable factors
  • Nature of cost-benefit evaluations, discounted cash flow explained, examples
  • Group activity – reviewing several cost-benefit alternatives
  • Template: discounted cash flow spreadsheet

Documenting and ‘selling’ the business case

  • Putting the case together
  • Overview of Business case table of contents, structure
  • Identifying the audience. Finding a champion. Communicating the results
  • Template: table of contents
  • Ongoing reviews
  • Making sure that the decision to invest remains valid
  • Structuring the project to include reviews
  • When to review and who to involve

Wrap up

  • Applying this in practice
  • Other sources of information
  • Other templates

Intended audience

Suitable for project managers, team leaders and business analysts.

Delivery style



You will receive:

  • a complete set of presentation slides
  • a comprehensive reference work book with templates and case study activities
  • a comprehensive set of Word and Excel templates for developing and documenting a business case
  • suggested solutions to case study exercises
  • a Statement of Completion.

Additional information

Please bring a USB flash drive to class if you would like to make a copy of your work or any relevant class materials. Alternatively, you can save these to a cloud storage space or email them to your personal email address.

Note: This course is presented by the course developers, Project Managers Network Pty Ltd, who are a Registered Education Provider for the Project Management Institute and an endorsed course provider for the Australian Institute of Project Management. PMI, the PMI logo, PMP, CAPM, PMBOK, PMI Talent Triangle and the PMI Registered Education Provider logo are the registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. AIPM is a trademark of the Australian Institute of Project Management.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • The tasks and objectives that I need to complete for my stakeholders were reflected in the materials presented – and provided extra tools with which I can now deliver a better product to my stakeholders.

  • This course has a terrific facilitator and teacher with a vast professional background and academic experience which ensures a beneficial learning experience for participants.

  • The course content, duration and location was perfect.

Making the Business Case Course

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