I’m no lawyer, but I understand the importance of making a tight case when something matters to you.
A business case is your chance to present persuasive documentation to your managers or investors convincing them to support your idea or project.
Business cases are a common aspect of project management. When done correctly, they adequately advocate for a plan or solution to help overcome a business problem.
If you’re wondering what you should include in this documentation, be sure to do some prep work by reading "How to Create and Write a Business Case." Additionally, it is helpful for those in the project management (PM) role to look at successful versions of what they’re trying to do.
The following examples are of documentation that you can use to strengthen your own processes, whether that means planning a successful project, or simply getting the project plan approved in the first place.
Business case examples
As a PM, you’re well aware that you could be contracted for a project in any industry. Or if you’re an internal PM who stays with one company, you could be asked to work with any department.
Throughout their career, one PM could go from drafting the schedule for construction of a new park to figuring out the budget for an enterprise company’s new communication strategy.
For this reason, it’s imperative for project management professionals — especially those who are at the start of their career — to look at a variety of business case examples. In this article, I’ll try my best to run the gamut of possibilities so any buddings PMs can be ready for anything.
Generic business case example
This first business case is brought to us by the Wiley Online Library. The document takes a completely hypothetical project and fleshes it out piece by piece.
As you can see from the table of contents displayed below, this particular example has everything: a preface, introduction, executive summary, and analysis.
The hypothetical presenter of this business case has performed a risk analysis and provides their professional recommendation. They’ve thoroughly gone through the benefits and constraints.
It could be useful to put this sample next to your own document and work on yours with this as a reference. While you don’t have to include everything they’ve included, this example is a great way to ensure you’ve checked all of your boxes.
Business case examples by industry
If you work in a particular industry, it’s possible you probably want a specific example regarding your line of work. While I can’t promise to cover every industry, here are a few of the big ones.
I can’t say anything for this business case that it hasn’t said for itself. It’s incredibly thorough and, even if the environment isn’t your niche, the information included in this download could certainly teach you a thing or two about how to format and design a beautiful business case.
While I don’t suggest reading the full thing word for word, project managers in the healthcare field would benefit from learning how to speak to other professionals in this environment and how to format their business case persuasively.
Public transportation planning is so important, as it affects the way societies around the world function 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Consider point 1.: “Through briefings, site visits, and committee deliberations, the study committee will:Evaluate legislative requirements for acquisition and T&E and the current DOD acquisition process (as defined in the “DOD 5000 series”) to determine whether the law and the defined processes permit enough flexibility to rapidly bring capabilities to users;”
If you’re planning on writing a business case for the government, the above is a good example.
As you can see, there is no 100 percent right way to write a business case. It all depends on your industry, what you’re trying to accomplish, etc. Your tone and the specific elements you include will vary.
Grace Pinegar is a lifelong storyteller with an extensive background in various forms such as acting, journalism, improv, research, and content marketing. She was raised in Texas, educated in Missouri, worked in Chicago, and is now a proud New Yorker. (she/her/hers)