While a business case is all about the numbers, knowing how and when to push the proposal through the approval process requires an understanding of the psychology behind how proposals are selected and funded. Learn the tools and strategies to develop a business case and gain approval.
IBM Software July 2011Thought Leadership White Paper
Integrated workplace management - build a
business case for IWMS software
Donald J. Reifer, Manager, Reifer Consultants LLC
Contents Setting the stageObtaining ?nancial commitments for new purchases is incred-1 Setting the stage ibly difficult. A project must have a compelling ?nancial1 Making the leap forward return to justify a capital investment. Purchasing a new soft-ware package like the Integrated Workplace Management3 What is a business case? System (IWMS) from TRIRIGA, an IBM Company, could be3 Steps in the process viewed as a great investment especially if money is readilyavailable and the full IWMS purchase price could be written4 Business case content off this year instead of being capitalized. In addition to the7 Developing content: business case techniques IWMS purchase's business justi?cation in terms of increasedworkplace efficiencies (better space usage) or reduced vacancy8 Business case principles rates, the write-off from the investment could also have afavorable impact on this year's Pro?t and Loss (P&L)9 Success tactics Statement.10 Summary and conclusions Making the leap forward10 IBM and TRIRIGA Making your vision for investing in an IWMS solution a real-ity can be a difficult task. In order to approve your fundingWhile a business case is all about the num- request, management must be convinced that your visionresults in the best use of cash. Even if your proposal receivesbers, knowing how and when to push the preliminary approval, business conditions and lack of people,proposal through the approval process funds and other resources may force leadership to delay therequires an understanding of the psychology purchase decision. Such a delay is often the kiss of death. Inaddition, there will always be people in your organization whobehind how proposals are selected and will resist any change, especially when it affects them, theirfunded. work, their budgets and their comfort zones. Your vision maythreaten the status quo, and you may be seen as a threat bythose who perceive you as a competitor. Just having a good2 Integrated workplace management - build a business case for IWMS software
business justi?cation for change is often not enough. Making 2. Whose signatures are needed to tap these funds andthe leap forward under these adverse conditions and with how receptive are they to your ideas? Developing cham-these barriers in mind takes strategy, skill, guile, leadership pions and pre-selling an idea to those who matter is an inte-and perseverance. gral part of any successful change strategy. This often takesseveral one-on-one meetings in order to convince decisionLet us ponder a typical change scenario. You would like to makers that your idea was their idea.implement an IWMS solution that will provide tangible sav-ings, increased revenues or improved efficiencies to the organ- 3. Who will oppose your idea and how devious can theyization. You have discussed the idea with your peers and be? Often, the battles for money are ?erce. People whomleadership and they seem receptive. Your idea makes business you view as allies and friends may surprise you when moneysense and you are convinced that it is aligned with both the is at stake. In addition, beware those whose budgets you arenear- and long-term business goals of the ?rm as they exist raiding. They will ?ght hard to protect money that theytoday. Management likes it, but needs to be convinced because consider theirs. Remember, where money is concerned, youthey are reticent to commit due to limited capital, competing have no friends and only competitors.projects, or uncertain business conditions. You ask: "Whenshould I strike and how can I get this idea approved?" You 4. How strong is your business justi?cation? You need could follow the normal procedures, but the timing may be to understand that there are many ways of looking at thewrong. Proposing a purchase idea like this may require up to a numbers. You may perceive your initial ?nancial metrics asyear before a decision is made because of the reviews and strong because they show returns that are large and appar-approvals involved. The committees involved may have ent. Yet, others in your organization, like those fromalready met and approved next year's purchases and you will ?nance and legal, may perceive the numbers differently. Forhave to wait another year before you realize your vision. example, you might not... [download for more]