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Project Business Case Document – Importance and Features

Project Business case document is one of the key project documents, which outlines the justification for undertaking that project. In simple words, it answers the simple question – “Why should the seller do the project ??”, i.e.. it explains the “business need” for doing that project. It describes the necessary information from a business standpoint to determine whether or not the project is worth the required investment. It is commonly used for decision making by managers or executives above the project level.

PMI defines a Project Business Case document as a documented feasibility study used to establish the validity of benefits of a selected component lacking sufficient definition, and that is used as a basis for the authorization of further project management activities.

Typically, the business need and the cost-benefit analysis are contained in the business case document, which justify and establish boundaries for the project, and such analysis is usually completed by a business analyst using various stakeholder inputs. The sponsor should agree to the scope and limitations of the business case.

What does a Project Business case Document explain?

  • Why the project was selected ?
  • How execution of this project brings business value to the organization ?
  • How this project fits into organization’s strategic goals ?

Other Aspects of Project Business Case Document

  • It is one of the two Project Business documents, the other being Project Benefits Management Plan.
  • Project Sponsor is generally accountable for the development and maintenance of the Project Business Case document.
  • Project Manager is responsible for providing recommendations and oversight on the Business case document, he is also responsible to keep it aligned with goals and objectives of the Organization.

Important Features of a Project Business Case Document

  • Strategic Consideration: This describes the strategic need for the execution of this project.
  • Options Considered: Describes what options were considered before the deciding on executing this project.
  • Costs: What the estimated project costs are, and how the project funds are secured.
  • Expected Benefits: This describes what benefits the organization could receive once the project is completed, and how long will it take for the expected benefits to achieve.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): based on the costs incurred and expected benefits, what is the expected Return on Investment (ROI).
  • Risks: This component describes the various risks that the project may encounter.


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