Massive business case checklist

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The purpose of this checklist is to ensure all sections of the project Business Case have been completed to the required quality. The checklist can be used as a job aid or as a final check after the project Business Case has been prepared but before circulating to stakeholders.

Massive busines case checklist

General – InitialYes/NoComments
Is the document consistent with the latest project Business Case template?  
Is the project Business Case written in a plain English style and easily understood? Watch out for jargon. Explain further rather than using jargon.  
Executive SummaryYes/NoComments
Have the compelling reasons for undertaking the project been confirmed?  
Ensure consistency between the financial analysis summary and the executive summary.  
Business CaseYes/NoComments
Have the objectives, key deliverables and major benefits been clearly stated?  
Has the solution been adequately described? Has the rationale for choosing this specific solution been stated?  
Have other possible options been stated along with their respective merits, shortfalls and reasons for not pursuing them?    
Does the project align with current strategic and operational plans? Have the benefits been linked to operational KPIs?  
Project SolutionYes/NoComments
High level information regarding the project solution must be clear and succinct. Diagrams are a good way of illustrating what is proposed. Language must target your audience.  
ScopeYes/NoComments
Is the scope well defined and clearly stated?  
Are there exclusions as well as inclusions for scope?  
Critical Success FactorsYes/NoComments
Have critical success factors been linked to appropriate measures and stakeholders? Have baselines and targets been provided for each of the measures?  
Are the critical success factors clearly defined and measurable? These should come directly from the critical stakeholders. (Unless measurable it will be difficult to determine if the critical success factors have been met.)  
Are the critical success factors realistic? If there is an expectation that the criteria cannot be delivered, then this should be negotiated with the stakeholder.  
Have the stakeholders defining the critical success factors been identified? i.e. it is good to identify which stakeholder requires which criteria for success, so that these can be discussed if required throughout the project life cycle.  
For projects with IT components, have release control and production support provided their critical success factors?  
Are benefits (outputs)/budget/time/scope/quality specified within the list of critical success factors? These are usually key factors.  
   
Assumptions and ConstraintsYes/NoComments
Has the market analysis been validated?  
Are commercial assumptions realistic and viable?  
Have the key project assumptions been confirmed?  
Have all key constrains been identified? Can the solution be delivered within these constraints? Are all stakeholders aware of these constraints?  
Have all project impacts and interdependencies been identified and fully described?  
Have any other project impacts been disclosed?  
Delivery Strategy & ScheduleYes/NoComments
Does the Business Case outline the planned delivery approach and identify the strategy to be used?  
Has a schematic diagram of the solution been provided?  
Has an organisation chart been produced? Have filled roles been agreed through the resource forum?  
Is an implementation strategy included that outlines how the project will be implemented e.g. waterfall approach, RAD development, sequential releases, concurrent releases etc?  
Are the key project milestones and deliverables clearly outlined?  
Financial AnalysisYes/NoComments
Have the assumptions underlying the data and calculations been clearly stated?  
Has the basis of project costs been detailed? Are these consistent with applicable internal standards and costs?  
Has the source of the baseline operational costs been verified? Have changes to operational costs been detailed and agreed by stakeholders?  
Has the sensitivity analysis been confirmed?  
Have the project cost and benefit calculations been confirmed? (Check any calculations performed outside the Business Case financial spreadsheets and check the transfer of data to the spreadsheets.)  
Benefits Realisation SummaryYes/NoComments
Are any benefits outlined for this project? If not, what are the reasons why these are not included?  
Does each project objective have a related benefit and does each benefit claimed relate to a project objective and/or scope item?  
Are output (primary benefits) and outcomes (secondary benefits) outlined?  
Are the benefits measurable/quantifiable? (Is there at least 1 measurable benefit?)  
Is the benefit realisation mechanism realistic and practical?  
Has the benefits realisation plan been completed? Has the location of the benefit been identified e.g. cost centre?  
Have non-quantifiable benefits been adequately defined?  
Are assumptions made in determining the costs and benefits outlined? Are these assumptions realistic?  
Have the accuracy of the numbers been confirmed? Have assumptions underlying the benefits been disclosed? Do these assumptions appear reasonable? Have they been verified as reliable?  
Best, likely and worst figures should be provided for costs in spreadsheets. Benefits may also be shown as best, likely and worst.  
If the risk for the project is high, then a project tends towards the worst case estimate for the project. Is this taken into account i.e. does the project Business Case show that the likely cost for the project is equal to or approaching the worst case estimate?  
Are resource costs indicated by phase?  
Are ongoing changes to operational costs included within the benefits realisation plan?  
Are other costs such as hardware, software, software maintenance contract costs, travel, training etc included within the benefits realisation plan?  
Does the overall cost/benefit clearly show the benefit to the business in the 1st year and over 5 years? If not, are there reasons indicated as to why these have been omitted?  
Risk AssessmentYes/NoComments
Does risk management address All high risks from the risk assessment? All fixed project constraints that are deemed to be a high risk? All critical success factors that are potentially high risk to meet? All mandatory items from the quality agreement that are deemed to be high risk? Any other identified risks or dependencies which could be potential high risks?  
Is there a risk management plan for each ‘High’ risk identified?  
Do these risk management plans clearly outline the potential impact of the risk occurring?  
Do these risk management plans clearly outline the mitigation strategy i.e. what is proposed to be done to manage the risk so that it is prevented from occurring?  
Do these risk management plans clearly outline the contingency plan i.e. in the event of the risk actually occurring what can be put in place to minimise the impact or damage?  
Is there a person named for each risk factor who has responsibility to manage this risk factor?  
Are project constraints outlined clearly indicating the constraint and whether it is fixed or if there is room for negotiation?  
Are all dependencies e.g. dependencies on resources, on interfaces from other projects, on business input etc clearly outlined?  
Are project assumptions clearly outlined? I.e. if certain information, resources etc have been assumed as being available, these should be outlined. As much as possible any assumptions should be discussed and agreed with the relevant party so that the number of assumptions made is minimised.  
StakeholdersYes/NoComments
Have all stakeholders been identified?  
Is the service provided / received / expected from the stakeholder for the project clearly outlined in the stakeholder section?  
Is the impact of the stakeholder clearly identified? i.e. “critical stakeholder” has the power to stop a project if they do not provide appropriate support; “essential stakeholder” can delay a project if they do not provide appropriate support and “Information only” has little or no impact on the project  
Is there a nominated delegate for this stakeholder role? i.e. this person can make a decision on behalf of the area they are representing and provide a point of contact for the project to liaise with when requiring further information, involvement, direction etc  
Is there a nominated delegate for this stakeholder role? i.e. this person can make a decision on behalf of the area they are representing and provide a point of contact for the project to liaise with when requiring further information, involvement, direction etc  
Are related projects identified which either impact this project or could be impacted by this project? This enables communication to take place between this project and related projects in order to keep any impact on each other to a minimum.  
Have any caveats or objections been raised by stakeholders?  
SignoffYes/NoComments
Are all of the critical and essential Stakeholders identified for signoff?  
General – FinalYes/NoComments
Have all the sections of the project Business Case (especially the sections addressed within this checklist) been completed?  
Has the project Business Case been completed in a logical manner?  
Are the project structure and resources adequate and realistic?  
Is the information in the Appendix sections consistent with the appropriate sections in the project Business Case?  

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