5 mistakes every Business Analyst should avoid when writing a business case
Updated: Nov 1, 2020
This is the third blog I will be writing on the business case because it is usually one of the most overlooked tasks of a business analyst. If you haven’t read any of the previous blogs, you can go back and read them. The first blog is titled 7 tips for writing a compelling business case, where I focused on what it takes to write a compelling business case that will make your project sponsor say “yes”. The second blog is titled The Business Analyst's guide to writing a business case, where I focused on what’s is included in a business case and how a business case should be structured.
As a Business Analyst, if you want to be seen as a true business partner or a senior or lead business analyst, writing a business case is one of the tasks you will be expected to perform. That is why I have dedicated 3 blogs to cover this task. Without being a scaremonger, it is essential to understand that many times, the “go” or “no-go” for any project will be based on the recommendations in the business case. However, the final output of the business case will be compiled by the lead business analyst, they will also have to interact with other key stakeholders; for example, the financial analyst would be consulted for details of critical financial information that would go into the investment appraisal.
In this blog, I will be focusing on the mistakes to avoid as a business analyst, particularly
when you have been saddled with the responsibility of putting together a business case for a project. By avoiding these five serious mistakes, the Business Analysts has a better chance of presenting a project and investment-worthy business case, that Project Sponsors will be happy to approve.
Here are the top 5 mistakes a business analyst must avoid when writing a winning business case:
1. Being unclear and ambiguous with information:
It is important not to get carried away by focusing on semantics and forgetting about the details in the business case that will facilitate accurate decision making. Some common mistakes that can be made by business analysts include being unclear with numbers, deadlines, risks and specific solutions. Accuracy might not be achieved at the point of writing a business case, however, having the right level of information would make it easier for the stakeholders and sponsors to understand the strategy and proposed solution.
2. Abdicating the job to the finance team:
As a business analyst, you need to remember that the underlying reason for compiling a business case is not solely for financial purposes alone. Although you will require some financial information to make the business case complete, finance mainly serves as a metric to understand the other elements that make up the business case. The principal aim of the business case is to identify a different course of action and the consequences of making a specific decision. This is why one of the options presented in a business case always refers back to doing nothing and continuing with the status quo.
3. Poor writing skills: