Starting a new software project is incredibly challenging, time consuming, and comes with its own sets of risks. But if the project is meticulously planned and executed, it will be successful with good returns on investment and profitability which is the ultimate goal of any company.
Once an idea is conceptualised, the first and foremost step is to understand the business objectives and make sure they align with the overall vision of your organisation. Understanding the business objectives is critical to any business project even before identifying the key stakeholders or gathering the user requirements.
So here are the three questions you must ask when starting a new software project:
- What is the purpose of the new software?
- What are the goals and objectives of the project?
- In the eyes of the project, what is the success criteria and how will it be measured against key performance indicators?
It is important to identify the critical components of the problems that you are trying to solve through this new project because once you fully comprehend the problem, you can come with potential solution(s) that eventually leads to promising returns. Lack of clear understanding and ambiguity of the business objectives could lead to project failure causing a huge loss to the company.
The next most important criterion in any new project is presenting an effective business case to the decision makers. Now, if you are wondering, why should we present a business case. Let me explain it to you.
Once you understand the business objectives, why can’t you just go ahead with requirement gathering phase, then roll into the design, development, testing so forth and so on. Well, business case ensures that the project you are undertaking is right for your organisation and for your client. A good business case will help identify the tangible benefits and deliver the return on the investment your organisation is making.
Let’s delve further into what a business case is and how we can write an effective business case.
A business case is defined as a decision-making tool to determine the effects a particular decision will have on profitability.
In other words, Business Case is a document that is presented to the decision-making body providing them with a potential solution to the problem and the associated cost benefit ratio if the decision is implemented one way or the other. It is written prior to the kick-off of any project and is often created by business executive, business manager or a business analyst.
Creating a business case involves five phases:
1. Initial analysis (understanding the problem and identifying those affected by the problem)
2. Determine the potential solutions to the problem,
3. Start writing the business case (which includes executive summary, problem statement, analysis, solution options, cost-benefit analysis and recommendations),
4. Reviewing the business case making sure the problem statement justifies the call for action
5. Presenting the business case to the decision makers.
Effective and efficient projects with clearly defined business objectives and business case provide mechanisms for tracking these against the original key performance indicators thereby ensuring success of the project.
In a nutshell, the business objectives and business case are the key for driving any digital transformation in an organization and once that is defined, you will be set on the path of a successful software project and call to action. Connect with us and we’ll build and implement a successful digital solution aligning with your business objectives.