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Building a Business Case

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Kristin Bergen

on 13 February 2017

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Transcript of Building a Business Case

Building a Business Case

Why Build a Business Case?
A business case is an important tool used to provide leaders and management with the information needed to make a decision on providing resources (usually financial) for a specific purpose.
Step 1: What is the Problem?
Provide a problem statement in a brief paragraph which outlines the need the business case is addressing.
Include context about the issue and why solving it is important to the organization’s values, strategy, or vision.
Step 2: What should be done about it?
In this step, the business case producers must identify and delineate the specific measures that will be implemented to address the problem of interest.

It is crucial that Step 2 is carefully constructed as it will serve as a guideline for decision-making throughout the intended program/intervention. Scientific evidence must be gathered from respectable sources (e.g., journal articles, government reports) to support the details of what should be done about the problem of interest.
Conclusion & Final Remarks
In the conclusion it is important to
remind the readers of why it is important
to address the problem and the
action that the reader should take
as a result of reading.

Considering that the primary readers of the report will be the stakeholders, including decision-makers, it is essential to
convey a strong message in the final remarks

The proposal is a “product” that must be promoted effectively to major stakeholders.

The conclusion should reiterate the key elements of the proposal including:
providing context,
answering the “why”,
identifying the risks, benefits, & costs through quantifiable measures, showing how success will be measured, and
identifying stakeholders & resources
to convince stakeholders to approve the business case
Identify a Problem or Opportunity
A business case can be used to:
identify a problem, idea or opportunity,
secure or develop current services, resources or equipment,
or to support implementing new services, equipment, or resources
Gain Support
Written well, it can serve multiple purposes to gain the
, and
required from management and leadership
to transform an idea into reality.

Highlight Goals
Effective business cases highlight specific, clear goals about the proposed idea which:
demonstrate the benefits to the target audience, stakeholders, and organization
align with the overall vision, goals, or objectives of the decision makers and the organization
follow evidence-based or best practices which show promising results
is managed well, financially viable, and economically sound,
show the risks if it is not implemented

Provide context & background info
Provide background information and context on what is currently being done and how it is working including the resources, current services or options, equipment, staffing, or programming in place, and associated costs.
Suport your case
Use statistics to support the issue you are proposing to address.
Explain what success it will bring
Be sure to provide evidence of best practices on why your proposal will work and identify the risks of not moving forward with the proposed business case.
Workplace Health & Wellness
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
A business case should
relate to the context or environment you are working in and the relevant national and local government targets and cover:
the context and content about the problem
outcomes and objectives of what you want to achieve
who it will impact and how
how it will improve services
alternative options explored
associated impacts, risks, benefits, and costs
a framework for how it will be completed
how it will be resourced
why it is worth undertaking or funding
(British Heart Foundation, n.d., Oregon Department of Human Services, 2006, Public Record Office Victoria, 2015)

(British Heart Foundation, n.d., Oregon Department of Human Services, 2006, Public Record Office Victoria, 2015)

(Oregon Department of Human Services, 2006)
(Public Record Office Victoria, 2015, Oregon Department of Human Services, 2006)
(British Heart Foundation, n.d.)
General Format
Executive summary
Introduction & background
Statement of the problem
Objectives of the project
Discussion of possible options & anticipated outcomes
Financial analysis
Details of chosen option
Implementation approach & timeline
How it will be evaluated & success measured
Implications if not done or unsuccessful
(British Heart Foundation, n.d., Oregon Department of Human Services, 2006, Public Record Office Victoria, 2015)

(British Heart Foundation, n.d., Skills You Need, 2017)
When considering what should be done for workplace health and wellness, it must be acknowledged that workplace health is dependent on the following two factors:
(Industrial Accident Prevention Association [IAPA], 2008)
1. individual employee characteristics
Individual employee characteristics describe what workers bring with them to the workplace and can include genetics, values, beliefs, values, and attitudes.

The following recommendations may be appropriate when attempting to exert a positive influence on employee-centric wellness programming:
2. workplace characteristics
Workplace characteristics affect employee health via an upstream approach. Employers have full control over both the physical and psychosocial organization of the workplace, which can cascade down to greatly influence individual employee characteristics. The following avenues of workplace organization can optimize workplace health and wellness:

Provide incentives
In a large-scale survey, more than 70% of employees said that incentives would boost their interest in participating in a free worksite wellness program, and almost 80% of employees enjoyed the idea of paid time to exercise at work and healthy vending or cafeteria food choices.

It is important that all employees have equal opportunity to earn the incentives, regardless of their health status. In addition, incentive programs must be carefully executed because once expectations are set, it is difficult to go back to a lesser incentive level
Provide tailored, personal health resources
Set goals & measure
A promising way to facilitate program adherence is to have people set goals about their future participation.

For example:
people who set goals for attending workplace health and safety courses over a 3-month period attended twice as often as employees who did not set goals.
(Goldman, 2011)
(Sheeran & Silverman, 2003)
To gain participation and sustain behaviour change, it is important to consider the program goals and the types of resources that will best serve employees. Organizations can provide a wide array of resources, opportunities, and flexible arrangements to support employees’ efforts to improve or maintain their health status. While employers must not impose lifestyle choices on workers, there are often ways that employers can remove barriers and support the personal health goals of employees.
(Marshall, 2004)
Develop a positive organizational culture
The organizational culture of a workplace consists of the attitudes, values, and beliefs that are demonstrated in the workplace on a daily basis. Its influence is comprehensive and can greatly impact all types of health—psychosocial, mental, and physical well-being.

The following is a list of examples of how to foster a healthy organizational culture:
Promote respect in the workplace;
Offer work-life supports and flexible work arrangements;
Introduce corporate policies that aim to reduce prolonged sitting; and
Create and adopt policies that support active commuting

Evidence that demonstrates that working in a stressful environment can double or triple the risk of injuries, back pain, workplace conflict and violence, and mental illness.

Market the health & wellness program
Wellness program cannot work if people are unaware of the program or uninspired by the potential benefits of the program. For the program to gain participation, momentum, and longevity, top managers need to promote the program and participate themselves. Furthermore, it is necessary to formally market the program and to propagate the message informally by establishing a cultural push towards health.
Identify & eliminate hazards within the physical work environment
The physical work environment can also affect employee health. Employers can create an environment that promotes the well-being of employees by ensuring that traditional occupational health and safety hazards are recognized, assessed, and controlled. These hazards include chemical, musculoskeletal, electrical, and machine hazards.

(Chenier, Hoganson, & Thorpe, 2012)
(IAPA, 2008)
(IAPA, 2008)
(Chenier et al., 2012)
It is important to note that the specifics of a wellness program will vary depending on a multitude of factors, including an organization’s available budget, size, and key health concerns. Many employers already have deep experience running workplace wellness programs. Seeking out their best practices reveals that good programs work their way into the fabric of an organization’s values, routines and culture.
Step 3: Why should we do this?
This step should include:
Example: Workplace Health & Wellness
(Industrial Accident Prevention Association [IAPA], 2008)
Purpose statement
The purpose of the workplace health and wellness project is to create a healthy organizational culture and environmental workplace, where employees are motivated to improve their personal health lifestyles through organizational provision of personal health resources. The project seeks to provide the following personal health resources in the workplace: fitness club or equipment subsidies, nutrition education, weight and stress management training.
What are the reasons for workplace health and wellness project?
Unhealthy workplaces characterized by high workloads and efforts, low control and rewards can be stressful for employees and can make it more difficult to live a healthy lifestyle. Unhealthy workplace can cause different negative health outcomes, that can contribute to increased absenteeism, health insurance claims, and employees turnover as well as reduced employees' satisfaction.
Incorporate health & wellness programs
Expected Outcomes & Benefits
Transform the culture
Therefore, reason for workplace health and wellness project is to transform the organization culture to a healthy one, through incorporation of health and wellness program into the organizational activities to improve employees’ lifestyles, work performance and productivity with the ultimate goals of increasing the overall productivity and cost saving benefits for the organization.

Purpose Statement
Explain the usefulness and strategic fitness of the project and clearly address the following questions:
What are the reasons for building this case?
Who will use or benefit from this case?
What are the criteria or information that will be needed to use this case?
Objectives & Outcomes
Demonstrate how the project will address the expected objectives
Align objectives strategically with the organization’s goals, priorities, and policies (Minnesota Literacy Council, 2007).
Tabular representation of the findings and the outcomes may be preferred
Evidence-based information
Present how the project will save costs
Provide evidence of how the project can support and help in the achievement of the organization’s objectives and deliverables.
Include additional relevant data or findings on each expected outcomes
Given the negative and costly impacts of unhealthy workplace and organizational culture, some organizations have incorporated health and wellness programs into their activities and have reported some positive outcomes.

Many studies have shown that workplace health and wellness programs improve employees energy and productivity, reduce absenteeism and lower health insurance costs; and on the long run can benefit the implementing organization through cost savings, objectives achievement and increased productivity.
Step 4: Identifying the Risks, Costs & Benefits
In this section of the business case there is also the ability of including the financial costs of doing nothing. For example in the Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA) (2008) business case for a healthy workplace they included a section on the financial costs of doing nothing. If organizations continue to do nothing then increased absenteeism and decreased productivity will continue to negatively impact their bottom line. According to the IAPA (2008) employees who work in unhealthy workplaces have:

1. 3x the risk of heart problems
2. 3x Back Pain
3. 5x Certain Cancers
4. 2-3x Conflicts
5. 2-3x Mental Health Problems
6. 2-3x Infections
7. 2x-3x Injuries
8. 2x Substance abuse

In their business case they use these key statistics to help demonstrate the risks and costs to organizations who continue to have an unhealthy workplace.
Identify risks, costs, & benefits
When developing a business case you need to include the potential risks, costs and benefits of the proposal. This helps to influence decision makers in seeing the value of what is being proposed and should demonstrate the potential impact across the organization and can also include the impact to staff and/or patients.

In this step of the business case it is important to talk in terms of the costs and benefits, and it should be positioned after previous steps where the project has been discussed and put into context.
Identify Potential Risks
According to the Minnesota Literacy Council (2007) some of the important questions that need to be included in helping to identify potential risks are:

1. What are the potential costs to an organization if your consent forms are hard to read or difficult to understand? For example, in some organizations as part of their workplace health and wellness they offer use of gym facilities in their building. In order for employees to use the gym they will make them sign a consent form.

2. What if staff gets hurt using the gym facility during working hours? This should also be included in the consent form prior to an employee using the facility. At the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) they have a wellness room that includes fitness equipment and a few machines for staff to use if they want to fit in some activity during their lunch. In the waiver form it clearly states that any injury during the use of that room is not on company time and the WSIB is not liable (WSIB, 2017).

The above questions are examples of potential risks of workplace health and wellness that would need to be considered in the business case. In this step of the business case risks, costs and benefits are often depicted with the use of a chart or some clear way of showing each of the categories so it is easy for decision makers to clearly weigh the risks against the costs and benefits.
Example: Workplace Health & Wellness
(Minnesota Literacy Council, 2007)
Cost of doing nothing
Example: Workplace Health & Safety
Another example is to visually depict the impact with the use of a graph as the San Diego Business Chamber (2017) has done:
Step 5: Who are the Stakeholders?
Why identify stakeholders & their interest?
is: any person, organization, social group, or society at large that has a stake in the business and can be internal or external to the business.

is a vital interest in the business or its activities. It can include ownership and property interests, legal interests and obligations, and moral rights.

Stakeholders in workplace health and safety, include but are not limited to:
Charity organizations

(Hannon et al., 2012)
It gains buy-in & support for the effort from all stakeholders
By making all stakeholders apart of development, planning, implementation, and evaluation it becomes their effort, and they’ll do their best to make it work.
It’s fair to everyone
All stakeholders can have a say in the development of an effort that may seriously affect them.
It saves you from being blindsided
If everyone has a seat at the table, concerns can be aired and resolved before they become stumbling blocks. Even if they can’t be resolved, they won’t come as surprises that derail the effort just when you thought everything was going well.
It increases the credibility of your organization
Involving and attending to the concerns of all stakeholders establishes your organization as fair, ethical, and transparent, and makes it more likely that others will work with you in other circumstances.
The most important reason for identifying and understanding stakeholders is that it allows you to recruit them as part of the effort.

Advantages includes...
Step 6: How will you measure success?
Measures of success will depend on your project’s desired outcome. The measures of success are the criteria which show the impact of our work. The measures may be
quantifiable or qualitative
, but they are
in some way.

Measures of success should tell us the following about whether our goals:
Achieved the results we expected
Produced results we didn’t want or expect
Should be changed
Should continue (or not)
Should be measured in other way

Identifying measures of success creates a common language and set of shared expectations within a working group.
(Belassi et al., 1996)
Sample measures of success
Step 7: Where are the resources?
Resources in terms of
were discussed in
Step 4
of building a business case.

Other areas of resources to consider include
other organizations
that can help provide expertise, knowledge, and important information.

In this step it is important to identify all of the resources used to help develop

the business case, it helps influence decision makers by showing due diligence and research which helps strengthen the case.
PHS 609, Team 5
Modupe Adesina, Kristin Bergen, Edward (Myeong) Cho, Jenny (Tin Lan) Li, & Laura Murphy

Belassi, W., & Tukel, O. I. (1996). A new framework for determining critical success/failure factors in projects. International journal of project management, 14(3), 141-151.

British Heart Foundation. (n.d.). Business case toolkit. Retrieved February 2017, from British Heart Foundation: https://www.bhf.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/business-case-toolkit

Chenier, L., Hoganson, C., & Thorpe, K. (2012). Making the business case for investments in workplace health and wellness. Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada. Retrieved from http://www.servomax.com/files/uploads/productivite/Conference%20Board.pdf

Goldman, S. (2011). The wellness prescription. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 28(1), 87–91.

Hannon, P. A., Hammerback, K., Garson, G., Harris, J. R., & Sopher, C. J. (2012). Stakeholder perspectives on workplace health promotion: a qualitative study of midsized employers in low-wage industries. American Journal of Health Promotion, 27(2), 103-110.

Industrial Accident Prevention Association (2008). The business case for a
healthy workplace. Retrieved from http://www.iapa.ca/pdf/fd_business_case_healthy_workplace.pdf

Kruger, J., Yore, M., Bauer, D., & Kohl, H. (2007). Selected barriers and incentives for worksite health promotion services and policies. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21, 439–447.

Minnesota Literacy Council (2007). Making a business case for health literacy. Minnesota
Health Literacy Partnership. Retrieved from

North San Diego Business Chamber (2017). Benefits of workplace wellness programs.
Retrieved from http://www.sdbusinesschamber.com/wpw/benefits-of-workplace-wellness-programs

Oregon Department of Human Services. (2006, March). Guidelines for developing a business case & business case template. Retrieved February 2017, from Oregon Department of Human Services: https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi6yoOIuYTSAhWG34MKHV3OB40QFggxMAM&url=https%3A%2F%2Fapps.state.or.us%2FForms%2FServed%2Fde0096c.doc&usg=AFQjCNG584IC2HRdhFLeOEOO5pYw2HaPOw&sig2=-LIHqcjpnwN94wSiMTPj1A

Public Record Office Victoria. (2015, July 19). Standards & policy. Retrieved February 2017, from Public Record Office of Victoria: http://prov.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PROS1010-G4-v2.0.pdf

Schwetschenau, H. M., O'Brien, W. H., Cunningham, C. J. L., & Jex, S. M. (2008). Barriers to physical activity in an on-site corporate fitness center. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 13(4), 371–380.

Sheeran, P. & Silverman, M. (2003). Evaluation of three interventions to promote workplace health and safety: Evidence for the utility of implementation intentions. Social Science and Medicine, 56(10), 2153–2163.

Skills You Need. (2017). Writing a business case. Retrieved February 2017, from Skills You Need: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/write/business-case.

Life-Ivey Canadian Wellness ROI Study (2016). Sun Life Financial. Retrieved from http://www.sunlife.ca/static/canada/Sponsor/About%20Group%20Benefits/Group%20benefits%20products%20and%20services/Health%20and%20wellness/Wellness%20ROI%20Study/Files/ROI_dashboard_PDF6807_E.pdf

Marty Schmidt (2014). Business Case and Business Case Analysis BCA Explained. Retrieved on 2017-02-09 from https://www.business-case-analysis.com/business-case.html#case-purpose

(Minnesota Literacy Council, 2007)
(IAPA, 2008)
Justify the purpose
This step provides justification for the project and will help the decision makers to understand the purpose of the project, and to make their best informed decision about the project.
Set expectations
Information in this session helps the decision makers and the case builder to know what to expect or what should be in the case results.
Provide important information
It serves to help the decision makers to answer questions on business planning, management, control, and accountability related to the project, which will be used to determine if the project will be funded, the amount of funding that will be needed should the project be approved, return maximization, risk reduction, and requirement compliance
This step is also key to:
The possibility of approval is high if these are presented in a compelling manner
(IAPA, 2008)
(IAPA, 2008)
(Minnesota Literacy Council, 2007)
San Diego Business Chamber (2017)
numbers, data & facts
, and presenting them in a
clear & logical
manner is critical in this section of the business case. This will help influence decision makers and
ensure they see the value
of the proposed business case.

This section should be
and have a
strong impact
on the decision maker.
Workplace Health & Wellness
If a company is looking into building a gym facility they would need to look into vendors who would help construct and build it. If a company is looking at developing a mental health program they may work with other organizations such as the ones identified below:
Mental Health Commission of Canada, National Standards for Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/national-standard
Canada Business Network, Workplace Health and Safety Regulations http://canadabusiness.ca/government/regulations/regulated-business-activities/human-resources-regulations/workplace-health-and-safety-regulations/
Government of Canada, Workplace Wellness https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/topics/healthy-workplace/workplace-wellness.html
(Marty Schmidt , 2014)

The Minnesota Literacy Council (2007) included the below example chart in their suggestion for building a business case, which has been populated according to the example of workplace wellness and health:
Full transcript