In business, projects are often a way to bring together different departments and stakeholders to help the company achieve its strategic goals. However, not every business case is a good fit for a project. Many businesses have multiple stakeholders who rely on the project to support their needs and goals. Bringing everyone together requires strong stakeholder management skills to ensure their needs are met throughout the process.
If you’re working on your first business case as an engineer or PM, you’ll want to know what you need to look out for. This article will cover everything from the basics of business cases in project management to specific examples of how you can use stakeholder management in your case studies.
What is a Business Case for a Project?
We usually refer to the initial project analysis phase when we talk about business cases. This can be used to choose where to site a new manufacturing facility to evaluate a new project. During the stakeholder analysis phase, the company will come together to assess the project’s strengths and weaknesses and determine the best course of action. This is where you will start to lay the foundation for your business case. You will use numbers and data to help stakeholders see the value of the project and make a decision.
Why Is Stakeholder Management Important for Business Cases?
When you develop a business case, you’ll want to make sure you understand the role of each stakeholder. After all, if you don’t know who you’re trying to convince, how can you start to convince them? To make your case, you’ll need to understand how stakeholders in your company use the projects they are involved in.
You’ll need to know who is using these projects for different reasons and how their expectations for the project will impact your decision. You can do this by understanding the stakeholder types and understanding the role of each in your organization. Once you have this information, you can better tailor your business case to address their needs and expectations.
How to Establish Stakeholder Relationships in a Business Case
As the business case begins, it’s important to establish trust and relationships with stakeholders. You’ll do this by first building an understanding between each person involved in the project. From there, you can move forward with building relationships and getting buy-in. Be sure to start each meeting by saying “Hi” and making eye contact. If you are in a large organization, try to meet people as they flow through different hierarchies. This will help you find people further down the chain with more authority and influence.
Tips for Developing Effective Business Cases
- Keep your business case focused. Don’t try to do too much in a business case. If you start to focus on too many details, you’ll get lost and lose sight of your original goal.
- Use quantitative data and real examples when possible. Numbers can be very effective, but it’s important to remember that people don’t like reading them. It would be best to use examples that people can relate to — real-life examples and case studies can be very effective.
- Be specific when possible. Avoid vague language. Too much vagueness will confuse, making your stakeholders look uninterested in your project.
- Research the most common questions your stakeholders may have. It’s better to address a question head-on than to leave it unanswered.
Stakeholder management is a vital part of project management. Without good communication and relationships with stakeholders, your project could go off track before it has even begun. With proper stakeholder management, you’ll be able to bring stakeholders together and make a strong case for your project.