Building a business case is a complex, structured process that requires a lot of factors to be analyzed, summarized and presented. Every business proposal represents the unique needs and requirements of an organization from an HR perspective. As your company grows, there are a lot of initiatives that you have to plan and execute to support the growth of your company. HR is usually not the first or even second priority when it comes to strategic planning and it can be quite challenging to persuade the senior leadership to invest in HR technology. In order to showcase the value and benefits of such investment – the HR team needs to build a successful business case for an HR system.
Of course, each company has their own corporate culture, business and HR objectives and requirements. Although there is a certain structure that can help you navigate the process.
To some extent, a business case is a form of gap analysis. It outlines the current status, current problems/areas to improve, the desired status and an action plan stating how the organization can achieve its goals. More importantly, a business case provides an opportunity to propose options that are based on objective data and that offer an increased sense of understanding and ownership of the solution.
As a first step, you should identify your HR business needs. This involves identifying business challenges, processes that could be optimized, and opportunities for change. It is also crucial to analyze current issues faced by a different group of the workforce: employees, managers, stakeholders and job candidates. Once you have established the problem, it’s time to look for causes. Try to find the gaps in how things work now that are contributing to the business challenges.
After you have identified the challenges and causes, look for opportunities for a solution. It is important to be as specific and concrete as possible about your proposed solution and the procedures that you want to establish in order to solve the problem. For each step, you should describe what resources you will need and how they will be allocated, along with how the step will contribute to the solution. This will help to present a clear cost/benefit analysis and justify each expense.
It is also a good idea to provide a timeline for project execution and completion. This includes a timeline to implement each component of the initiative and when the complete solution will be in place. Then establish follow-up procedures and key metrics to measure project success.
After you identified challenges, their causes you should identify the effects your initiatives will have on those challenges, and what that will do for the company’s performance and financial health. This section is divided into two sub-sections: internal effects and ultimate project impact.
The internal effects are the intermediate steps that drive the ROI. Fundamentally, they are improvements in the way that the company operates while the project’s impacts affect the company’s bottom-line.
Finally, the last thing to consider is the cost of keeping things as they are. This includes the cost of inefficiencies, manual data entry that takes a lot of time and potential errors as well as the overall cost of maintaining bad processes.
To summarize, your HR business case should include:
- Problem statement
- Project objectives
- Current process
- Compare alternatives
- Additional considerations
- Action plan
- Cost of keeping current processes
- Executive summary