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In episode 28 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss how to develop business cases to earn approval from senior leaders. They outline the steps to creating the case, talk about how to strengthen your case, and share advice on presenting cases. Listener Rhonda asks how to keep heated political discussions out of the workplace.
The purpose of developing a business case is usually to earn approval from senior leaders, owners, or other stakeholders to take action, spend money, or use company resources on something you are recommending. Many people haven’t really thought about this process, but any organization only has so much money to invest, so if you’re going to advance a cause, you need to be able to put together a strong business rationale for it. What impact will adding a new position to your team, new employee engagement technology, or other initiatives have from a dollar standpoint? What about from a time standpoint?
It’s important to tailor your business case to the audience; some may require a very formal presentation, while some may be fine with you simply telling them what you need and how much it will cost. In most cases, you should present any data you have, including stats around the options you didn’t choose, and explain why you chose the option you did. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on a PowerPoint, but it should be written so people can take time to digest it after your presentation.
JoDee and Susan discuss a Workzone blog about the steps to making an exceptional business case, and add a step of their own. Their suggested process:
To strengthen your business case, create a detailed step-by-step process. It’s also helpful to include your company’s data and draw upon some trends you’re seeing in the data you have. Look for research that’s been done on your qualitative data; there are lots of studies on things like the benefits of employee engagement.
When it comes time to present, it’s a good idea to sell influencers on your initiative before the meeting, and involve top talent in your implementation process. Take a look at prior business cases – yours and others’ – to see what worked well or could have been done better. And make sure you’ve picked the right person to present the case; it’s not always the people who wrote it.
In this episode’s listener mail, Rhonda wants to know how to keep politics out of her workspace. JoDee and Susan discuss text-based interviewing.