Roy's Blog

December 1, 2014

This is what happens after your business proposal

Your business case has been approved. Yes!  All your hard work has paid off.

The hours of research and analysis. The days of lobbying spent gaining for support for your proposal throughout the organization.

Make no mistake about it though.

All you have done is make the “paper case” that your proposal will succeed and deliver the benefits you have postulated. The paper case is merely a theoretical construct that shows a result given a number of assumptions. There is no guarantee that the results you expect will materialize.

The most egregious example of this that I have seen is acquisition proposals. The accretive benefits of acquiring a company look great on paper but are rarely realized because the plan wasn’t implemented that way it was intended.

The critical work happens AFTER your plan has been approved.

Execution brings your case to life. If execution is flawed, results miss the mark regardless how pristine and theoretically pure the paper case is.

Whatever the number of hours invested in developing your business case, invest 3 times more effort in creating and fulfilling a detailed execution plan.

Your execution plan should contain these elements:

1. The specific steps that must be taken - The WHAT

2. The individuals who are accountable for each step - The WHO

3. The expected completion date for each step - The WHEN

4. A schedule of meetings to review progress. Which steps have been accomplished; which are behind. And what is the action needed to get back on track.

5. Contingencies for when things go off track (and they will). Plan B work is extremely critical to success yet it is rarely done. For some reason people think that the business case will actually come off as originally planned. That the assumptions will all prove to be correct. I have never seen this happen. Be good at anticipating; be great at responding when things go wrong.

6. A post-implementation review 12 months after investments were made to see if the business case benefits were realized. Did results = expectations? If not, what actions (with WHO and WHEN) need to be taken to remedy the situation?

Your business case has given you the right to commit resources to a given course. Don’t assume that it will deliver the results you expect.

Success comes only from post approval discipline and hard labor.


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  • Posted 12.1.14 at 04:42 am by Roy Osing
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