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Government Elearning! Winter 2015 47 To understand what business- case success look like, let's frst look at what failure looks like. Failure takes place when the business case: >> is not in line with strategic business objectives; >> lacks recognition of what is important to the CEO and CFO; >> requests spending without fnancial beneft projec- tions; and/or >> uses HR and learning in- dustry terminology that is a "diferent language." Tese failures all have one thing in common: Tey all re- late to an L&D-driven agenda and not a business-driven agenda. To develop a successful business case, you must con- sider how it is perceived and how it will impact the greater good of the organization. Who can tell you how your business case is perceived and how it will impact the greater organizational good? No single stakeholder can. In fact, ac- cording to CEB (Corporate Executive Board), the average number of individuals involved with today's buying decision is 5.4. Tis buying team will ofen have difering agendas. Tat means that in order to get a Cloud-based learning busi- ness case approved, you'll need to identify each of the buying team stakeholders and then secure their support by tailor- ing it to their specifc priori- ties. Skipping or not fully ad- dressing a stage will weaken a business case and reduce your approval probability. STAGE 1: DEFINE THE BUSINESS ISSUE >> Identify the business op- portunity or problem to be solved. >> Create a succinct descrip- tion of what your proposal will deliver. >> Te objectives should help your organization reach its overall goals and be aligned with the priorities of senior management. >> An example may be "reduce operating expenses" or "in- crease talent capability." >> Develop an opportunity statement. >> Tis describes the benefts of solving the problem or seiz- ing the opportunity. >> For example, "Reduce HR budget and expand talent development to more employees." STAGE 2: ANALYZE ALTERNATIVES; SELECT BEST OPTION >> Ask those closest to the issue for their ideas on possible alternatives. >> Research case studies of those inside and outside your field that have faced similar challenges and solved them. >> Collect information about each alternative. >> The goal is to weigh al- ternatives against one another in financial terms, intangible benefits and risk level. >> For the financial terms, a payback period and pro- forma ROI are often used to compare. >> Payback period illustrates how long it will take to recover initial investment. >> ROI shows the monetary impact your investment is predicted to yield. STAGE 3: PREPARE THE BUSINESS CASE >> Afer analyzing the alterna- tives, you will prepare the written business case. >> Te template you use to lay out your business case should have a simple and sound structure: 1) Executive Summary; 2) Current Situation; 3) Analysis , Recommend- tion; 4) Conclusion. STAGE 4: DELIVER THE BUSINESS CASE >> During this stage you "sell" your recommendations. >> Hone your persuasion and infuencing skills. >> Rehearse with an informed, invested colleague. >> Plan the forum and format with care. >> Select the time, place and approach that suits the stakeholders best. >> Keep your presentation fo- cused and concise. Avoid going into unnecessary detail. >> Be prepared to deal with questions that may arise. >> Have you ever implemented a similar recommendation? >> What else might be needed that is not articulated in the business case? >> What assumptions have you made that your stakeholder may disagree with? (Tip: Determining shared goals will help stakeholders come to a stronger, more unifed and supported stance.) —Source: www.executiveboard. com/blogs/when-emotions- impact-a-sale How to Build a Business Case for a Learning Solution Cloud-Based Tips Tips Business Cases

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