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Alternative Development Warning Flag 1 – Developing Business Cases First

All business leaders are human and some get overly enamored with and excited about a particular business opportunity. These business leaders then direct either a business case or project plan to be developed which is immediately funded; circumventing the organization’s business planning process.

 
 
 
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Alternative Development Best Practice 4 – Common Cost and Value Identifiers

Beginning with the end in mind, it is important for those developing business cases for the organization’s various ongoing operations and proposed initiative alternatives to do so in such a way that leaders can compare the cost and benefits of the proposed activities. Only when leaders can make a one-to-one comparison can they clearly understand the overall value contribution a given initiative and, subsequently, the portfolio of initiatives have for the organization. Therefore, business case developers should use a common, pre-established set of cost and benefits identification standards.


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Alternative Development Best Practice 3 – Common Assumptions, Variables, and Calculational Methods

Business planning documents not only seek to communicate the organizational value of a particular ongoing operation, in-progress project, or proposed initiative, they also provide a comparative basis which decision-makers use to determine those activities the organization will pursue. In order to facilitate this comparison, decision-makers must be presented with business cases that not only present costs and benefits in a similar way but that also calculate each activity value statement in a similar manner. To do otherwise yields an apples-to-oranges comparison and leaves decision-makers guessing as to which value proposition truly represents the greatest merit.


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Alternative Development Best Practice 2 – Organizationally Developed Options

It's hard to find an executive who doesn't believe that his or her people are significant assets and a competitive advantage for the company. Why then are so few employees involved in the strategic planning process?

 
 
 
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Alternative Development Best Practice 1 – Reality Questions

Many exciting ideas for new product and service offerings are generated every year; often appearing as the next great pursuit that will surely propel the organization ahead of its competitors. With this view in mind, those conceiving of these ideas create business cases for leadership. Too often, these eager employees unwittingly identify every fact and figure supporting their proposition and ignored those that would shed doubt. Subsequently, the business cases developed present only a partial picture of reality; potentially omitting true shortfalls that diminished value or place the organization itself at risk.


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