A careful assessment of the potential approaches for addressing the problem statement, with a recommendation for the best option.

The amount of detail to include will depend on the size of the proposed project and the level of information typically expected within a business case at your organization. Some organizations use an explicit methodology for options appraisal, which may for example involve assessing implementation costs, ongoing costs and savings resulting from the investment.

Some costs and benefits might be easier to identify than others (e.g. financial savings vs. a cultural change within the organization) but it is helpful to describe how any costs and benefits will be measured and assessed. As a minimum it will be useful to outline different costed options and provide evidence as to why one of the options has been selected as the best way forward. Costs will be addressed in more detail in subsequent sections, but it might be useful to provide broad cost categories of low, medium or high investment for each option. If appropriate, more detail could be provided as outlined below:

  • A high level description of requirements for the work that the business case seeks to address. These requirements will act as the criteria upon which the different options can be evaluated.

  • A description of the different options that are to be considered for solving the problem statement. This should include a "Do nothing" option that can be compared with the proposed solution upon which your business case is focused. 

  • An assessment of the different options against the requirements. Costs, risks and benefits of your preferred option will be described in more detail below, but this is a useful opportunity to show what benefits your preferred option offers compared to inaction and/or any other alternative options.

  • A recommendation for which option is to be pursued. An honest and fair evaluation of the options, based upon clear evidence, will increase the chances of your business case being accepted. This analysis might be covered in a dedicated section. See Cost/benefit analysis, below.

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