by Victor-Andreas März

Thinking about investing in SAP Software? Are your in-house and/or legacy systems failing to cope with the ever-demanding change in the marketplace and in the way your customers, suppliers and partners want to interact with you? You know that you need to change your IT Systems but you are struggling to articulate to you superiors the “why”, “how” and the “value” of your idea – which essentially means you are having difficulties to receive the necessary funding. Or maybe you are required to build a business case for the transformation and provide your executives with a high level roadmap? How will you go about ensuring that the identified value of the IT Solution is actually realised? How can you track the value generation or measure it once the solution goes live and there after? If those are the scenarios and questions would like to have played out and answered, you came to the right place.

In a series of short articles I will try to offer you some the experience I have gained from the development of numerous major IT investment and business transformation justifications as well as SAP centric IT Strategies and Roadmaps for some of the largest of SAP’s existing and new customers globally. Having said that, the information and experience I’m about to share is just as applicable to a small and medium size enterprise. In essence the process of building a business transformation business case and IT strategy roadmap is the same for either sized business.

Walking you through the process of building the SAP Business Case and Roadmap, I will point out any publicly available SAP-specific and non-SAP tools as well as advise you of SAP Services available assist you on your way. Hopefully these articles will help you in the development of your business case and roadmap.

In Summary, we answer two very broad questions...

Business Case Fundamentals – What is a great business case and what must it contain?

  1. The concept of the Value Life-Cycle
  2. The Four Reasons for a Business Case
    • Investment Justification
    • Management Buy-In
    • Blueprint/ Solution Architecture Guideline
    • Basis for a Value Realisation Framework
  3. Written simple an focused on clear value-oriented messages
  4. Written in language the Business understands
  5. Providing answers to five fundamental questions:
    • What is wrong today?
    • What do we need to change?
    • How are we going to change?
    • What is the impact of changing?
      • Benefits
      • Costs
      • NPV/ IRR/ MIRR/ Payback/
    • What are the risks of changing?

How do I build a great Business Case?

  1. Identify “high-ranking” Business Sponsors and seek formal process for regular feedback and opportunity to present progress and encountered issues
  2. Define Issue resolution process with Business Case Sponsors
  3. Agree on an approach, deliverables and timelines with your Business Case Sponsor
  4. Identify Business Function Scope
  5. Identify all relevant Stakeholders (internal/ external)
  6. Communicate to the Stakeholders the High Level Approach for the Development of Business Case and Roadmap and inform of workload requirements to the business
  7. Identify existing Pain Points/ Issues in the Business Functions and its Processes
  8. Identify current Impact of those Pain Points/ Issues
  9. Identify Industry Best Practices
  10. Identify IT Solution Enablers are to fix current Pain Points
  11. Identify Quantifiable and Qualitative Benefits of New IT Solution
  12. Identify the Cost to Implement the IT Solution
  13. Identify Risks and appropriate Mitigation Strategies
  14. Develop an Implementation Roadmap based on Project Dependencies, Value, Risk and Organizational Appetite for Change
  15. Compile the Executive Summary – A Message Clear as Crystal
  16. Presenting the Business Case and Roadmap to C-Level Execs and Board Members – Seeking Approval and Funding
  17. Circulate or “socialise” the business case a few weeks before the Sponsor-level presentation to create awareness, management buy in and receive first feedback – based on the feedback correct any misunderstandings in your document as well as clarify any uncertainties before presenting to the Executives/ Board Team