Business Case Theme
The difficulty with the Business Case in Agile environments is that it's based on the benefits derived from a "product", while the product is not certain in Agile projects.
Points to Consider
The following can be considered when preparing a business case for PRINCE2 Agile:
- It should make the "benefits" clear, since benefits can be different among companies.
- It should explain what will be considered success for the project.
- The cost, benefits, and dis-benefits can all be expressed by parameters and through ranges.
- If possible, there can be multiple appraisals for different combinations of output (e.g. only the MVP, or MVP+"should-have items", etc).
The Business Case Philosophy
The Business Case is used to check the justification of the project for two reasons:
- To know if the project is still justifiable, and to stop it otherwise
- To use it for making high-level decisions that are aligned with the justification of the project (the reason we're doing the project), and consequently, protect the justification in the future
Based on the fact that the product is developed (and probably delivered) incrementally in Agile projects, the justification can be checked in the reality, instead of being forecasted using a Business Case. When the iterations are as short as a few weeks, risks of continuing an unjustifiable project is very low.
So, in this environment:
- The Business Case can be very simple, and more focused on how to understand the benefits and value of the project
- Focus is more on the Benefits Review Plan rather than the Business Case, and the former is more dynamic compared to the similar concept in predictive environments which cannot bring early benefits during the project.
- SU: Starting up a Project Process
- IP: Initiating a Project Process
- SB: Managing a Stage Boundary Process
- CP: Closing a Project Process
- (DP): Directing a Project Process (note that not all activities in this process are shown in this diagram)
- The above image assumes that Scrum is used in the delivery level, which is not necessary.
- The number of stages, releases, and Sprints are just examples, as well as the exception in the third stage.
- The diagram is schematic and many details are not shown.
- Benefit vs. Value
- Output vs. Outcome vs. Benefit
- Business Case management product
- Benefits Review Plan management product
- Continued Business Justification Principle
- Business Case Theme at PRINCE2 wiki