7602 Chapters
Medium 9781567262094

Chapter 5 - Preparing the Business Case and: Decision Package

Hass, Kathleen B. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In This Chapter:

Assemble a Core Team

Decide on a Recommended Option

Think Strategically

Identify and Confirm a Project Sponsor

Determine the Project Scope

Conduct a Cost-Benefit Analysis

Conduct the Initial Risk Assessment

Draft the Business Case

Prepare the Final Decision Package


Best Practices

A business case is a structured proposal for business improvement that describes a proposed new change initiative in enough detail that the portfolio management team can determine whether to invest in the effort. If a feasibility study has been conducted, the business case includes or references information from the study. Whether or not a feasibility study has been conducted, the business case includes a description of the business problem or opportunity, a list of the solution options, the costs and benefits associated with each solution option, and a recommended solution option with rationale. It’s also important to stress the strategic alignment of the solution option, including how the solution supports the organization’s strategies; if the solution sets priorities inconsistent with the organization’s strategies, include the rationale for considering the investment and any contingency plans to address those risks.1

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Medium 9781576751084

Appendix: Profit Building Process Forms

Ludy, Perry J Berrett-Koehler Publishers PDF
Medium 9781576753057

E. What Happened? A Postscript

Schein, Edgar Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Gordon Bell

Every time I meet a DEC alum whom I haven’t seen for a decade or two, the talk quickly comes around to the inevitable question: What happened? This book gives a fine understanding based on Ed Schein’s perspective of corporate cultures, especially Digital’s. His observations, together with the various memos and reference interviews, stimulated me to state what I believe happened. I hope it will be a guide for other companies that will be tested and judged by these same laws that govern computing.

Although I left the company in 1983, I maintained communication with Digital and did consulting work, including reviewing its portfolio of failed start-up ventures. In 1986 while leading the government’s effort to build what became the Internet, I encouraged Digital to compete for the contract to work on it (IBM and the University of Michigan won the first contract). In 1991, as an Intel consultant, I attempted to create a merger of the Alpha and Intel architectures, but unfortunately HP took on the role. In 1995 while keynoting the Internet World conference, I made and won a never paid $1,000 bet with Tom Richardson, marketing director of Digital’s Internet business group (working for Vice President Rose Ann Giordano). The bet was that DEC would come in last behind Sun, HP, and IBM in Internet product sales, despite its research lead with tools, products, and services for the Web, including AltaVista. (An attempted spin-off of AltaVista failed in 1995 because AltaVista was a prized asset of the financially troubled DEC, which was in talks with Compaq. In June 1998 Compaq purchased DEC for $4.5 billion. In June 1999 Compaq sold AltaVista to CMGI for $2.3 billion, and in February 2003 CMGI sold AltaVista to Overtune for $140 million.) Internet products were perfect for DEC—it had all the pieces including servers, software, and networking. However, DEC didn’t understand how to organize to engage in a new market.

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Medium 9781576751244

Tip 11: You are more Attractive When You are in the Flow

Hall, Stacey Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Sometimes I go about pitying

     myself, and all along my soul

             is being blown by great

               winds across the sky.

                          Ojibway saying

TO BE “in the flow,” one must first have followed Tip 10: “You Are More Attractive When You AcceptThat You Don’t Know.” When we are able to accept that we don’t have all the answers, new people and information come our way. To be in the flow, all you need to do is stop holding on to “the way that it’s always been done” and trust that there is a better, easier, or more satisfying way to accomplish your goals.

In Tip 10, we recommended spending the day “not knowing,” i.e., suspending having to know all the answers or be in control of all situations and then seeing what results show up in your business and your life as a result—rather a risky exercise.

Angela Caughlin, co-owner of Millennium Success Consultants, took this advice and found her way into the flow:

Once I started realizing I was “not knowing,” events started to take place that began to make me aware that my world is now operating in a different way.

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Medium 9781576753156

Chapter Five: Property Tax Abatements and Your Local School

LeRoy, Greg Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For our clients, education has been found to be the single most important service, greatly exceeding the value of all other services combined.… The single most important factor in site selection today is the quality of the available workforce … in fact, a qualified workforce may be the single most important determinant in the economic development success of any community.

—Robert Ady, longtime Fantus executive,
said to be the nation’s most experienced living site location consultant

Companies love to locate in areas with good schools; they just don’t like to pay for them. American families care a lot about their schools, too. They often move and accept higher housing costs to gain access to better schools. And they support bond issues for public schools at a greater rate than they do any other service except healthcare.2 The trouble is, families don’t get a 10-year holiday on their property tax for moving into their preferred school district, but companies often do.

When corporations seek to avoid paying their fair share for schools and other local services, the issue is bigger than who bears the burden. The corporate assumption that businesses are entitled to property tax abatements—or the related subsidy, tax increment financing (TIF)—is threatening our economic future by harming our schools.

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