Monday 2 June 2008

A good bottle of wine

I looked at some typical templates for preparing business cases the other day - filling them in is like riding an intellectual roller coaster:
1 - your name (easy)
2 - contact details of the person proposing (yup, can do that)
3 - write 200 words describing the service (wow, launch straight into it and try to get your brain in gear)
4 - have you done a risk assessment? (tick yes or no)
and so on - demanding one moment, the next pedestrian.

So how to tackle this?
Identify the demanding bits (why is this service needed, what difference will it make, bottle of fine wine and a glasstimescales, summary) and get yourself into the right frame of mind for completing them - may I suggest an evening in front of a nice coal fire with a good bottle of wine (or a bottle of good wine - wine anyway).
Identify the easy bits - save these for completing the following morning when you need something straightforward to do
The same demanding bits turn up time after time:
What would happen if you didn't make the change (also known as Need, Reason for this project, Background, etc). If the situation will go away by itself then you hardly need to make a case for change, do you?
What is the change (typically one sentence saying what you are going to do - actually this doesn't come up very often, a lot of business cases consist of 4 pages of how terrible it is now, and 6 pages of how wonderful it will be if the business case is approved, with very little on what you are going to do!)
What difference will it make (the basis of this whole BLOG - how to evaluate and report the benefits of the change)
When, how much you need, what cash flow pattern, major milestones (absolutely vital. So many innovative projects are only just starting out when 12 months in someone says "how's it going - can't see much going on" and pulls the money for the next 'good idea'. Most health and care innovation takes 18 months before you can see any benefits, so say so and put in some milestones (such as 8 months = job advert) to show progress.

Have lots of fun, and keep it down to 1 bottle (and one side of A4)

No comments: