Our eWorkbook, 6 step guide for a social intranet business case, is an insightful methodology which aims to provide readers with a comprehensive guide to establishing a compelling business case for their social intranet strategy. This blog post discusses some of the most important items within the guide.
Through six stages our new eWorkbook details the individual steps you need to take towards developing a good business case for a social intranet, and gives relevant tips and tricks to help you achieve this goal.
The six stages are as follows (follow the links to view previous posts):
- Explore your organisation
- Identify areas of value
- Form your strategy
- Assemble supporting data
- Build your business case
- Engage stakeholders
This blog post will go through the fifth and sixth stages.
Stage 5: Build your Business Case
Stages 1 through 4 helped you to collect relevant data and you should now have some solid arguments for your business case. This stage will guide you through structuring your case and the actual creation of the document and presentation.
The goals for this stage are:
- Assemble evidence for your business case
- Finalise your business case document and presentation
From your mass of data, select the most compelling evidence that will highlight the usefulness of your business case to stakeholders. Focus on just a few of your strongest items rather than a large pool of statistics.
The information you present should be a mixture of data types. Consider adding:
- relevant external examples
Compile this information in a concise and interesting way.
Strategy and Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Your business case should clearly outline your strategy and achievable goals. Highlighting Key Performance Indicators and demonstrating that your potential project is well thought-out will increase the chances of stakeholders showing more interest in your business case.
Assess Risks of Not Proceeding
Your business case should identify the possible risks if the project doesn't happen.
A few things to consider for an intranet risk assessment include:
- What opportunities are being lost by not going ahead with the project?
- What issues will arise due to your current solution, or lack of one?
- How will employee engagement be effected by not going ahead with the project?
Format and Structure
Your organisation may have a standard format for documents such as this. Follow this standard if required, but ensure the structure allows stakeholders to drill down into more detail if they wish to. Include summaries for quick viewing and more clearly labelled sections for more detail.
Stage 6: Engaging Stakeholders
Engaging with your key stakeholders is a process that needs to start from Stage 1 right through to completion. Stakeholders need to be persuaded to invest in a new intranet. Your business case is a key element in this persuasion.
Goals for this stage include:
- Target individual stakeholders
- Enter into a dialogue with key stakeholders
- Get your business case approved
Stakeholder Management Plan
Your key stakeholders should already feel involved and be contributing to the business case. At this point, focus on managing your relationships with stakeholders by making a detailed plan.
Understand Stakeholder Priorities
Different stakeholders have different priorities, depending on their strategic agendas. These priorities will determine how you present your business case to each stakeholder. For example:
- IT departments are concerned with technical objectives they want to achieve and becoming closer to business processes.
- Leadership departments are concerned with employee engagement and company objectives.
- Internal communications departments are concerned with making communication within the organisation easier, employee engagement, cost savings and collaboration.
- Marketing and sales departments are concerned with customer service, collaboration and easy mobile access to key company information.
Adjust your core messages regarding how the intranet project will be relevant to each stakeholder.
Using the above list as a starting example, work out your core messages to each stakeholder. Targeting your efforts will help with your stakeholder management plan and result in multiple engaged stakeholders to help your business case become a working process.
We hope you've found this guide to creating a business case for your intranet project useful.
An intranet is a key strategic-level asset that will benefit from the planning and research that goes into a business case. Organisations need to get their investment decisions right, and that's why we've developed this detailed methodology.