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how to write business use cases

“This use case starts when…” and “This use case ends when…” because what happens when you start to write all those steps is you find all these variations. The Use Case Document is a business document which provides a story of how a system, and its actors, will be utilized to achieve a specific goal. A business case is also often used by a project sponsor or project executive to help it decide if they should invest in a specific project. For example, when you’re thinking of moving home to another area. The CEO’s of the current library service delivery models have identified the following learning points in relation to the business case process. Part 2 This is so that the organisation (or family in this case) knows when the resources will be freed up to work on other projects or activities. It helps an organisation be clear about why a project is needed, and what the results of the investment will be. Perhaps your organisation is embarking on a major project to develop a new product. As you can see from the table, the project and operational costs are recorded for each year of the investment. Finally, every business case must take care when considering who the case will be presented to. By absorbing the meaning of use case diagrams, alternate flows and basic flows, you will be able to apply use cases to your projects. In fact, there’s two problems here – the local school and John’s long commute. It helps give confidence to management that their investment is worthwhile and will realize benefits for the organisation. The business options which have been considered, including the base business options of do nothing, so something, or do something else; Investment appraisal (or cost benefit analysis); Executive summary – summarizes the key points; The reasons for the project (answers the question ‘Why are we doing this?’); The options considered - e.g. You’re probably reading this article because you want to know how to write a business case. The model will outline anticipated levels of income and expenditure and should calculate profit and loss and cash flow over the 5 year period. Write use cases for all of the other functions of the software or business process. It removes the scope for members to make speculative capital gains resulting from the dissolution, disposal or conversion of the society into a company. Remember - a business case doesn’t need to be a lengthy document. They are: The next section covers the seventh stage of the process - developing a business plan. On this project, the costs of moving to a new house will be £5,000. Be very clear about the benefits to the council as well as benefits to the service. Often in organisations there are rules defined to help business analysts or project managers write what’s called an investment appraisal. Does the business case include non-financial, as well as financial criteria? Suppose you and your spouse are considering moving to a new home. This knowledge is vital if the decision-makers are to take a sensible decision about whether to invest in the project. You can download an example business case template here. A business case is the most important document you will ever need to write for a project. The level of detail required within a business case may vary depending on how it is being used. Or, perhaps you’re thinking of moving house so your family can enjoy a better life. In the process we ran 2 councillor workshops on the legal form and the contracting arrangements to ensure councillors were able to have cross party involvement. Use case plays a significant role in the distinct phases of Software Development Life Cycle. The definition of state aid is very broad because an advantage can take many forms. This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. 3) Start with what you want. First, the timescale of the project or activity – in this case 3 months to find a new house and move there. Here is a good video from the Yale SOM Consulting Club. The ways you measure the improvements resulting from these outcomes are known as benefits. This can be determined through considering the likely costs and benefits of the new delivery model (in terms of both finances and service outcomes). The name of this role is different across organisations, but commonly this role is known as a project sponsor, or project executive. A dis-benefit, if you’re wondering, is a negative consequence of a project. A business case is the most important document on any project. Describe it in terms of what the user does and what the system does in res… Typically, in an organisation this activity is a project. Therefore, a business case gives confidence to senior managers when deciding to invest in one project rather than another. Writing a business use case document is pretty simple and this will serve as a checklist to confirm the features of your application. Identify the users for each function, and write the steps for the normal course of events. Benefits should be measurable and quantifiable. Either approach will work, and most case studies use a mixture of both. In particular, it gave finance colleagues in the council confidence that the organisation could survive and thrive as an independent organisation. Development teams can use business process model to visually document business work flows, and associate use cases with those business processes for modeling the desired features to be achieved by the system. The 5 year financial model should also consider any planned efficiencies. The benefits of a project or activity are the positive things you’re going to get back in return for your investment of time and money. This might have serious consequences for the recipients of aid (such as the new delivery model) and the delivery of policy objectives. Is the project plan aligned with the business case? Without a rock-solid business case your project is unlikely to get a return on investment. Typically, one or two people take on the duty of writing a business case. Here’s a checklist of 13 questions to ask yourself before you submit your business case to your sponsor for approval: A good business case must contain certain key information including: A good business should be long enough that it contains all the information needed for the decision-makers to take an informed decision about whether to invest in the project. Also be clear about how the council will control the service for example through a contract. Imagine a heating repair services company that uses a paper-based set of forms filled in by an engineer during site visits. Projects should not just start on a whim or because of vanity – although a lot of money has been wasted over the years on such projects. It is important that the key messages within the business case document are clearly communicated to the stakeholders who will be making a decision regarding the potential establishment of the new delivery model. By owning the business case, it means this person is accountable for ensuring that any investment decisions which are taken based upon the information within the business case are worthwhile. Examines some of the technical areas like contracting, procurement rules, state aid issues and other related topics. The needs of users of the library should be considered, as there may be the potential to offer additional services that meet local demand. The final section is the investment appraisal. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. That’s because it justifies the investment. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone. Moreover, it should only contain enough information to help decision making. Let’s look at an example. That way, they can filter out the bad ideas for projects, and only fund projects which will contribute to strategic goals. Business cases can take many forms – digital or analogue. You’ve accepted all cookies. The investment technique used in this example is called net benefits. Is it clear how the benefits will be realized? When the decision is taken whether to invest in this project, the total costs (i.e. We will look into some specific purpose, which will distinguish it from other four diagrams.Use case diagrams are used to gather the requirements of a system including internal andexterna… Charities (including charitable community benefit societies) and Community Interest Companies have statutory asset locks. This might include areas such as: The fit of the preferred option will be considered against these areas within the strategic case, and this will demonstrate any potential benefits of the preferred option when compared with the doing nothing or other options. Alternatively, if your council follows a project methodology such as PRINCE2, the business case can be developed using that methodology. Even when we’ve managed to cut down what we’re saying, many of us still write in the wrong order. Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details. Kenworthy (1997) outlines the following steps: 1. We write as if we’re still writing up scientific experiments, starting with the aims and building up to the conclusions. It is anything which an undertaking (an organisation engaged in economic activity) could not get on the open market. In this case, the kids will get a better education, and John will save time each day. Forget the UI (for now) When writing use case steps, exclude details about button clicks, text boxes, … This should consider aspects such as commissioning arrangements, an assessment of the current marketplace, and how the new service will be planned and managed in accordance with relevant procurement regulations. How to write a business case The purpose of the business case is communication. Blog: 7 Steps to Writing Business Use Cases. The overarching aim is to demonstrate that these options will be justifiable on the basis of value for money. the time over which benefits are expected to be realized). Each thing the use does on the site becomes a use case. The first step to know when you are learning how to write a business case study is to identify the best possible avenue for data. However, the couple will spend an additional £2,000/year for every year over which the business case is calculated. We’ve now saved 33% but have enhanced and strengthened the service. The writer (s) should have knowledge and expertise regarding relevant business operations, and must be open to accepting input from other team members and business leaders. project costs and ongoing operational costs) are weighed against the expected benefits over the same time period. Outcomes are the results of the changes which come about by using the new handheld devices. In the next example, we’ll look at one example known as net benefits. It’s initiated by an actor, provides value to that actor, and is a goal of the actor working in that system. Identifying the assets that will transfer from the council, the terms of use, maintenance responsibilities and duration of agreements. While staff are employed by the council, this liability remains the responsibility of the council. The cost of both transitioning to the new delivery model and developing the library service within the new structure should be considered, from the perspective of the council and the new service. We found that councillors were very concerned about this. Figure 3: Use case with Business Rule Statements within Use Case Steps (so business rules are positioned where needed) ... A positive is that we can write use cases (or simulate them using Visualization software) without necessarily knowing all of the business rules up front. As you can see from the example, the first thing to be clear about in a business case is the reason for doing the project or activity. This is a structure for a business case that was developed by central government. This can be used to restrict competition where the council is intending to award a contract to a new PSM. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: evaluating how much money could be made from the investment. #2) Business Use Case Document This document details the use case scenario of the functional requirements from the business perspective. Special offer available on BCS Business Analysis Foundation online course. We have developed a (downloadable) financial model template to support you during this process. That means that the benefits can be measured later. The management case tests the feasibility of the preferred option, in terms of its deliverability within various tolerances. A business case is owned by the person who is funding the project. These might include assets such as property and equipment, along with less tangible resources such as staff time in setting up the new delivery model. This document is sometimes considered through formal decision-making processes within the council. saving time traveling to your office, or your children able to go to a better school. The reasons for the project are clearly spelled out when describing the 3 current problems which the company faces. The use case description is a written account of the sequence of steps performed by an analyst to accomplish a complete business transaction. The economic case aims to test whether the preferred option represents a value for money proposition. In some instances a full public procurement exercise is needed. To ace your DIY case study, follow these tips: Choose your voice carefully Depending on your brand and the content of the case study, you can write it in either the first or third person. This document covers the business actors (or system), goals, pre-conditions, post-conditions, basic flow, alternate flow, options, exceptions of each and every business flow of the system under requirements. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. The exact scope of services that are to be delivered by the potential delivery model should be considered. This site uses cookies to enhance your user experience. This is done by exploring the strategic context and drivers for the library service’s delivery model. Don’t spend unnecessary time though adding information which isn’t required. A business case may not be required where there is agreement to proceed straight to the business planning phase. It’s also important to understand how long the investment of resources will take. However, this definition is too generic to describe the purpose, as other four diagrams (activity, sequence, collaboration, and Statechart) also have the same purpose. There is only one risk identified here, which is the risk that the couple might lose touch with friends who live close to them right now. The technical issues that caused us most problems included: Staff transferring from the council to any new entity will have built up redundancy liabilities (note – these liabilities will not materialise unless redundancies are made). The purpose of a business case is to weigh up the costs and benefits of a suggested course of action and thereby present the argument for a new way of delivering library services. By attending this course, you will save precious time preparing business cases, and will gain the strategic thinking skills and commercial competence to present a business case in a format that helps decision owners make well informed decisions. Where possible, you should engage with these stakeholders before the meeting to ensure they have an opportunity to air any concerns or ask any questions. Before approving it, they need to have confidence that the problems have been addressed and the right solution has been selected, that the benefits are achievable and realistic, when the investment will pay off, and how big will the return on investment be. In all cases, the business case must be written and approved prior to any major commitment of resources. The following are the most important items to put into a business case: A business case template serves as a starting point when writing a business case. In either case, you write a business case to ensure the investment is worthwhile. Once written, a business case may simply need minor revisions to deploy or embrace a new process or idea. Depending upon its needs, your organisation may have different business case templates, each one used for different scales of projects. With this approach there is the potential of challenge from other providers, so the council must agree that it is willing to accept this risk. Of course, the benefits won’t be realized until the solution is in place and the company starts to use the handheld devices. Is it clearly stated how any necessary funding will be obtained? To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. For a project in an organisation, this is usually referred to as the operational costs of maintaining and operating the projects outputs e.g. 5. At this point, the couple knows the total costs over the timescales when the benefits shall be realized. It may be a good idea to use a format that has precedence within your local authority. Please read our cookie policy for more information. With so many competing claims being made on scarce funds, organisations need the assurance that the decision they are taking is the right one. Whatever form your business case takes, remember one thing – it will help you or your organisation take sensible decisions about committing time and resources to a project or activity. It could easily be a few notes scribbled on the back of something or even sent in an email. Does the business case conform to organisational accounting standards (e.g. the time it will take to complete the project) and the benefits realization timescales (i.e. Alternatively, if you prefer to self-study, choose from a range of project management online courses, including a PRINCE2 online course or an agile project management online course. The purpose of a business case is simple – it’s used to justify an investment in an activity. However, a business case being used for the decision to proceed with a new model will need to: Development of a coherent and realistic business case and, subsequently, business plan was key. Some important things to consider include: For staff who are members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the delivery model is required to apply for Function Provider status, while the new delivery model is also required to provide a guarantee that is acceptable to the Department for Education. The purpose of a business case is to weigh up the costs and benefits of a suggested course of action and thereby present the argument for a new way of delivering library services. This option carries a degree of risk that the contract may not be awarded to the new delivery model. Think of it as weighing up the pros and cons and then taking a sensible decision. Should the delivery model be required to purchase back-office support services from the council, this agreement will outline these arrangements and specify the costs and service requirements, in addition to timescales etc. For example, investing money in developing a new software app to bring first to market, might be deemed to bring certain monetary benefits (in terms of sales) which exceeds the costs of investment. Second, the time over which the benefits shall be realized. The rules can be complex and getting it wrong can mean recovery of state aid and suspension or withdrawal of aid schemes.

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