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Do you have the impression that the realization of business records takes tortuous paths that sometimes end in a dead end? What are the most common pitfalls and how to avoid them? In what sometimes looks like the obstacle course, here are some tips that can save you a lot of hassle.

Let's start at the beginning

Depending on the scope of the project, the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) defines 3 types of files to be carried out according to this sequence and with the control points:

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The process is iterative. The further we go, the more precise we are. The big danger: getting all these documents done in a reasonable amount of time and having an effective validation and approval process. Suggestion: do not forget to start with a draft that describes the opportunity in a few pages. It will help position your file!

Position your file

Also, at the beginning, it is obligatory to answer this question: what is the main trigger of the file (what will we invoke with our banker?):

• Legal or regulatory obligations;

• technological obsolescence;

• New business need that can generate financial benefits.

In these times of budget cuts, do not doubt that the 3rd choice is the favorite. It must be taken into account that the other situations correspond to very specific requirements (eg obsolescence is characterized by an imminent risk of interruption of service, whereas the legal obligation implies that the Law provides for the use of a system ). Not easy! Obtaining the banker's agreement in the absence of financial profitability is never easy. It is not enough to say that the current solution is obsolete!

Speak the language of business

From the outset, let's admit that writing a business case is not easy. This requires a good deal of thought and judgment. The issues dealt with are very similar to those that a promoter would have to answer when presenting himself to his banker to finance his project. Here, we speak the language of business - we explain just enough to be understood by someone who knows nothing about your field, why it is necessary and appropriate to invest in this project, now. Avoid trying to explain all the subtleties of your business, your banker will never be as knowledgeable as you are and its acceptance is based on risk analysis and business profitability. Target your demonstration!

What are we talking about?

For today, we will stick to the DPS. A clear and high-level description of the current situation is needed: organizational context, stakeholders, business need, project scope and expected results (with simple and measurable objectives). With this content, we must then describe the target solution by saying how it meets business needs. Obviously, we do not forget to identify the anticipated risks and benefits, the issues and a summary schedule and the cost of the next phase. It looks like an ICD, but smaller (and not as complete).

Once the results are approved, we can move on to a more precise characterization of the target solution (scenarios studied and the one chosen, technological architecture, detailed benefits, change management, etc.).



Avoid deadlock in your files by asking the right questions, you will save time and ... increase your chances of success!

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Marc Lafontaine,

Business advisor in RI

and in project management,