Enov8 Steering Group Meeting

Writing a Business Case for the Steering Commitee

FEB, 2023

by Jane Temov.

 

Author Jane Temov

Jane Temov is an IT Environments Evangelist at Enov8, specializing in IT and Test Environment Management, Test Data Management, Data Security, Disaster Recovery, Release Management, Service Resilience, Configuration Management, DevOps, and Infrastructure/Cloud Migration. Jane is passionate about helping organizations optimize their IT environments for maximum efficiency.

I. a Test Environment Managers Perspective.

So you have been asked to create a business case to justify “Upgrading your Non-Production Environments” to the Leaderhip Group. But where does one start?

 

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This paper will discuss the steps for writing a business case for the steering committee and the benefits of doing so. We also include some things you might want to include as part of building a business case for a new “Test Environment”.

II. Background

A. Definition of a Business Case

A business case is a document that outlines the justification for a proposed project or initiative. It typically includes an analysis of the problem or opportunity, alternatives, and recommendations. The purpose of the business case is to provide decision makers with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue the project or initiative.

B. Definition of a Steering Committee

A steering committee is a group of people responsible for making decisions about a project or initiative. The members of the steering committee typically include senior executives, managers, and other stakeholders. The purpose of the steering committee is to ensure that the project or initiative is aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.

C. Purpose of Writing a Business Case for the Steering Committee

The purpose of writing a business case for the steering committee is to provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue the project or initiative. The business case should include an analysis of the problem or opportunity, alternatives, and recommendations.

II. Steps for Writing a Business Case

A. Identify the Problem or Opportunity

The first step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to identify the problem or opportunity that the project or initiative is intended to address. This should include an analysis of the current situation and an understanding of the desired outcome.

B. Gather Information and Analyze Data

The second step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to gather information and analyze data. This should include researching the problem or opportunity, gathering relevant data, and analyzing the data to identify trends and patterns.

Tip: Use sensible reporting methods like RAG status to keep it simple & ensure everyone is on the same page.

C. Develop Alternatives

The third step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to develop alternatives. This should include brainstorming potential solutions and evaluating each alternative based on its potential impact, cost, and feasibility.

D. Evaluate Alternatives

The fourth step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to evaluate the alternatives. This should include assessing each alternative based on its potential impact, cost, and feasibility. The evaluation should also consider any risks associated with each alternative.

E. Make Recommendations

The fifth step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to make recommendations. This should include selecting the best alternative based on its potential impact, cost, feasibility, and risk assessment. The recommendation should also include an action plan for implementing the selected alternative.

F. Prepare the Business Case Document

The final step in writing a business case for the steering committee is to prepare the business case document. This should include all of the information gathered during the previous steps as well as any additional information that may be relevant to decision makers. The document should be clear and concise so that it can be easily understood by all members of the steering committee.

III. Benefits of Writing a Business Case for the Steering Committee

Writing a business case for the steering committee can provide numerous benefits, including:

A. Improved Decision Making

Writing a business case for the steering committee can help to improve decision making by providing decision makers with the information they need to make an informed decision. The business case should include an analysis of the problem or opportunity, alternatives, and recommendations. This will help to ensure that the project or initiative is aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.

B. Increased Efficiency

Writing a business case for the steering committee can help to increase efficiency by streamlining the decision-making process. The business case should include all of the relevant information that decision makers need to make an informed decision. This will help to ensure that decisions are made quickly and efficiently.

C. Improved Communication

Writing a business case for the steering committee can help to improve communication by providing a clear and concise document that can be easily understood by all members of the steering committee. The business case should include all of the relevant information that decision makers need to make an informed decision. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that decisions are made in a timely manner.

Evaluate Now

IV. The Business Case for “Upgrading Non Production Environment “

With respect to the original use case “Upgrading Non Production Environments”, here are a few things you might want to consider as you structure your proposal:

A. Cost Analysis

The first step is to analyze the cost of upgrading the non-production environments. This should include an analysis of the cost of hardware, software, and labor required to complete the upgrade.

B. Benefits Analysis

The second step is to analyze the benefits of upgrading the non-production environments. This should include an analysis of how the upgrade will improve performance, reliability, and security.

Justification for investing in a “Test Environment Management Transformation”:

  • Resource cost control: A well-designed test environment can help control resource costs by allowing for more efficient use of hardware and software resources. This can include strategies such as virtualization, containerization, and automation.
  • Streamlined delivery: A good test environment can help streamline the delivery of software by providing a stable, reliable platform for testing and validation. This can help reduce the risk of delays and project overruns.
  • Reduced outages: A well-maintained test environment can help reduce the risk of outages and downtime in production environments by catching issues before they make it to the live system. This can include load testing, stress testing, and other forms of performance testing.
  • “Fit for purpose”: A good test environment is designed to support testing activities and provide the necessary tools and resources for developers, testers, and other stakeholders to do their jobs effectively. This can include access to test data, integration with testing frameworks and tools, and support for various testing methodologies (such as unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing).
  • Improved quality: Ultimately, a good test environment can help improve the overall quality of software by catching defects and issues earlier in the development process. This can help reduce the risk of customer dissatisfaction, reputational damage, and other negative consequences of poor quality software.
  • Enhanced security: A well-designed test environment can help enhance the security of a system by providing a controlled environment for testing security features, validating access controls, and verifying security configurations. This can help reduce the risk of security breaches and improve the overall security posture of the system.
  • Data privacy: A good test environment can help ensure that sensitive data is handled appropriately and kept confidential during testing. This can include measures such as data masking, data obfuscation, and other techniques to protect sensitive information. By maintaining the privacy of sensitive data during testing, organizations can help reduce the risk of data breaches and other privacy-related incidents.
  • Improved Product Lifecycle Management: A good test environment enables better testing of new features and upgrades, ensuring that products are thoroughly tested and issues are identified and resolved early in the development cycle. This reduces the risk of costly product recalls and other negative consequences resulting from defects in released products. Additionally, it provides valuable feedback to support ongoing product development, ensuring that products remain competitive and relevant over time.

C. Risk Analysis

The third step is to analyze any risks associated with upgrading the non-production environments. This should include an analysis of any potential risks such as data loss or system downtime.

D. Recommendations

The fourth step is to make recommendations based on your analysis. This should include a recommendation for whether or not to pursue the upgrade and an action plan for implementing it if approved by the steering committee.

V. Conclusion

In conclusion, writing a business case for the steering committee can provide numerous benefits, including improved decision making, increased efficiency, and improved communication. The steps for writing a business case include identifying the problem or opportunity, gathering information and analyzing data, developing alternatives, evaluating alternatives, making recommendations, and preparing the business case document. By following these steps and understanding the benefits of writing a business case for the steering committee, organizations can ensure that their projects and initiatives are aligned with their goals and objectives.

Other Leadership Reading

Enjoy what you read? Here are a few more leadership articles that you might enjoy.

Enov8 Blog: What is a Steering Committee. A Technologists View.

Enov8 Blog: The PPP (People, Process, Product) Framework.

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