How to build a business case


If you work in a large company you probably are familiar with having to prioritise.  And if, like me, you work with a year long technology roadmap to make any change you need to build a case.

I have found the best way to build this case, is to use these 4 criteria.

• Size of Opportunity
• Risk of doing / risk of NOT doing
• Level of Effort
• Time to Impact

It generally works if there is a big opportunity and quick to impact. Then high levels of effort and risk are normally then just managed.

If there is a long time to impact, and only medium or small possible return, you are unlikely to get your idea squeezed in.

Sometimes, if the level of effort is next to nothing and the size is medium and is quick you might be lucky!

If this is a SEO business case, that is when the risk of not doing really kicks in.  Try to model what the loss is, especially if this is a hygiene change!

I reckon most situations can be modelled on these 4 criteria.

One thought on “How to build a business case

  1. Mark

    If the case was SEO, how would you seperate different activity to prove the ROI of each?

    E.g. Onsite SEO vs Link building

    How do you calculate the risk of blackhat SEO?


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