Refine the PRINCE2 Business Case and assemble the PID 

 March 7, 2023

By  Dave Litten

Refine the Business Case and assemble the PID

Business Case – create the detailed version and assemble the Project Initiation Documentation

During Starting Up a Project, an outline Business Case was created which formed part of the Project Brief.  As a result of creating the Project Plan and planning in detail, the Business Case can now be updated with the full details.:

The project time-scale and the timing of benefit reviews, the cost of the project and the costs of operational and maintenance activities can now be added to the Business Case.  Also the aggregated risks from the updated Risk Register can be summarised in the Business Case.

This detailed Business Case (which is owned by the project board executive), will be used by the project board to authorise the project in the first place, and used throughout the project to ensure that the project is and remains viable.

The Project Brief should be checked to see if there are any corporate or programme management standards concerning the format and content of the Business Case, in which case he should be applied.

Lessons from similar previous projects relating to business case development should be sought and applied, although some of these may already have been captured in the Lessons Log.

Business Case contents

The content of the detailed Business Case will now need to be added and will include:

  • Costs and timescales extracted from the Project Plan
  • Major risks that affect the viability of the project should be extracted from the Risk Register
  • The expected benefits to be realized, and this needs to include any dis-benefits to ensure that the Business Case is balanced and realistic.  Each benefit should include any related tolerances.

It is at this point that the Benefits Review Plan should be created and the benefits from the detailed Business Case used here.  Information regarding how each benefit is to be achieved and measured must be added including the timing of benefit reviews.

These benefit reviews may often align with End Stage Assessments, although these benefit reviews will continue after the project has completed.

Project assurance will review the draft Business Case and the project board should approve it and the Benefits Review Plan, although they may prefer to review them later as part of the Project Initiation Documentation.

Assemble the Project Initiation Documentation.

The Project Initiation Documentation is now assembled and consists of the four strategy documents, the project controls and Project Plan, and the detailed Business Case.  The PID may not be one single document but a collection of documents.

This version of the PID created during the initiating a Project process will be used to gain authorisation for the project, and should be baselined and preserved as a record of what was originally agreed.

Project Assurance and the project board must now review and approve the PID. This will occur at the activity ‘authorize the project’ within the Directing a Project process.

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Dave Litten

Dave spent 25+ years as a senior project manager for UK and USA multinationals and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of Project Management Masterclasses, under the Projex Academy brand name. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

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