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Five Business Drivers to Justify an Investment
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: This PagePt. 2: Making the Business Case: Assess Your OptionsPt. 3: Making the Business Case: Identify the SolutionPt. 4: Making the Business Case: Define the ROI
Whether facility managers plan to implement new-business processes or specify new technology, a proposed change in operations often involves a financial investment, forcing managers to make an effective business case that justifies the change. To make the case, managers must understand business drivers the change must support.
Simply put, it is critical to show the way the proposed change will better align the organization with its mission. It must show the way this proposed project’s measurable benefits will outweigh potential risks. Managers should consider the primary business drivers. One major global facilities organization identified its top five business drivers as:
- elevate the level of consistency and quality of services across the entire portfolio and automate standardized business processes by using enabling technology
- shift time spent on labor-intensive activities to higher value-add activities
- achieve data transparency to allow visibility and timely access to data at all levels of the organization
- leverage technology as a resource to scale for increasing client demands, while reducing the cost of providing those services
- support professional staff by freeing up their time for core activities, aid in career growth, and make the collective institutional knowledge available for the entire organization.
Clearly articulated business drivers provide the building blocks of a solid business case. Having clear drivers also provides an impact assessment to determine the impact of the solution not being implemented – the do-nothing scenario. Thus, the business case builds a story about the way the business will function with and without the proposed solution. The right drivers also create the level of criticality necessary to set a particular department’s business case apart from many other initiatives vying for limited capital.
Good business drivers also allow the organization’s message to ring true across all critical stakeholders. Good business drivers touch all constituencies and allow the communication of a compelling case for the solution across the entire organization, including building occupants, upper management, operations, service groups, and the finance and human resources departments.
Next in this series: An article about identifying and analyzing options organizations can use to make the business case.