A Structured Approach to Developing a Business Case for New Enterprise Information Systems

A Structured Approach to Developing a Business Case for New Enterprise Information Systems

Francisco Chia Cua (Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand) and Tony C. Garrett (Korea University, Republic of Korea)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-852-0.ch203
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The term business case is used to describe both a process and a document. A business case exploits an initiative. Exploiting the initiative from awareness to implementation encompasses a process, referred to in the diffusion of innovation parlance, as the innovation-decision process. The development of a business case concerns this innovation-decision process. The individuals or the decision-making units pass through the innovation-decision process, gaining knowledge of a new idea, forming an attitude toward it, and deciding whether to adopt or reject it (Rogers, 2003, p 20). Gaining the knowledge triggers the awareness or enforces it. Then, it leads to setting the agenda. After the agenda-setting stage is the examination of the available options. Attributes of competing options are matched together, enabling attitude formation in favour or against a particular option. This results in the creation of a shortlist of two or three options. A decision is generally reached at this point. The decision is, therefore, part of the matching stage. However, this is not always true in an organisational setting. There is a third stage after the matching stage. It is the decision (aka, business case) stage. Organisations generally demand rigour in making the decision. A business case document embodies the rigour in the business case development. Consequently, the decision stage culminates with a completed business case document and the decision that results from it: to adopt or reject the innovation. The three stages, agenda setting, matching, and decision stages, compose the initiation phase. If the decision favours adoption, then the implementation phase proceeds. In the context of implementing the new enterprise information systems, the stages in the implementation phase consists of pre-production, production, post-production (that is, maintenance), and confirmation stages. In summary, the business case development is a means, and its end is a business case document.

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