A good business case needs a good story – and the data to back it up

Posted on January 20, 2020
A good business case needs a good story – and the data to back it up

Whether you’re a manager seeking additional funds for your annual budget or a director requiring more people or resources for a project, the business case you present will mean the difference between moving forward or stalling your strategies, recommendations and projects.

That’s why today, more than ever, the ability to provide sound rationale is a skill every business leader must have, says one expert.
“Organizations don’t have the time to experiment and, ultimately, if they’re going to support an initiative, they want to know how to measure whether your idea will be a success and how they’ll get a return on their investment,” says Sanjay J. Dhebar, program facilitator at the Schulich ExecEd and faculty member at the Schulich School of Business at York University. “That means it’s crucial to structure your presentation in a way that includes both qualitive and quantitative information.”

Sanjay is no stranger to presenting winning business cases. With a diverse background that includes various commercial leadership roles for both startups and established health care and consumer packaged goods companies, he’s spent over a decade perfecting the strategies to build successful business cases.

Through his initial experiences and those of his peers, Sanjay discovered some typical errors that cause business cases to fall flat.

“When I first started working in industry, I had many ideas but didn’t know how to communicate them well, and a common mistake I started noticing was that people put tunnel vision on during presentations and present from their point of view rather than tailoring the presentation to those who will be approving it,” he says. “They have the information and the passion but what’s missing is the ability to tell the story.”

The insight caused Sanjay to begin tweaking his presentations until he developed a five-step methodology that he realized worked — every time. Today, that proven model makes up the content of the online course, Developing and Presenting a Successful Business Case, which Sanjay facilitates through the Schulich ExecEd.

Over a five-week period, each step builds onto the next to teach business leaders how to achieve professional results, save time doing it and gain confidence.

“Because I teach multiple strategy models, students not only learn rationale but how to make it compelling,” Sanjay says. “Another key component of selling a business case is confidence. What I noticed happens is as participants learn to complete the five steps, the confidence comes naturally because they know everything is covered.”


For more information on Developing and Presenting a Successful Business Case and to register, visit the program web page.