Change Management Learning Center - managing change library

Welcome to the Change Management Tutorial Series

Home   |   Bookstore   |    Training   |  Tutorials   |   Benchmarking  |  Webinars

Email this page to a friend


 

Why a Business Case for Change Management

 

A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task to convince a decision maker to take action. Usually a well-structured, formal document, the business case tells the story of an initiative - from beginning (what problem or situation triggered the initiative) to end (what benefit, value or return is expected). Business cases are typically written at the project or initiative level as a way to secure funding and commitment.

Can a business case for change management help you overcome common objections you might hear?

Can change management practitioners use the business case format as a way to secure funding and commitment for managing the people side of change? Can we, as a community, present the rationale and approach for change management in a new way - as a formal business case - to gain a better foothold with senior leaders and project leaders? This tutorial presents insights on using the business case as a tool to build buy-in for applying change management on a project.

 

Foundation of the Business Case for Change Management

Let's start with the definition - a business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task to convince a decision maker to take action. To build a business case for change management, you'll need to answer four key questions:

  • What is the project or task? A business case proposes a specific project or task. Your “project or task” is to apply a structured change management approach on a particular project or initiative.

  • What is the reasoning? A business case presents the reasoning and rationale for initiating the project or task. For the change management business case, the reasoning is that the ultimate benefit realization, value creation, and achievement of results and outcomes for the specific project or initiative are directly tied to managing the people side of change.

  • Who are we trying to convince? The audiences of a business case are the decision makers who can ultimately take action in terms of funding and support. For the change management business case, your likely audiences are senior leaders, project leaders and project managers.

  • What is the action we need? A business case often is used to secure a level of commitment and funding for the project or task. The action you need is 1) a commitment to apply change management on the project or initiative and 2) the resources and funding to apply change management.

While the business case is a common tool when relating to projects and initiatives, few change management practitioners have taken the step of translating the rationale and approach for change management into a formal business case. In a Prosci change management webinar conducted in December 2012, only 22% of attendees had written a formal business case for change management.

 

Sections of the Business Case

The business case tells the complete story of the proposed project or task. In Prosci's approach to a business case, there are eight sections. Below, each of the eight sections are presented as they apply to the business case for change management:

  • Executive Summary: Succinct and concise presentation of vital information. It summarizes your story. Your story for change management is: We are undertaking a major project that has a significant “people side” component. The proposal is to apply change management on the project so that intended project results and outcomes are achieved.

  • Situational Assessment and Problem Statement: Directly connects the results, outcomes, value and benefit realization of the project or the initiative to the people side of change. The Situational Assessment and Problem Statement does not directly mention change management, but instead shows dependencies.

  • Project Description: Presents the high-level description, scope, and objectives for the project or task, in this case it is the task of “applying change management.” By concretely defining the "task" of applying change management, you give the reader confidence that you will effectively address the situation presented.

  • Solution Description: Summarizes your solution of "applying change management" and presents milestones, work streams and measurements for change management. By using artifacts familiar to project leaders - such as milestones and work streams - you make change management “real” and less fuzzy.

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Clearly presents the costs and anticipated benefits of applying change management. The benefits section is focused on the delivery of project results and outcomes, and can include both the benefits we get from applying change management and what can happen if we do not apply change management.

  • Implementation Timeline: Solidifies the structured approach and builds credibility by mapping change management milestones to existing project milestones such as kickoff and go live.

  • Critical Assumptions and Risk Assessment: Presents a SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and dependencies for applying change management.

  • Conclusions and Recommendations: Clearly articulates the "ask" (resources, funding, authorization, support, etc.). Builds confidence that your solution solves the situation presented.

 

Value of the Business Case for Change Management

The business case is a powerful vehicle for presenting the rationale and approach for change management, because it helps to address some of the most common objections or challenges to change management. In the December 2012 webinar on the business case for change management, attendees commented on the most commonly faced challenges or objections to change management. The top responses from webinar attendees were:

Using a business case for change management directly addresses these common challenges and objections.

The business case shows what it really means to apply change management on a project
The Project Description and Solution Description sections of the business case for change management present, in concrete and real terms, what it means to apply change management on the project including a general description, scope, objectives, work streams and milestones.

The business case presents the value of change management
The Situational Assessment and Problem Statement section of the business case for change management directly connects the results and outcomes of the project to managing the people side of change. Without even mentioning change management, this section is an avenue for showing the dependency of benefit realization and value creation on the ultimate adoption and usage of the solution by impacted employees.

The business case shows the rigor and seriousness of change management
Using a business case in and of itself addresses the perception of change management as soft and fuzzy. By presenting your "people side of change" approach and rationale in a formal business case, you gain credibility and show that you are a serious player in the execution of the project.

The business case makes change management look familiar
A business case is familiar to project leaders and senior leaders. So are elements like scope, objectives, work streams and milestones. By telling the story of change management in a familiar format, managing the people side of change looks like what they are accustomed to seeing in the project space.

 

Conclusion

There are numerous ways to tell the story of change management. A business case is just one. But because of the formality, structure and familiarity, it can be a very effective tool for gaining support, commitment, authorization and funding for change management. Presenting a formal business case for change management to a project leaders or senior leader can earn you the credibility you need to make a difference on the project.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Email this tutorial to a friend
Ask a Prosci analyst
Order online - secure server Order the Change Management Toolkit or Change Management Pilot for complete change management assessments, templates, guidelines and plans

 


 

Prosci Change Management Certification

"Amazing: these three days are going to save me
hundreds of hours and help me help my company
realize the benefits they seek."
- Mike C., April 2011 participant

“I'm truly inspired!” Joe F., May 2012

“The most applicable training I have been to - ever!
Great, applicable training & usable tools.”
Chelle, November 2012

 

Program highlights:

  • Learn the methodology through practical application to your current project
  • Learn from experienced executive instructors
  • Become part of a change management community
  • Earn 2.4 CEUs, 24 PDUs and 23.5 HRCI recertification credits
  • Walk away with products and course materials worth over $1000

Download the certification program brochure

Upcoming sessions:

  • March 5 - 7, 2013: Denver, CO area - FULL
  • March 12 - 14, 2013: San Francisco, CA area - FULL
  • March 19 - 21, 2013: Orlando, FL area - FULL
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Portland, OR area - FULL
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Houston, TX area - FULL
  • March 26 - 28, 2013: Washington DC area
  • April 2 - 4, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • April 16 - 18, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • April 23 - 25, 2013: Washington DC area
  • May 7 - 9, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • May 14 - 16, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • May 14 - 16, 2013: Denver, CO area
  • May 21 - 23, 2013: San Diego, CA area
  • May 21 - 23, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • May 21 - 23, 2013: Washington DC area
  • June 11 - 13, 2013: San Francisco, CA area
  • June 18 - 20, 2013: Chicago, IL area
  • June 25 - 27, 2013: Orlando, FL area
  • June 25 - 27, 2013: Washington DC area

Visit the certification training page

Email a certification inquiry or call
+1-970-203-9332 to register today.

“Awesome! Best training program I have attended in my career!”
Ryan L., May 2012

“Best course I've ever taken… Incredible instructors and excellent material. Can't wait to use it!”
Kim P., August 2012

“This is the best training that I have ever attended. Now I understand what I need to do when I go back to the office and start to immediately apply what I've learned. Very organized and easy to follow. Great online resource and USB and hard copies.”
Tamaho Q., July 2012

“Absolutely Awesome!!! 5 stars!” Brenda M., December 2012

“Excellent course. Well worth the investment of time and money. Excellent job!”
Sue A., July 2012

“Excellent class - would recommend to anyone.” Walt J., August 2012

“This is one of the best programs I have attended. Excellent faculty, outstanding material, and amazing use of experiential learning techniques. Attention to every little detail, comprehensive program, material, great planning, outstanding facilitation.”
P. Ravi S., November 2012

“Excellent training, excellent content, extremely comprehensive addressing of CM concepts & practical approach. Best instructors ever!!!”
Panos P., December 2012

“The best training class I have had in years. Goes way beyond the strategy and framework and focuses on real world problems and the tools to solve them.”
- Jennifer J., April 2009

"I gained so many skills in such a short amount of time. This training will impact not only my own ability to manage change, but impact our larger organization.”
- Kim W., January 2012

"This is the best training class I've ever attended."
- Abby D., April 2011

“This was the most effective and engaging course I've ever taken. I feel that I can truly use this knowledge in my personal and professional life immediately.”
- Lisa S., February 2009

"This is exactly what I was hoping for - a hands on program that would allow me to absorb the concepts by relating them to a current business project."
- Lisa C., November 2010

“Awesome - truly one of the most beneficial programs I have ever attended - immediate application on the job!”
- Robin S., March 2009

“This program absolutely over-delivered my expectations. I now feel more prepared and better equipped to do my job.”
- Paul S., January 2009

 

 

Offerings for applying Prosci's change management methodologies:

Licensing:

  • Prosci's site licenses are a great solution for building change management capabilities and competencies throughout your organization. With a site license, you can customize and integrate Prosci’s world-leading research and methodologies to fit your organization and begin building the individual competencies necessary for true change capability. Contact a Prosci Account Manager at +1-970-203-9332 or changemanagement@prosci.com to discuss your change management needs and how Prosci's research-based, holistic, easy-to-use solutions can work for you.

Training:

  • Change management certification ($2800) - attend Prosci's 3-day certification program where you bring your own current change project to the session and learn to use Prosci’s tools through practical application – taught by former fortune 500 executives at locations across the US - includes over $1000 in products, including the Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report, the Change Management Toolkit and the Change Management Pilot Pro 2012
  • Train-the-trainer ($3500) - learn how to teach Prosci change management training programs in your organization
  • Onsite training - bring Prosci to your location for 3-day certification programs, 4-6 hour executive briefings, 1-day manager programs or 1-day employee programs - call +1-970-203-9332 for more information

Methodology tools:

  • Change Management Toolkit ($389) - hardcopy 3-ring binder presenting the Prosci Change Management Methodology, includes templates, checklists and assessments for managing the people side of change (includes USB)
  • Change Management Pilot Pro 2012 ($489) - online tool including the Prosci Change Management Methodology, eLearning modules and downloadable templates, assessments, presentations and checklists
  • Change Management Guide for Managers and Supervisors ($209) - tools to help supervisors engage and coach their direct reports through change
  • PCT Analyzer ($149/$349) - web-based tool for collecting PCT Assessment data, analyzing results, identifying risks and developing action steps

References and books:

  • Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report ($289 / quantity discounts available) - journal-style report with lessons learned and best practices from 650 participants, presented in an easy-to-use format - reads as a checklist of what to do and what not to do
  • Change Management: the people side of change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - a primer for anyone involved in organizational change that addresses why manage change, individual change management and organizational change management
  • ADKAR: a model for change ($18.95 / quantity discounts available) - the definitive work on the Prosci ADKAR® Model
  • Employee's Survival Guide to Change ($14.95 / quantity discounts available) - a handbook to help employees survive and thrive during change, answers frequently asked questions and empowers employees to take charge of change

 

 

*** Prosci also offers leadership packages - groupings of products at discounts that offer you some of the most helpful and common combinations of Prosci change management resources

 

 

Email this page to a friend

 

Email a Prosci analyst or call 970-203-9332 with questions about the methodology, its application, or finding the right resources to support your change management activities.

 

 


 

*** Register to receive free news announcements and tutorial releases ***

 

 

Tutorials | Bookstore | Benchmarking | Articles | Training | Register | Webinars | Resources | Home

Copyright Prosci 1996-2014
Prosci and ADKAR are registered trademarks of Prosci Inc.
Send comments to a Prosci analyst

 

Contact Prosci
email: Prosci email form
phone: 970-203-9332 or 800-700-2831
1367 S. Garfield Ave.
Loveland, CO  80537  USA