After covering the executive brief and introduction portions of the business case, you’re set to move onto Analysis The Analysis section will be the most in-depth and technical section of the business case so be sure to consider the audience’s perspective as you write. There are seven sections for the analysis section; Assumptions, Cash Flow Statement, Costs, Benefits, Risks, Strategic Options, and Opportunity Costs.
Document all of the project assumptions and the reasons that led to their inclusion in the analysis. Evidence will emerge that either validates or invalidates the assumptions, and that evidence will be essential to determining any changes that need to be made as the project progresses. Assumptions about a Gigabit service project will be focused a certain main areas:
- Example assumption: The customers are not yet educated about Gigabit service.
- Build-Out. Example assumption: Build-out will require minimum overhead to manage sub-projects.
- Example assumption: The company will need a new process to keep departments coordinated.
- Example assumption: Revenue will be tracked and reported monthly.
- Example assumption: Competitors will try to steal business with special promotions.
Cash Flow Statement
This section considers the ongoing financing of the project. The cash flow statement should account for the impact on current cash flows, with planned reserves for market changes with the build, but also market changes with the existing services and operations. Cash is king—create a steady pace that plans for cash expenditures and new revenue from the Gigabit service to ensure the project meets with success.
Cost categories include: planning, rights-of-way, engineering, equipment, labor, overhead, and operational costs. As much as possible, costs should be broken down by the planned timeframe and project phase of expenditure. This will allow adequate preparation time to secure financing and allow negotiations with suppliers ahead of time. A robust cost model will feed into RFPs and RFIs and let executive decision makers look for strategic options.
Benefits were partially covered in the revenue section—everyone likes increased revenue. Further details about when those revenue flows are expected and the size of the flows should be outlined here. Additionally, list the benefits to other areas of the organization. Marketing will benefit from new service launch buzz. Other departments may benefit from better supporting equipment and software used for the Gigabit service. Stakeholder benefits should also be mentioned because the audience of this business plan will likely include community and other business leaders.
In this section, it is important to lay out as many of the known risks to the deployment project and ongoing Gigabit service operations. Known risks include the accuracy of all of the assumptions that have been made and risks associated with burdening existing departments and resources with an additional project workload. Also note risks associated with suppliers and labor availability, and detail the plans to manage those risks. Outlining all of the methods used to monitor and measure these risks is vital to the plan. This section should also include scope of the implications from these risks. If the risk changes to a different level, then what are the resulting implications for the project?
As best as can be done at the outset, the list of strategic options should be detailed in this section. For Gigabit service projects, those strategic options are wide and varied. For example, besides laying fiber all the way to the home, British Telecom has rolled out technology called G.fast (ITU G.9701) that can provide 1000Mbps over copper lines with greater than 24Mbps out to approximately 6,500 ft (2,000 meters). As your Gigabit service rolls out and more and more fiber is run, G.fast could provide a way to expand new service offerings to customers excited by the fiber roll out but not yet within the project build area. Additionally, keeping an ear to the ground for local capital projects whereby a dig once policy can be followed may alter where the build goes.
A Gigabit service project will inevitably draw a lot of resources from your organization. Company money and time will be impacted, and ultimately some other projects may have to take a backseat. Laying out those opportunity costs in this section will make sure all stakeholders understand what is being passed on for this project.
Additionally, if any new funds or resources become available this section can serve as a check on pouring those resources into the Gigabit project. Likely the Gigabit project will draw in most available resources, but if your organization has detailed some additional opportunities, then maybe those opportunities can be revisited in the future.
These components all make up the meat of your business case, which just leaves you with the task of concluding your work and delivering it to the right people. In our final piece on building the business case for Gigabit deployment, we’ll discuss how to wrap everything up and make a strong appeal. As always, email us if you’d like to find out more about our recommendations!