You need to develop a new application?  Fine, do you have a Business Case?

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100 times go back to your work, again, again and again… and so it goes also for your Application Development Project and your Application Development Business Case.

The fact is among all enterprises, budgets are getting scarce and their distribution is getting rare as well. When it comes to application development project, we clearly see where it starts but not necessarily where it will end and not always in a good manner for that matter; which leaves bad memories and a bitter taste in the mouth of too many C-levels.

Although the initial motivation to start an application development project seems legitimate in the eyes of CMOs, CIOs or CTOs; their Application Development Business Case not always adequately supports it. The general idea is always to increase revenues but maybe we can add some rigor to it since you’ll have to sell your project on the inside and validate your Application Development Business Case.

Your challenge consists mostly in answering a few questions and validate your initial assumptions. So, here’s a basic pathway and a few useful arguments.


  1. The application benefits

Offer an overview of the use of such an application amongst enterprises. Many statistics and reports can outline the increase in use of this type of application in your field of activities and highlight the advantages it provides to competitors.

  • Increased productivity. Mobile apps can increase productivity within the workplace as much as 40% and automating non performing processes can generate formidable gains.
  • Instant access anytime, anywhere. The Intranet is no match with such a functionality in terms of cost reduction and efficiency!
  • Improved communications.  Connecting with both employees and Clients better and faster is a must in any application development project nowadays!
  • Better decision-making. By providing instant access to all documentation, an application can greatly help reducing human errors and enhance decision-making quality.
  1. Highlight the positive impact on your business

  • Identify which business processes will be enhanced and by which proportion.
  • Define precisely your project cost in time and resources.
  • Demonstrate the validity of your security solutions in terms of development, implementation and efficiency.
  • Demonstrate the soundness of your application development project in terms of updates, upgrades and maintenance.
  1. Demonstrate your ROI

No one will embrace your business case unless you can demonstrate how exactly it will provide a return on investment; by reducing costs, increasing revenues, reducing time loss, improving productivity, etc.

Here are examples of relevant data for a Sales Application Development Business Case:



Step 1. General Description

Nature of the Application Development Project

  • Objectives
    • Business Objectives addressed by the project
    • Project Scenarios (cost, time, resources, etc.)


  • Answering basic questions:
    • Who will use the application and for what purpose?
    • And, what information will they be manipulating?
    • What are the financial benefits?
    • Which financial metrics will measure the benefits?
    • Which non financial benefits will be generated?


  • Why are the project’s objectives important?
  • How will the project’s objectives align with our business strategy?

Threats and Constraints

  • Explain which threats and constraints make this application development project a necessity for the enterprise


Step 2. – Business Case Definition

Scope and boundaries

  • Define the scope and boundaries of the application development project in terms of cost, time and resources
  • Explain costs and benefits for all parties involved
  • Define the analysis time period


  • Identify major assumptions for projected costs and benefits


  • Explain the reasoning behind the projected benefits of the project
  • Explain how you calculate the value of non financial benefits

Cost model

  • Detail your cost scenario
    • Identify all parties that will benefit from using the application
    • Identify all parties involved in the application development project
    • Detail your application development cost scenario for a 5-year period (development, evolution, upgrades, updates, etc.)
    • Detail your application maintenance cost scenario for a 5-year period (development, evolution, upgrades, updates, etc.)
    • Detail your application development cost distribution scenario amongst all parties involved



Having gone through this process, presented a development project which makes sense, identified your application’s users and get it all approved by Management, you can now start thinking about ” screens”.

Happy Application Development Project,


Denis Paul & Michel


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