Present my work on how to build a business case led to a great conversation on LinkedIn and a popular question:

Is it worth setting up a business case?

I understand. Some organizations rely on business cases, while others just tick a box. Some organizations completely ignore business cases, and it shows.

Do you need a business case?

Yes, you do.

Even if you think building a business case is a waste of time and energy. Let me explain to you.

Calibrate your expectations – then do it anyway (here’s why)

It is important to understand what the organization wants and to calibrate your expectations. The mismatch of expectations creates a lot of friction, frustration and often ends up disconnecting us from our value. We don’t want that, so figure out what they need and want.

This way you can create a business case that benefits you and use it to give them what they need.

Building a business case is an essential practice for leaders today. Especially security managers, who want to connect with the business. A good business case offers insight into business risk and business value.

Get Clarity or Get Friction

Drive value faster by clarifying the business problem, what success looks like, the issues, the expected value, and the business benefits. A business case captures all of these elements and explores the approach or options for solving the problem.

Clarity is the fuel for acceleration.

Lack of clarity breeds friction that erodes value, destroys trust, and burns people out. Friction creates frustrating situations with rework and wasted work. As friction increases, our project slows down and everything becomes more complex, takes longer and costs more.

We deliver value when we complete the job.

Think of a business case as a head start in determining the path with the least friction and the most value.

Where is the value?

To create value, you need to solve the right problems. Good problems always connect to business risk (which is sometimes distinguished from cyber or technical risks).

The key is to understand how solving the problem brings value. When you don’t know what problem to solve — or more often, when everything is urgent — use the value exchange to find the real priority.

Clarifying value builds confidence in action.

You can show what you document

An overlooked benefit of a business plan is how it serves as a documented record of the thinking and decision process. You can To display the business plan to other people. It’s a great way to get everyone on the same page at first.

But it also helps once you dig in and things get messy, and the approach needs to change. Or maybe the situation has changed and you need to adapt. The business case allows you to come back to the documented understanding of the problem, the value and the approach to make the necessary changes.

This allows you to inform everyone, adapt the approach and focus on creating value, with less unnecessary work, rework and friction.

Develop your skills, especially when it gets complicated

The best way to learn is to build and follow a business case. Even if it doesn’t work as expected, you learn to identify and clarify the right issues, bring people together, determine value, and determine the approach to driving value faster.

It’s a skill that increases your value and only comes with intentional practice. And yes, that means your reward is more problems to solve.

It’s always worth building a business case

Whether you’re doing it for the organization, your team, or for yourself, crafting a business case is worth the effort.

The more you embrace the process, the more you learn about risk and value through a business lens. This leads to a reputation as a leader who can clarify business risks for the entire organization, not just security or technical teams.

As you solve the right problems and create value faster, your confidence increases and you establish a strong and necessary connection with the company, earning your place at the table and making a difference.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of Security Catalyst written by Michael Santarcangelo. Read the original post at:

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