Identifying Opportunities, Analyzing Options and Building Effective and Compelling Business Cases

This two-day workshop has been designed to build those skills and to allow participants to understand the processes and skills required for identifying and analyzing business opportunities.  It is highly interactive and designed to allow participants to both acquire and apply skills that can serve them well in the workplace.

Course Outline



Day 1:
Module 1: Introduction to the workshop
-In this module, we will detail the workshop objectives and schedule and identify participant interests and concerns.  We’ll also describe the demands on managers of all types of organizations that increase the need for effective business opportunity identification and analysis and the need to build measurable objectives.
Module 2: Environmental scanning and identifying business opportunities
-In this module, we will identify methods for scanning the business environment and identifying business opportunities that have potential.  We’ll employ a SWOT analysis and make use of scenario planning to scope out the environment and the future.  We’ll engage in an exercise to identify and prioritize business opportunities
Module 3:  Analyzing opportunities and building the business case
-In this module, we will examine the financial and non-financial techniques used for comparing the costs and the benefits of the opportunity and evaluating alternatives.  We’ll focus on the calculation of net-present-value and the complications involved, including the selection of a risk-based discount factor.  We’ll also engage in other methods for analyzing and prioritizing potential opportunities.
Module 4: The business case
-In this module, we will review the purposes of the business case and its role in effective organizational decision making and the creation of effective organizational dialogues.  We’ll also identify the attributes of a good business case and the skills necessary for creating, presenting and negotiating the business case.

Day 2:
Module 5: Telling the story of the opportunity within the business case
-In this module, we’ll examine tools for communicating the business case to various stakeholders.  We’ll identify methods for crafting messages that “stick” and changing the minds of stakeholders.  Participants will be challenged to create compelling messages and to identify and meet the communications needs of stakeholders.
Module 6: Developing SMART objectives for the opportunity
-In this module, we will identify the need and tools for converting the opportunity into objectives that can be achieved and that will lead to organizational performance.  Participants will be engaged in exercises that require them to convert the business opportunity into measurable objectives.
Module 7: Business case competition and capstone exercise
-In this module, participant teams will be required to create a compelling business case for a sample initiative and present that business case to the other participants.  An award will be presented to the team that creates the best business case. 
Module 8: Workshop wrap-up
-In this module, we’ll conclude the workshop and respond to remaining questions.  We’ll identify additional resources for the creation of business cases and evaluate the workshop

Audience

The target student for this workshop is those who are responsible for identifying business opportunities, analyzing those opportunities, and creating or reviewing business cases.