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Developing Business Cases

Elective Course

Purpose and description of the course

A ‘Business Case’ includes a broad assessment perspective on a course of action. It is not enough to conclude that a particular project or an investment seems to address strategic concerns. The project or investment might be too costly, provide negative economic value or embed risk beyond what is acceptable for the organization. Similarly, a project or an investment might be economically justified. Still, the project or investment could be impossible to implement or have little strategic rationale. The course ‘Developing Business Cases’ provides participants with a broad perspective on a ‘business case’ and equip them with theories, techniques and methods to develop a business case in their own organizations. The course focuses on both strategic context and feasibility concerns as well as the economic evaluation of a project or an investment. The former includes the development of several options, while the latter includes evaluation of the alternatives, reflection on risk and building scenarios.

The managerial justification of decisions thus goes beyond pure economic reasoning; that is, whether a specific initiative for instance reduces costs, increases revenue or both. In addition, numerous initiatives in organizations do not necessarily rest upon evaluation of economic value. Similarly, undertakings that for instance support social responsibility or a green agenda might definitely look at a broader picture. Thus, the course ‘Developing Business Cases’ addresses a comprehensive justification, which includes reflection about whether a project or an investment underpins the present strategy and deals with core strategic issues.

Justification also implies whether a project or an investment is feasible to implement as well as an assessment of whether it is acceptable to all stakeholders.

Day 1 conveys the nature of a business case and the building blocks in a business case. It further unfolds the general economic argument in a business case and discusses various perspectives for the justification of a particular course of actions. At the end of the first day, participants will discuss the essence of an economic argument.
Day 2 unfolds the use of these concepts moving from a confined business case to a business case that covers a longer time span, a more complex environment and appreciate limited knowledge and information. Here, participants work with the application of economic theory to different business cases; for instance in assessment of cost, investment appraisals, evaluation of risk and economic sensitivity analysis. A triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) approach to business cases is also introduced and discussed: the objective is to provide a contemporary and holistic view on sustainable economic value. During
Day 3, participants will discuss and reflect further upon a given business case, which they develop as an individual assignment. At the end of the course, participants will present business cases, which are preferably developed based on real-life situations.

Key themes in the course

  • The nature of business cases and their content
  • Core economics theories and concepts (e.g., costs, revenue, profit, value).
  • Contemporary view on sustainable economic value (triple bottom line)
  • Economic modelling and arguments in and for managerial decision-making.
  • Assessment of uncertainty and risk in the economic approach to business development and evaluation.
  • Short-run optimization and long-run capital budgeting and investment appraisals for economic evaluation.

Your learning outcome

In this course, you will learn to:

  • Describe the basic content of a business case, and its economic rationale.
  • Understand the core economic theories and concepts in managerial decision-making and their underlying assumptions
  • Apply the core economic theories and concepts to both confined and complex business cases
  • Discuss and reflect upon the evaluation of presented business cases

Who should attend this course

The course ‘Developing Business Cases’ targets all managers and specialists, who want to strengthen their capabilities to develop business cases for managerial decision-making. A ‘business case’ is in this course conceived as a managerial justification for a particular project, a new product or service, an investment in new facilities, a change in organizational structure or in-house processes etc. Participants will strengthen their ability to assess a particular course of action and in turn improve their managerial decision-making.


carsten scheibye

Department of Operations Management

Carsten Scheibye

adjunkt, programme director

giulio zichella

Associate professor PHD

Giulio Zichella

Department of Operations Management