Director of Marketing and Product Strategy
After much research, you’re convinced that better information management is critical to improving your organization’s environmental, health, and safety (EHS) performance. It’s time to end the inefficiencies caused by a patchwork of paper, spreadsheets, and ad hoc software. Now that you’ve decided to move forward with a modern EHS software solution, what’s next?
Your basic hurdle as an EHS business leader is to convince senior management that an EHS information technology (IT) investment is a sound use of limited resources. How will using technology to further automate and integrate EHS processes add value to the business? Why is this project a better use of funds than others? What is the justification for doing anything at all?
An Essential Tool: a Well-Crafted Business Case
In most organizations, decisions to make IT investments are made on the basis of a business case. This is a document for executive decision-makers that justifies the project in a clear and compelling way by assessing the costs, benefits and overall value to be gained.
Developing a winning business case is much easier said than done. Most organizations have a history of failed IT projects that were based on unrealistic business cases that didn’t deliver the promised value. You can be sure yours will be heavily scrutinized, and will need to shine.
5 Keys to a Winning Business Case
Based on our work over the past several years with EHS leaders in a variety of industries, we’ve seen IT business cases that worked, and some that failed. The odds of your project being approved will be much improved by paying attention to these five critical factors:
How to Get Started
A winning business case is based on the ROI of the project. How will costs be reduced? Business results improved? Risks reduced? Answering these questions may seem like a daunting task but there are efficient ways to get started using a phased approach.
The essential first step is determining your EHS costs today. Only by having a good handle on current costs can potential benefits be determined. A practical approach is to use an online value calculator such as this EHS solutions value assessment tool. It provides a simple way to document costs and calculate potential cost savings.
Armed with the information from a preliminary value assessment, you will be in a much stronger position to get attention and start building support. By objectively “showing the money” to stakeholders and speaking the language of the decision-makers, you will be well on your way to capturing the benefits of an investment in EHS software.
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