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FAQs:  IT Investments

FAQs & Glossaries

Q. Is a "business case" the same as a "budget justification"?

A. Decision-makers in every organization must make judgments about a wide range of complex issues; they rarely have complete, first-hand knowledge of every matter presented to them for consideration. To help them make informed judgments, senior managers frequently rely upon "business cases" and "budget justifications".

A business case is a comprehensive proposal, including the supporting analyses, for making a change that would significantly affect the organization. It presents decision-makers with the relevant facts that must be considered to make an informed decision. Simply stated, it is a fact-based argument for change. A business case might be considered in the context of formulating an organization’s strategic and business plans. Because they are so comprehensive, business cases can take months to develop and be very lengthy.

A "budget justification" contains many of the elements found in a typical business case (e.g., needs, costs, and benefits). However, they have a different purpose. While the business case is an argument for change, the budget justification is an argument to get the money needed to pay for the change. A budget justification is used in the context of the budget decision-making process, and is usually only 1-3 pages long.

A business case and a budget justification are similar, but they are not the same.

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