In “Business case method for municipal IT investments,” Nielsen and Persson (2011) present a framework for developing a business case for IT investments in local government organizations. The authors argue that local government organizations face unique challenges in developing a business case for IT investments, including a focus on public service and a need for transparent decision-making processes.
The paper provides a detailed overview of the business case method, which includes five key steps:
- Define the investment: This involves identifying the problem that the investment will solve and defining the objectives of the investment.
- Identify the benefits: This involves identifying the direct and indirect benefits of the investment and quantifying them where possible.
- Identify the costs: This involves identifying the direct and indirect costs of the investment and quantifying them where possible.
- Analyze the investment: This involves analyzing the benefits and costs of the investment to determine its net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR), and payback period.
- Make the decision: This involves making a decision about whether to proceed with the investment based on the analysis of the benefits and costs.
The authors also highlight the importance of stakeholder engagement throughout the business case development process, including engaging with IT staff, business users, and senior management. They argue that stakeholder engagement is critical to ensuring that the business case is credible and that decision-making processes are transparent.
The paper includes a case study of a local government organization that used the business case method to develop a business case for an IT investment. The case study demonstrates that the business case method can be successfully applied to local government organizations and can help to ensure that IT investments deliver value to the organization and support public service objectives.
Overall, the authors’ framework provides a practical and comprehensive approach to developing a business case for IT investments in local government organizations, which can help to ensure that IT investments are aligned with organizational objectives and deliver value to the organization and its stakeholders.