Published on Jun 10, 2024

Project Business Case: Write an Effective Project Proposal

Step-by-Step Guide:

How to Write an Effective Project Proposal: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Identify Your Audience

  • Understand the key stakeholders involved in the project proposal, including decision-makers, influencers, and implementers.
  • Tailor your project proposal to address the needs, desires, expectations, and concerns of your primary audience.

Step 2: Document the Project

  • Clearly define the project goals, objectives, scope, and other key components of the project in alignment with the business case.

Step 3: Build an Investment Appraisal

  • Evaluate the financial aspects of the project based on the size, risk, and strategic importance of the project.
  • Use appropriate methodologies such as discounted cash flows to assess the project's net present value and internal rates of return.

Step 4: Draft the Business Case

  • Include details about the project, investment appraisal, advantages, disadvantages, and reasons for and against the project.
  • Present a clear rationale for the project to aid decision-makers in making an informed choice.

Step 5: Seek Go/No-Go Decision

  • Present the business case to decision-makers for approval or rejection.
  • Address any questions or concerns raised by decision-makers before proceeding with the project.

Step 6: Maintain the Business Case

  • Update the business case as the project progresses and significant changes occur.
  • Seek renewed decisions from decision-makers if the business case undergoes substantial modifications.

Key Sections of the Business Case:

  1. Executive Summary

    : Provide a concise overview of the project's rationale, context, and proposed solutions.
  2. Business Case

    : Detail the strategic context, goals, objectives, and scope of the project.
  3. Analysis

    : Include financial and non-financial benefits, costs, risks, benefits realization, and impact assessment.
  4. Recommendation

    : Optionally provide a recommendation for decision-makers on whether to proceed with the project.


  • Include additional information such as procurement processes, governance structures, relevant strategies, policies, and project documents.
  • Link to other project documents for cross-referencing and document management.

Final Thoughts:

  • Allocate 5-10% of the project budget to create and maintain a robust business case for good governance and informed decision-making.
  • Ensure that your project proposal addresses the needs of key stakeholders and provides a comprehensive justification for the project.

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