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Running Head: FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

FREP Business Case Critical Analysis


[Name of Professor]
[Name of Institution]

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Introduction
In this essay, a robust business case report is selected for a thorough critique. The
business case analyzed in this essay is: FREP Handheld Business Case: BC Ministry of Forests
and Range prepared by Paul (2007) K. Hooper, Senior Consultant (hereto referred to as FREP).
The case was written in 2007. Paul (2007) wrote this business case for British Columbia Minister
of Forests and Range to find out if the Ministrys decision to either continue to use non-handheld
equipment for forests and range monitoring is viable or to opt for a more advanced handheld
device for its field workers to carry out forests and range monitoring options more efficiently.
The concerned Business Case, FREP, carries out a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis for the
two types of devices, i.e. handheld vs. non-handheld, along with other parameters considered.
The final recommendations that the Business Case, FREP, offers to the Ministry is that nonhandheld devices for the upcoming five-year period are more cost/operation-efficient than the
handheld devices. This analysis is offered after a holistic cost/benefit analysis along with
relevant qualitative parameters. The major reasons for disapproving opting for a latest handheld
device are that by not opting for the latest data collection device (handheld), the Ministry will
save up to $500,000 in costs. Second, the project risk would be doubled (58 vs. 108) if the
Ministry decides to use a handheld device for data collection and forests monitoring. In addition,
if the Ministry decides to intervene to address the risks, such efforts will also accrue more costs.
The current essay undertakes a critique of this business case, FREP, to find out its
relevance to the area it covers and to understand whether the Business Case, FREP, is reliable
enough for following the decisions it is recommending after its comprehensive analysis. First, an
in-depth review of literature is carried out to critically understand what it would mean to write a
thorough business case, and what are the most relevant/significant areas to be covered. Next, the

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

essay dissects the current Business Case to evaluate its technicalities to measure whether it is a
good business case example or not. In the Conclusion and Recommendations section of the
essay, the current writer makes final summary of the entire essay and offers his personal position
on the analysis of the concerned Business Case to justify its analysis throughout the essay.

Business Case Literature Review


Extant literature posits that a business case can be very helpful in various investmentrelated areas, but primarily there are two fundamental reasons for which a business case is
mostly written and is considered effective. First, a business case is written for investments
keeping in view latest technological advancements in the relevant business field by combining
both software applications and its hardware/infrastructure (Riddle, Smith & Frankforter, 2016);
second, a business case can critically evaluate the various investment options available to a
business (both the investments to make and the investments to seek) (Lin-Siegler, Shaenfield &
Elder, 2015).
According to available literature, a document of a business case is expected to be a wellorganized piece giving a detailed description of a specific area on which it is carrying out its
analysis for investment recommendations. It should have clearly defined objectives, aims, and
cost/benefit analyses (Schaltegger, Ldeke-Freund & Hansen (2012). In addition, in their
seminal book, Dawes et al. (2004), inform that a business case must a have comprehensive and
well-structure format with essential elements that include the following: (i) Problem Statement:
to define what the problem is for which the business is being undertaken; (ii) Mission or vision
statement: to envision strategic framework for the future investments/advancement; (iii) Specific
objectives: by evaluating environmental factors, processes, and detailed assessments of the

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

business, its stakeholders, and strategic framework; (iv) Preferred approach: carrying out various
analyses such as SWOT, prototyping, process, analysis, cost-benefit analysis, and costperformance analysis, among others; (v) Expected benefits: the business case should delineate
what expected benefits can be achieved by the proposed cost-benefit analysis, cost-performance
analysis, and stakeholder analysis. These three areas are essential to write a robust business case.
(vi) Performance and progress measure: to find out the best current practices for business
processes and strategies; (vii) Risks and ways to address them; (viii) Plan of work, timeline, and
key milestones; (ix) Project management and staff; (x) Cost estimates and funding resources; (xi)
Alternatives considered; (xii) Opposing arguments and responses (Webster, 2016).
Available literature also informs that current practices for writing an effective business
case have evolved, and, contrary to the past, today, a robust business case is the one which
considers both qualitative and quantitative factors to offer its analysis for some investment to a
business (Iijima, 2015). Over the years, a business case has evolved from being just a document
to a process-based initiative that takes into account that focuses on critical tasks like pointing
out key business drivers, benefits in financial and non-financial terms, investment objectives and
its future course, the changes of future environment in relation to benefits and risks for all the
stakeholders involved in a business (Nittapaipapon & Atchattabhan, 2016).
Thus, it is these important characteristics of a good business case against which the
concerned business case, FREP, is analyzed in this essay to find out whether it is a robust attempt
or not.

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Analysis of a Business Case FREP


This paragraph analyzes the FREPs language use. The FREP business case is a
comprehensive document, very precise, and to-the-point. The writer, Paul, does not waste any
extra space in sharing the business case analysis not does he use any unnecessary words.
However, there are quite a few language errors. For instance, on Page 8, under Purpose, there is
written a handhelds are. Similarly, there are many Run-on sentences that overlook the
importance of punctuation, and it creates a lot of reading ambiguity as the reader has to read a
sentence over and over.
This paragraph critiques the FREPs holistic format. For the technical aspects, FREP
delineates most relevant sections of a business case report. The sections it is organized around
are: (1) Document sing off, (2) Glossary, (3) Executive summary, (4) Purpose, (5) Approach, (6)
Business case, (7) Reference documents, and (8) Appendices. Thus, an analysis of the Table of
contents of the business case reveals that while FREP includes many relevant section, it does,
unfortunately, considers using other important areas such as given (above) by Dawes et al.
(2004). Comparison. Although a business case writing can vary from organization to
organization, proper projection of a Problem Statement section is highly desired because it sets
the entire stage for which is going to happen in the later sections. FREP does not have this
section. It does, however, delineates its problem statement, how technological innovation keeps
an organization on its tiptoe, in the Purpose section. But, to this current writer, as per literature
review, the section of Problem Statement should have been given separately (Dawes et al., 2004).
Similarly, the FREP business case leaves out a number of relevant section such as Mission
Statement, Performance and Progress Measures, and Opposing Arguments and Responses,
among others. Thus, the overall impression for a student like me is that the business case is

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

missing out several relevant details. It feels like the reader wants to say, I need to read more to
understand the business case better. Most of the other sections have been intermixed together to
give a sense of haphazardness. (Webster, 2016; Miller & Parker, 2015).
This paragraph compares the holistic format with literature. Review of literature has
informed the writer of this essay that it is not just the headings of sections of a business case
there are important, in fact, these sections makes everything simple to read and understand. The
most significant reason for which different writers emphasize on clearly formatting a business
case is that there are many stakeholders who need to read such a business case. And, since
different stakeholders come from different areas of expertise, fields, and backgrounds, it is
necessary to simplify a business case writing so that everyone understands what is being
discussed (Robinson et al., 2004). Another purpose for clearly organizing a business case is that
it helps to organize new knowledge in a more efficient way at an age where the explosion of
information is so massive (Robinson et al., 2004).
Comparison. Yet, critiquing the FREP business case, it is quite rational to argue that the
report misses on effective organization and so makes understanding it quite difficult for
stakeholders that come from a background and expertise other than the core IT area.
This paragraph covers Glossary and Executive Summary. FREP effectively uses the
second Glossary to define all the technical jargons J2EE, JAVA Swing, JRun, and NPV, among
others, which makes it understandable to read afterward. Likewise, Executive Summary is
written effectively and discusses that purpose of the report along with succinct conclusions and
recommendations. In short, the Executive Summary section is well-written and convinces the
reader why the business case is relevant for the recommendations it is making, i.e. a handheld
device is not recommended due to costs and operational complexities and risks.

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Here the Purpose and Approach sections of FREP are discussed. The Purpose section
discusses the purposes of the report which are to analyze if a handheld device is suitable for the
forests and range Ministry or not, and how the future relates to the Ministrys decision to select
either a handheld device or a non-handheld equipment. It is clearly understandable, precise, and
well-written. Next is the section Approach delineates its core approach.
Cost/benefit analysis with qualitative and quantitative sections is discussed here.
However, the reading of the later sections reveals that contrary to what it says in Approach
section, as Complete Qualitative and Quantitative analysis, Review all stakeholders, does not
really meet the expectations of the reader. Although a very robust cost/benefit analysis is
provided in the relevant section, below, complete qualitative analysis is just a few lines on how
the employees and the management may face problems in using the handheld devices. For the
qualitative analysis, the business case states that interviews were held and analyzed; however,
later section does not meet the expectations as the reader may expect that some qualitative
insights from employees perspectives, management, supervision, and administration would be
shared in detail to gain an in-depth understanding of the situation. No such qualitative analysis is
given (Hahn et al., 2014; De Massis & Kotlar, 2014).
Different sections are precisely discussed here. The section, 7-Business Case FREP
Handheld, covers all the important areas, Current State, Project Purpose, Project Scope,
Objectives, Project Stakeholders, and Strategic Alignment succinctly. Comparison. However,
stakeholder analysis is done very precisely informing the key operation areas of each stakeholder
but leaving out other relevant details (Rodrigue, Magnan & Boulianne, 2013).

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Business case is provided with sufficient details including what options are available:
Alternatives, Advantages, Disadvantages, and Impact on Key Stakeholders. Then Quantitative
analysis is done with cost/benefit analysis.
Comparison. However, as states earlier some required sections such as Performance and
Progress measures is not given which makes the business a bit weaker because literature has
clearly established that it is not just the cost/benefit analysis that is enough in todays complex
business environment (Robinson et al., 2004; Lindahl, Sundin & Sakao, 2014; Ackerman, 2008).
Qualitative Analysis section, next, is quite short and offers a lot of ambiguity to the reader as it is
difficult to understand what qualitative parameters are being considered because the content
lacks sufficient details. For example, for transition phase for the change, the report says that the
first year would increase the burden on the help desks. However, it does not talk about the details
and this leaves the readers willing to read more.

Conclusion and Recommendations


This essay undertook a critique of FREP Handheld Business Case: BC Ministry of
Forests and Range prepared by Paul (2007) K. Hooper, Senior Consultant. The final analysis of
the critique can be stated as follows. The FREP business case is mostly concerned with the costbenefit analysis and does not consider other areas such as environmental factors (it recommends
paper-based management). The business case is robust and addresses many areas needed to write
a good business report, but it does not have other important areas that could have made the
business case more effective. The most negligible aspect of this business case is that it does not
discuss any Opposing arguments and responses in relation to why a handheld device should be

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

used. This is the most fundamental flaw of the report. Similarly, it views the entire case in
financial terms, and non-financial factors are almost missed out.
Hence, it can be concluded that though FREP is a good business case report, it could have
been improved a lot by considering latest writing and business analysis strategies.

FREP BUSINESS CASE CRITICAL ANALYSIS

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