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M3 Playbook > Phase 0: Assessment > 0.2 Develop Project Business Case

0.2 Develop Project Business Case

Program Management

Task Activities

The M3 Playbook uses the overarching term “Project Business Case” to describe any business case (Major IT, Services, Minor IT, etc.). For a Major IT Investment, click here for guidance. For all other efforts, navigate to the M3 Examples MAX Page and select a business case that best resembles your agency’s effort as a guide. Complete the following steps regardless of the investment type:

  1. Customer

    Conduct high-level Alternatives Analysis to gather preliminary information needed for the Project Business Case

  2. Customer

    Populate the Project Business Case with Activity 0.1 Outputs: Vision Statement, Scope of Services, Expected Benefits, High Level Timelines, and regularly engage with QSMOs throughout Project Business Case development

  3. Customer

    Identify preliminary investment information based on the migration or modernization effort with criteria listed in the Project Business Case

  4. Customer

    Identify preliminary estimated life cycle cost for this investment

  5. Customer

    Identify preliminary activities that are performed to achieve the outcome of each project

  6. Customer

    Identify preliminary risks to each project’s success

  7. Customer

    Identify preliminary performance targets and results for evaluating operations.

  8. Customer

    Populate the Project Business Case with preliminary information

  9. Customer

    Internal Steering Committee review of Project Business Case

  10. Customer

    Populate the Investment Readiness Checklist

0.2 Best Practices

  • Use existing performance metric data to assist in identifying performance targets (e.g. previous Federal Benchmarking results, Customer Satisfaction Surveys, Shared Service Survey, etc.). Consider contacting for assistance researching agency specific and government-wide results
  • Operational performance metrics should seek to answer more subjective questions in the specific areas of: Customer Satisfaction, Strategic and Business Results, Financial Performance, and Innovation
  • All projects should have a business case. However, the Major IT Business Case is not required where no major IT acquisition and no capital assets are being procured
  • Use the Investment Readiness Checklist throughout Phase 1 to verify that the correct information is included in the Project Business Case and pinpoint any missing information



  • Executive Sponsor
  • Organizational Executives (CXOs)
  • Program Manager
  • PMO Lead, if on-boarded
  • Functional SME



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