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Foundations

Engage your sponsors

Engaging the sponsor to actively drive, support and provide guidance on developing the business case will help ensure that it addresses the needs of the decision-makers.

Play description

Engage with the senior executive responsible for the business case to be the sponsor. Work with the sponsor to arrange fit-for-purpose governance in the context of your organisation and government.

Your sponsor sets the vision for the overall service and their commitment is crucial to its success.

Ensure the sponsor has time to commit to supporting the business case. Your sponsor will also be a good source of stakeholder connections and will be able to facilitate links to people and information that are vital to undertaking your business case.

Key activities

Establish a relationship with your sponsor

Confirm and engage with the executive sponsor to secure their strong commitment. This will provide top down support that ensures decisions relating to the business case are made by the right people, at the right time.

Understand your sponsor’s work preferences and needs

Meeting your sponsor’s preferred ways of working and expectations will enhance your working relationship and help ensure their engagement. The scale, complexity and risk profile of the business problem being addressed also influence the sponsor’s participation. Some sponsors will expect greater day-to-day visibility of the development of the business case than others.

Find out how your sponsor likes to operate, their preferred means of communication and discussion, and how often they expect to engage with the business case as it is developed. Determine if they have reporting templates or mechanisms that they find useful and that you could adopt.

You can also include your sponsor in the team’s stand-ups and showcases. These may provide your sponsor with confidence they understand your progress without additional reporting. It will also highlight to your sponsor more agile ways of working.

Agree with your sponsor an approach for reporting progress and resolving issues.

Determine internal and external governance arrangements

Consider how the internal governance is organised to review and approve the development of the business case. Also consider the external governance structures that will assess the business case and make the final decision.

Ensure the business case is developed appealing to the requirements of both sets of decision-makers.

Questions to consider

  • Who needs to sponsor and review your business case?
  • Who do you need input from?
  • How will you structure and develop your business case?
  • What requirements does your government have for business cases?
  • Who can you seek advice from on the business case process and content?
  • How can your sponsor assist in engaging other key stakeholders?

Resources