PRINCE2 - Business Case Theme

The purpose of the business case theme is to establish mechanisms to judge whether the project is (and remains) desirable, viable and achievable as a means to support decision-making in its (continued) investment.

In PRINCE2, all projects must have a documented business justification. This sets out not only the reason for the project, but also confirms whether the project is:

  • desirable: the balance of costs, benefits and risks
  • viable: able to deliver the products
  • achievable: whether use of the products is likely to result in envisaged outcomes and resulting benefits.

The senior user(s) is responsible for specifying the benefits and subsequently realizing the benefits through the use of the products provided by the project. The executive is responsible for ensuring that those benefits specified by the senior user(s) represent value for money, are aligned with corporate, programme management or customer objectives, and can be realized.

It is a PRINCE2 principle that a project must have continued business justification. This requires that the business justification is not just developed at the beginning of the project, but that it is kept under regular review and updated in response to decisions and events that might impact the desirability, viability or achievability of the project. If the business justification ceases to be valid then the executive must stop or change the project following review by the project board.

The business case theme is central to PRINCE2 projects as it is at the heart of why a project is being done. PRINCE2 does not define what techniques to use to demonstrate or prove that a project is viable, only that it should be done. Such techniques are often prescribed within organizations, either formally or through custom and practice.