As with all new expenses it is likely you will have to justify the expenditure prior to purchasing and implementing a visitor management system. It is a good idea to think of this as presenting a business case. Depending on the size, type and culture of your organisation this may be a full, written business case or it may be a more informal verbal business case. Either way there are some important areas to make sure you cover in order to get the go-ahead for the solution you know you need. These areas are:
- The problem you face
- The benefits of solving them
- Description of desired solution (software and hardware)
- Cost of solution (both up-front and on-going)
- Timescale and effort to implement solution
- Details of any risks
When putting together your business case it is advisable to follow a few simple rules:
- Keep it to the point, containing only essential information
- Clearly show the business value and benefits (don’t just talk about the features of your desired solution)
- Describe your vision
- Avoid jargon
Business Case Format
When creating your visitor management system business case there are really only 4 sections you need. Remember there is no need to write more than is necessary for each section. Keeping your business case brief and to the point is highly advisable. The sections you need are:
- An executive summary
- The financial details
- Project definition
- Project organisation
This section summarises your business case. It needs to be short whilst giving the reader a full overview and high level understanding of the vital information around implementing a visitor management system.
Although this is the first section of your business case you should write it last. That is simply because, once you have written the rest, you will find it much easier to write it effectively.
This is written mostly for the benefit of the people who approve the spending. As such it is worth finding out what information your finance team (or whoever will be approving the spend) is interested in seeing. You don’t want to put in unnecessary information nor do you want to miss out vital information. The core elements you need to cover are:
- Direct costs of project (software, hardware, personnel)
- Compare costs against forecasted benefits (e.g. medium to long term savings)
- Ensure affordability
- Assess value for money
This section is written for all the stakeholders involved in your visitor management system project. It is the longest section of your business case and will pre-emptively answer the why, what and how of the project. You should make sure you cover the following:
Background and Objective
- Explain to the reader why you need a visitor management system: the problem, opportunity, or business change resulting in the need. It may be helpful to refer to related projects.
- What is the goal of bringing in a visitor management system
- How does the project support the overall strategy of your organisation
You should use this section to describe both the financial and non-financial benefits of implementing a visitor management system. You could include the following points:
- Improved visitor experience
- Cost saving through process automation
- Improvements in building and data security
- Health and safety improvements
- Staff efficiency improvements
- Supporting wider business strategies
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You may wish to describe just your chosen solution or you could include a short list of potential solutions. You should explain the solution(s) and explain why you recommend a particular solution.
Scope and Impact
Here you describe what work needs to be done to deliver your chosen solution. It should describe who is affected and how they are affected by engaging in the project. This could include your IT department, facilities management staff and the reception team. If there are any dependencies on other projects you should mention those here too.
Here you describe the main activities and timescale of the project. You should cover the following:
- What will be done
- How will it be done
- Who will do it
- When will it be done
Here you summarise any risks associated with the project and how you intend to manage them. You should cover the following:
- What the risks are
- What are the consequences
- What risk-mitigation plans are in place
An explanation of how the project will be financed and who will finance it (e.g. facilities management budget).
This section is primarily for the project team i.e. those responsible for delivering the project. You should cover the following:
- Roles and responsibilities
- Review points
- Decision making process
- How progress is reported
We’ve explained the areas you will need to cover as part of your business case. As a lot of things have been spoken about it could appear that the business case is going to take ages to put together and end up being a large document. However that is not the case. It is short and to the point. You can cover a lot of things with bullet points and short, factual statements. Keep this in mind, follow the format we’ve explained and you will be able to put together a great business case ensuring you have the best chance of getting your visitor management system project approved.