Warning: You might want to buy a cape, because our business-case template will turn you into a software superhero.
First, the obvious: Businesses often want to optimize, streamline, or fix a process that just isn’t working. The solution to their woes is frequently, “Let’s buy software to make that process better.”
(Now is the time to put on your cape. Go ahead, I’ll wait.)
Your leadership assigns you, the software superhero, a mission: “Find new software to solve problem X, and while you’re at it, you’ll need to win over your arch nemesis, Tom from accounting, to your cause.”
*Insert dramatic sound effect here.*
You’re left trying to find the right software to save the day all by yourself. Not only that, you’ll have to convince your leader that the option you present is the right choice.
In this article, we’ll walk you through identifying your sidekicks (because no one should have to choose software alone) and give you the ultimate superhero secret weapon: a free sample business case for your software purchase recommendations.
We might tell you how to defeat Tom from accounting as well.
How to assemble your team of software sidekicks
Your sidekicks in this situation are your stakeholders: the individuals who can help you make a decision on which software solution is best for your business and give you the “go” or “no.”
In broad strokes, your stakeholders will fall into the following categories:
Software users, unite!
Who are the software users at your business?
Often, the answer is, “everyone,” but what does that really mean? You should gather a few different people from each of the following categories to ensure you’re getting an accurate read on the needs of software users in your business.
Direct users: These are the people who will interact with the software directly every day. Their buy-in is paramount because in the end, you can have the best software in the world but it doesn’t matter if no one wants to use it. Recruit two to three people to give opinions on your shortlist and get their opinions in writing. You’ll want those for when you build your business case.
Software enablers, assemble!
These are the members of your superhero support team that help grease the wheels of software adoption. You want their buy-in because they will get the users, and sometimes the decision-makers, on board. Think of them as your software evangelists.
Mid-level managers: Not quite the final decision-makers, managers of teams that use software can let you know the pain points their team is encountering, as well as any expected push-back from members once you choose the final software solution.
Implementation team: Probably the most important software enabler is the person, or persons, who will stand up your software solution. If you have a tech team, let them weigh in on your software solution. They’ll let you know if there are any technical aspects of your business that won’t mesh well with any product, or any tech obstacles to anticipate.
Software decision-makers, decide!
These are the people who aren’t helping you short list the software, but will have final say over the choice and investment. They are involved because the final decision will affect the overall business.
Legal entities: If you have software that will change how you interact with clients or their data, it’s best to run your choice by your legal representative early on in the process. You want to make sure your software choice isn’t going to negatively effect your responsibilities to the customer.
Finance: This is where you win over Tom from accounting. Tom will want to know how much the software costs: for implementation, annual subscription costs, price increases when there are changes in circumstances (like adding more users), and, to be blunt, the bottom line. Come prepared with that information, and you’ll have a better chance at buy-in from Tom.
Business leadership: This is the scariest stakeholder: your boss. And it’s not only your direct boss, but also their compatriots on the leadership team. To get your boss on board with your software selection, use our sample business case below to organize your findings and plans for involving other stakeholders.
Your free sample business case for software purchases
If you’re ready to embark on the path of a software superhero, use the template below to pull together your data and make the best case to your boss.
Are you ready to conquer Tom from accounting? If not, that’s OK, but you’re at least prepared to convince your boss that your software selection will solve your business problem.
Want to learn more about the software selection process? Take a gander at these articles that will help you make your shortlist and even choose which software you should buy first: