Years ago, a study by APQC found the most successful teams invest 20+% of their total new-product work in the front-end… while most teams spend 10% or less here. Roughly speaking, a Market Case requires about 3 person-months of effort, while a full Business Case needs about 6 person-months. So if you “do the math” for 20% in the front-end, you should require a Market Case for projects needing 1 person-year of development, and a Business Case for those needing 2+ years.
More in article, Business Case Excellence: The 12 Key Components
For years we’ve advised new product development teams to write a Business Case… to request moving their project into the development stage. But now we often suggest they use a simpler Market Case for their smaller projects. The Business Case has 12 sections while the Market Case has but 6. But the Market Case has the most important section… “Value Proposition”… in which solid evidence of customer needs is presented (usually in the form of Market Satisfaction Gaps).
Download Sample Market Case (after Step 3)
No team wants to waste time on a loser: Life is too short. So if management has to stop a project, the team was inexperienced, communicated poorly, or had different expectations than management. All these ailments are addressed by requiring every team to use a common business case template, not their own, start-from-scratch PowerPoint® presentations.
More in article, How Leaders Can Accelerate New-Product Development