We Use a Standardized Format for All Business Cases
The standardized business case template consists of the following sections:
- Definition: “What is the Business Opportunity for………………….?”
- What is the relationship of the opportunity to the Smart Grid’s value-chain?
- What are the expected benefits and costs associated with the opportunity?
- Who are the stakeholders who receive benefits/pay the costs, and/or heavily influence who receives/pays?
- What do we know to date:
- Technology/ongoing R&D/ limitations/costs/risks
- Product/service, including software
- Conclusions of existing relevant studies from SGiX’s Archives; their usefulness; limitations in our knowledge
- Market -- size and growth, market pricing, regulatory drivers and barriers, sales cycle, customer acceptance
- Business models
- Risk/reward profile from an investor perspective
- Entrepreneurial opportunity, or later stage business?
- Financing requirements
- Return on investment, discount rate
- Where are the business case “gaps” and limitations in our knowledge? What would we like to know? What uncertainties will we need to deal with?
Definitions: Business Cases versus Business Plans
Business Case: Our business case, which is a subset of a full business plan, presents the following elements: technology, product or service, market (including regulatory elements, customer behavior, sales cycle, and competition), costs and benefits, business model, financing requirements, and expected return on investment.
Business Plan: A full business plan would also include a description of the executive team and key individuals, product development, manufacturing, marketing and sales, customer service, financial forecasts, the organizational approach, and the identification of risks and uncertainties coupled with a risk management strategy.
Step #1: Business Case, Version 1.0 (public)
SGiX is focused on Smart Grid 2.0 business cases, but we will not present full business cases.
For each ongoing business case, SGiX will initially complete an internal assessment* of all elements of the case using existing information and our own professional experiences. We will isolate, synthesize, and document the key weaknesses and “gaps” evident in each Smart Grid 2.0 business case.
SGiX will then present this summary of the weaknesses and "gaps" (as the "Business Case, Version 1.0"), together with an associated commentary, to kick-off our community's "BizCase Dialog".
This dialog is aimed at validating the weaknesses and “gaps”, identifying additional relevant information, and proposing ways to find solutions for the weaknesses and “gaps”. All of the information generated during the ongoing community dialog will be synthesized by SGiX and will be available on the public section of the web-site based on a "Creative Commons" license.
Step #2: Business Case, Version 2.0 (public)
As discussed above, we expect to spend our collaborative time together as a community first validating SGiX's initial synthesis, and then discussing solutions to the key problems identified and ways to bridge the “gaps”.
Our ultimate objective as a group will be to develop an improved business case ("Business Case, Version 2.0"), and/or identify additional analyses or power system simulations that need to be conducted to develop missing information essential for the evaluation the business case. This effort will not, of course, eliminate all uncertainties associated with the business case.
Customized Business Case Services
Dr. Geraghty also provides customized consulting services off-line related to the development and analysis of SG-related business cases – see here.
*SGiX will post its internally-developed full business cases in the Membership section of the web-site.