We want to get a project justified, using ROI and/or NPV, but it seems to be difficult:

We are a company that sells products on our internet site, and now we want to implement a system that give special offers of our products that can be scheduled to be active during specific period of time.

We logically think this system will help us sell more, the question is how to get to convince the finance people with a ROI

  • You need to describe the difficulty you are having around building the case. Is it that you cannot quantify the benefits of the new system? – David Espina Dec 30 '11 at 14:38
  • @DavidEspina yes, that is the problem. I cannot measure a priori how many more transactions (or sells) we will have with the new system. – Mig Dec 30 '11 at 14:47

Mig, that is the inherent issue with building all business cases. How do you know what will happen in the future?

With your team: 1. Capture your set of assumptions; these are things you think are true, based on your intuition, expertise in your market place, theory, and speculation. 2. Capture what you know for a fact; these things could be similar results from a similar implementation either at your org or another, customer suggestions or feedback, etc. 3. Capture the questions you need answered; many of these will come from your set of assumptions, too.

Don't get married to your idea. Look for evidence NOT to do it versus evidence to do it.

I think the largest obstacle in building a case is that most people are uncomfortable dealing with uncertainty. Get comfortable working with ranges of results, costs, and risks, and with probabilities. Build a non deterministic pro forma versus a deterministic one and simulate if you are able.

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