The One-page "Business Case" Policy
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As a leader, when team members come to you for solutions, decisions, or recommendations, make it a policy of putting the onus back on your team member to always bring THEIR recommended solution, decision, or course of action to you. Institute a policy that requires your team members to summarize their recommendation in the form of a one-page business case (or, as some call it, a recommendation briefing form). The one-pager should be prepared and submitted to you ahead of their conversation with you to discuss the recommendation. The one-pager is particularly useful in situations involving decisions and problems of substance.
The One-page Business Case should generally include all of the following (I recommend it be put together in the order listed below as well):
Frame the problem, issue, or decision to be made in the form of a question
Clearly state the recommendation or solution to the problem (the answer to the above question)
Offer relevant background information to frame the matter with sufficient context
Explain the rationale behind the recommended solution
Identify resources needed, if applicable, and why (people, budget dollars, equipment, software, outside assistance, etc.)
Summarize the projected financial implications of the recommendation (cost considerations, revenue impact, bottom-line impact, etc.)
Encourage your team to do their own leg work ahead of coming to you for input, recommendations, or decisions by using the one-page business case as a matter of practice. It will help you, help them develop as leaders, and allow for much more efficient and effective decision-making.
NOTE: Although it may not always be necessary to formally write out the One-pager, particularly for less substantive matters, the framework can certainly be used to provide structure to your team member’s recommendation and discussion with you.
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach
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