6 Making the case
The overall process of making the case is shown schematically in Figure 13.
Note that the starting point for this process is an already well-thought-through solution to a problem or approach to enhancing operational performance – much of the ground work has already been done. The purpose of the ‘making the case’ process is to collate and present all the relevant information so as to make the most persuasive argument possible. You may also find it useful as a discipline to force you to look at your proposal objectively, to check that you haven't become blind to your pet project's shortcomings! The process may prompt the need for additional information gathering to strengthen the case, although it is hoped that this would not need to be too extensive – that most of the crucial evidence is already available.
As you work through the rest of this section, you will build up a set of 24 questions to flesh out the stages of the process shown in Figure 13. The questions are designed as far as possible to be generic and applicable whatever the nature of the case being made. Their application to operations issues is discussed in the accompanying explanatory text. The ‘checklist’ questions are provided in a box at the start of each section for easy reference.
This activity spans the whole of Section 6. Identify an actual or hypothetical proposal for operations change for your organisation. Answer each of the 24 questions covered in the rest of Section 6 in relation to this proposed change.