Association of International Project Management Officers - AIPMO®

Writing Effective Business Cases for Business Development, Project Portfolio Environments and Individual Initiatives

The certification for effective business case writing and approval within and outside of project, program and portfolio management, is one of the most important of the specialist certifications granted by the Association of International Project Management Officers (AIPMO)®.

Certified BC-IPMO® Business Case professionals have demonstrated, through a combination of formal training and competency assessment, that they have an in-depth understanding of the principles behind an effective business case and why it is needed. They understand how to manage complex processes to create robust, successful business cases, consistently and efficiently using a business case writing framework.

This is the first business case certification that covers all three levels of a project, program and portfolio, aligned with the PPP lifecycles. This course certification is uniquely designed to build a principle-driven case building culture in the organization, i.e., the course is designed to enable improvement in business case competency and benchmarked in AIPMO’s Business Case Maturity ModelTM.

The AIPMO is an industry recognized international certification authority that understands the importance of creating a business case culture and presenting robust business cases irrespective of industry.


Who Should Attend the BC-IPMO?

  • Business development managers, marketing and product managers who support their clients in making business decisions
  • PMO/IT Directors/Directors, Portfolio managers and senior management
  • Finance Controllers, PMO Core team members
  • Senior project/program management professionals
  • Senior consultants (involved in projects and/or organizational change)
  • Engineers and subject matter experts involved in writing business cases
  • Business and university school faculty
  • Those responsible for compliance with government regulations or for working with regulatory agencies

Key Certification Course Take Aways

  • Understand the importance of a framework approach to creating robust business cases
  • Understand how to define business case principles and the importance of principles within the business case framework. Understand how principle-driven case building facilitates agile development and agile management.
  • Understand how business cases are created in a project/program portfolio environment including agile, traditional and hybrid environments
  • Understand the risks of business case manipulation, winners curse, cognitive dissonance and how to mitigate these risks
  • Learn how to benchmark your business cases and the surrounding environment into AIPMO’s Business Case Maturity Model
  • Learn how to create a business case service from a PMO perspective and how to determine the capabilities to run this service for projects and programs.

What You Need to Know


Classroom training: 5 days:


The training approach includes:

  • Lecture
  • Team exercises
  • Group discussions
  • Detailed five-day case study
  • Presentations and role play
  • Personal coaching
  • Exam – 1 hours with 50 multiple choice questions


  • Ideally some experience in PMO, project, program, portfolio management
  • Working with Excel and basic understanding of finance
  • Ideally some exposure to business cases

Certification Exam

  • Exam given at the end of the course moderated by the instructor
  • Open book exam 50 multiple choice questions
  • Duration 1 hour.

The exam will be marked in class. If there are any borderline attendees – the instructors will review their case study exercise work to determine if they understand how to meet exercise and case-building requirements. If the instructor judges that borderline attendees understand sufficiently, then they will receive their certification(s)

Detailed Course Outline


  • How Organizational Vision, Mission and Operational Objectives are linked to the realization of organization strategy through project portfolios
  • Understand project, program, product life cycles and their input in the determination of the scope a business case
  • Impact of methodology selection on risks and cost estimations within the business case
  • Understanding the difference between project management success and project success and how to reflect this within the business case
  • Mapping project, program and portfolio success factors to the Business Case
  • Success factors and success criteria for the business case
  • Type 1 and Type 2 errors - impact on assumptions and financial estimations on the business case
  • Stakeholders and their impact on the business case creation and approval process
  • ‘Constantly changing factors’ and the impact on the business case
  • Importance of understanding the ten plus critical situational factors
  • Action scenarios are important for Comparison and Evaluation
  • Why the business case is no longer optional, taking a systems view of business case development

  • Understanding business case role in project, program and portfolio management, business management, and how governance types influences the 6D framework
  • Targeting strategic objectives and critical stakeholder needs
  • Identifying critical situational factors: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Scoping resource needs and resource availability: time, budget, and sponsor support.
  • Creating alternative action scenarios for evaluation and comparison
  • Building in practical value for decision makers and stakeholders who will use business case results

  • Building-In transparency: Why stakeholders must see and understand the source of case results.
  • How case credibility suffers when stakeholder information needs are not met.
  • Exposing the cause and effect chain from proposed actions to projected outcomes.
  • Legitimizing and communicating a compelling benefit rational.
  • Building a comprehensive cost model with self-evident validity.
  • How business case ‘proof’ relies on scenario comparisons.
  • Determining which assumptions drive cost and benefit outcomes, and in;
  • Measuring and minimizing uncertainty and risks.

  • Why projected cash inflows and outflows are the basis for describing project financial outcomes
  • How to summarize and analyse scenario cash flow results
  • Messages and “takeaways” for stakeholders in financial metrics: NPV, ROI, Payback period, and IRR
  • How key business ratio results link to strategic business objectives.
  • Legitimizing and valuing non-financial outcomes (such key performance indicator impacts).
  • Proving that a recommended action scenario is the better business decision.

  • How to spot on-going changes in initial case assumptions, and how to assess the impact
  • Calculating confidence interval estimates for projected financial outcomes (e.g., Net CF, NPV, ROI)
  • Measuring the likelihood of ‘best case’ and ‘Worst Case’ financial outcomes.
  • How to spot contingencies that must be met for the projected results to appear
  • How and when to provide guidance for maximizing returns, controlling costs, and minimizing risk

  • Positioning and prioritizing recommendations based on case results
  • Decision making techniques. Decision errors and their consequences.
  • Socializing business case recommendations (findings) with stakeholders.
  • Selecting the business case delivery approach.
  • Crafting robust case reports, case presentations.
  • Minimizing content for maximum value.

  • Why the Executive Summary has to tell the whole story
  • Why the report must be readable in a single sitting. Details and backup belong in appendixes
  • How to build solid business case presentations
  • Why graphs that send a clear message and their importance
  • Style points that matter: Language, color, consistency and avoiding clutter
  • Why business objectives and decision maker hot buttons must be up front
  • The value of presentation practice, validation, and feedback
  • Tips on business case presentations and techniques
  • De-claw the cat: Anticipate critics and turn critical challenges to your advantage
  • The value of a strong call to action!

  • What are Maturity models?
  • Differences between principle-based and process-based maturity models
  • AIPMO’s principle-based maturity model with a ‘Flex Point’
  • How to carry out a business case maturity assessment
  • Actions resulting from a business case maturity assessment


  • What is a project portfolio and what value does it create?
  • How to determine if one or more project portfolios are required within an organization
  • Project portfolio objectives vs. individidual project objectives
  • Project, program and portfolio lifecycle ‘financial’ check-points
  • Project, program and portfolio roles and responsibilities
  • Role of the ‘change request board’ and the financial aspects of ‘change requests’

  • Portfolio performance metrics relating back to the business case
  • Individual project contribution to portfolio performance
  • Portfolio risk management
  • Criteria for selcting and authorizing projects for portfolio
  • Criteria for terminating portfolio projects

The case study takes the participants into the world of strategy formulation in times of uncertainty to create a business case in a new business area. The case study is used in parallel with the course to allow the participants to work in teams and follow a structure that builds upon a real-life scenario. Case study exercises demonstrate the crucial role of timely, complete and strategically aligned business cases in assuring survival and growth of the business.
The case study covers both the hard and soft human factors that interact and contribute to the formation of the business case: first at the project and program level, then at the project portfolio level. Best practice frameworks, templates, and example are used in a comprehensive workbook which the participant can take back to the office and apply. The course includes role play and coaching throughout the 5 days. The case study builds on the knowledge gained throughout the course and embeds the knowledge through the 30 plus exercises.
Participants learn and rehearse best-practice presentation principles and skills, which they apply through team preseatations and evaluations on business cases they develop during the course.

AIPMO Principle Based Maturity Model

Further Information on BC-IPMO


Find out more about AIPMO

Delivery Partners

Find out how to attend the course with partner, Causal Capital

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