Title: Business Case Essentials
Author: Marty J. Schmidt
Publisher: Solution Matrix Ltd.
Web Page: www.solutionmatrix.com
Reviewed by: Eric Jones
The economic downturn has sent a lot of companies back to the drawing board. Not to mention our continual shift to an all digital, internet reliant nation that’s pushing out the old royalty. Goodbye Blockbuster, hello Netflix. Any business student understands the crucial importance of timing when it comes to submitting new ideas to corporations, non-profit companies, or government institutions. Perhaps nobody understands this more than Marty J. Schmidt, founder of Solution Matrix Ltd. on Wall Street, a consulting firm that specializes in cost/benefit analyses. He’s just released a third edition book on the subject, “Business Case Essentials”, which outlines everything necessary to understanding how to put together a solid business case.
The small, roughly 100-page book is tightly packed with information laid out in text book fashion which might easily supplement a full business textbook for upper lever college economic courses. It opens with an easy-enough explanation of what a business case is. Schmidt smartly likens it to a court case, which sounds provocative to readers when you imagine the kind of courtroom presentations seen on shows like Law & Order, or Boston Legal. You are essentially saddled with the burden of proof in demonstrating the short-term and long-term outcomes of your proposal, as well as putting the company’s current methods on trial. In doing so, Schmidt lends constant focus on accuracy, using a fictional company called Aerofirma Aerospace Assemblies to exemplify his methods.
Although is easy to grip in the beginning, it’ll quickly leave you behind if you’re not careful as the information stacks up by the second chapter. This is not a read-through book, but an advanced text book for serious readers committed to learning the material. That said, the information presented is absolutely invaluable to anyone willing to put in the time to learn it. The author outlines what should go into each section of the business case, and how to present the information. He dedicates brief lessons to hearty subjects like Financial Metrics, Cash Flow Statements, Cost Models, as they pertain to business cases but these sections are brief, and a larger understanding will be required for how to obtain numbers, how to calculate probability, and so on. This is why I describe “Business Case Essentials” as an upper-level business text. Thankfully, Schmidt provides adequate footnotes about further reading for less experienced students.
“Business Case Essentials” is exactly what it says it is, and since it’s one of the few practical references on business cases available, it’s well worth the $49 dollar price tag. As further editions are published by Solution Matrix Ltd. it’s easy to imagine areas expanded and added for full coverage of basic knowledge and skills required to put together a business case. However, since Schmidt’s goal is conciseness, “Business Case Essentials” hits the mark with same accuracy that the author expects of his readers. “Business Case Essentials” is an essential first step in a comprehensive business library, and should be stocked on the shelves of every company looking to maintain a critical advantage in these shifting waters of economic growth and recovery.
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