business case development

Completed Staff Work vs. Business Case Development

If you’re familiar with Business Case Development (BCD), you’ll know it’s a powerful tool for making smart decisions in business. But if you work in government, you might find that Completed Staff Work (CSW) is even more crucial. Here’s why.

Imagine you’re in a government office, and your boss asks you to find a way to pull off a big event. Let’s say a congresswoman wants a mass wedding for 2024 couples. But your city usually handles only 40 couples at a time. You think it’s impossible because of budget constraints. That’s where CSW comes in.

The Essence of Completed Staff Work (CSW)

CSW is all about providing your boss with a ready-to-go solution. It originated in the military, where quick, decisive action is critical. The idea is to give your superior a complete, well-thought-out plan that they can approve with minimal changes. You cover everything – the problem, the analysis, the solution – so they don’t have to dig into the details.

The Steps of Completed Staff Work

  1. Identify the Problem: Clearly define what needs to be solved.
  2. Research and Analyze: Gather all relevant data and analyze it thoroughly.
  3. Develop a Solution: Come up with a complete solution, considering all possible angles.
  4. Present the Solution: Provide the decision-maker with a ready-to-implement plan, highlighting key points and implications.

The Value of CSW in Government

Government institutions are hierarchical. Decisions flow from the top down. When you’re asked to solve a problem, your job isn’t just to say why it can’t be done. Your job is to figure out how it can be done.

Take the mass wedding example. The organizers thought it was impossible due to budget constraints. But that’s not the point. Their job was to figure out how to make it happen and present solutions, not problems. The congresswoman could then worry about the budget.

The Essence of Business Case Development (BCD)

BCD, on the other hand, is a staple in the business world. It’s about justifying decisions with a solid financial and strategic analysis. You look at various options, weigh the pros and cons, and recommend the best course of action based on data.

The Steps of Business Case Development

  1. Executive Summary: Brief overview of the proposal.
  2. Problem Statement: Define the issue or opportunity.
  3. Analysis of Options: Evaluate different options with detailed costs, benefits, and risks.
  4. Recommendation: Suggest the best course of action with supporting evidence.
  5. Implementation Plan: Outline the steps to execute the recommendation.
  6. Financial Analysis: Include projections, cost-benefit analysis, and ROI.

The Value of BCD in Business

BCD is critical in the business world because it ensures that resources are used wisely. When you propose a project or investment, you need to show that it’s worth the effort and expense. You justify your recommendations with solid numbers and strategic alignment.

Key Differences Between CSW and BCD

  • Approach: CSW provides a complete, ready-to-implement solution. BCD provides a well-rounded analysis, often requiring approval and feedback before implementation.
  • Depth of Financial Analysis: CSW may touch on financial aspects but doesn’t focus on them. BCD includes detailed financial analysis and ROI calculations.
  • Target Audience: CSW is aimed at senior leaders in hierarchical organizations. BCD targets stakeholders who need to approve investments or initiatives, including executives and finance committees.

Why CSW is More Important in Government

In government, the chain of command is clear and decisions must be made efficiently. When you’re tasked with a job, you need to present a solution that’s ready to go.

Going back to our mass wedding example, the organizers missed the point because they thought their job was to highlight the budget issue. In reality, their job was to figure out how to make the event happen and present those solutions to the congresswoman. She could then work on finding the necessary funds.

Practical Example: Kasalang Bayan

Let’s break this down further with our mass wedding example.

The Challenge

The congresswoman wants to hold a mass wedding for 2024 couples, but the city is used to only handling 40 couples. The budget is tight, and the organizers are stumped.

CSW Approach

  1. Identify the Problem: How to scale up the mass wedding from 40 to 2024 couples.
  2. Research and Analyze: Look into logistics, venues, staff requirements, and potential sponsors or partnerships.
  3. Develop a Solution: Propose different venues that can accommodate larger crowds, seek out local businesses or NGOs for sponsorships, and suggest phased events if necessary.
  4. Present the Solution: Provide a detailed plan to the congresswoman, outlining the steps, potential costs, and how these can be managed or offset.

The organizers initially thought it was impossible because they were used to few couples registering at the city hall. They didn’t realize that there are 60 barangays in the city, each with its own resources and influence. By tapping into the barangay chairs and employees, they could mobilize couples to submit their requirements at the barangay halls. If a small barangay could get 40 couples to register in a week, the numbers would add up quickly.

The organizers were waiting for registrants to come to them, which was a passive approach. A CSW mindset, however, doesn’t give excuses; it finds ways. By actively engaging the barangay officials and utilizing their local influence, they could meet the congresswoman’s target.

Why This Matters

By using CSW, the organizers provide the congresswoman with actionable solutions. She can then focus on securing the budget and making high-level decisions, confident that her staff has done the legwork.

Final Thoughts

Both CSW and BCD have their places in different contexts. In business, BCD ensures that every investment and project is justified and aligns with strategic goals. In government, CSW is crucial because it provides ready-to-go solutions, allowing for quick decision-making in a hierarchical structure.

So, if you’re in government, mastering CSW can make you an invaluable asset. You’ll be the go-to person who not only identifies problems but also provides complete, actionable solutions. And if you’re familiar with BCD, you’ll find that many of its concepts can enrich your approach to CSW, ensuring your solutions are not only thorough but also well-justified.

Remember, your job is to figure out how to get things done, not just to say why they can’t be done. That’s the essence of Completed Staff Work.