Useful Business Cases: Value Creation in IS Projects

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Business cases have become popular as part of managing value creation in IS projects. Nevertheless, business cases are often poorly linked to value creation activities and organizations struggle to develop business cases that are useful and express more than simple cost savings. This action research study seeks to improve the usefulness of business cases in IS projects. We used collaborative action research with Danish municipalities to improve their practices when developing and using business cases and to change their perceptions of what constitutes a good business case that is useful during implementation and value creation. This article presents lessons learned from our action research, lessons that we incorporated into a business case method and subsequently evaluated with IS managers. There are three lessons on: (1) improving the content of business cases, (2) how to develop business cases, and (3) the use of business cases in subsequent value creation. These lessons summarize our findings and the contributions are that we in the business case method propose to: (1) include minimal contents, (2) develop social commitment, and (3) structure for dynamic use during value creation. We discuss the lessons and contributions related to research on IS business cases and value creation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)66–83
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2017


  • business cases
  • action research
  • IT management
  • IS value
  • IS benefits management
  • project management
  • IT business case


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