Before you can build a compelling case for a new product or initiative at your company, make sure the business need is crystal clear. If your stakeholders don’t understand and agree with your explanation of the problem, they’re not going to approve it.
Start by talking to the people who are directly affected by the problem and will therefore benefit from the solution. Ask them: When did the issue start? How does it manifest itself? Gather any relevant data, reports, surveys—whatever evidence they can provide. But don’t just take people’s word for it. If possible, observe the issue firsthand.
Through conversations with your beneficiaries and your own observations, develop a full picture of the problem so your solution is that much more enticing.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case eBook + Tools.