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Rapid Business Case Development Using Macro-Based Excel Tool

Methods and Models II Track



Purpose: To present a tool that creates business cases based on user-entered customizations such as the start and end year of the investment.

Background: With the increasing scrutiny of federal government budgets the development of business cases for future investments will take on added significance. A best practice within industry is the development of business cases to analyze the net present value of potential investment opportunities. The question this analysis answers is how much value will potential initiatives create within your organization and allows for an “apples to apples” comparison of multiple investment opportunities.

Methods: Common business case tools often have the “black box” syndrome where the user enters information and the tool spits out the business case metrics without the user understanding what calculations are occurring. In addition, as the inflation and discount rate assumptions within business cases change based on the start and end year of the investment, developing business cases in Excel can be manually intensive during the development process.

This excel tool provides solutions to both the “black box” and the “manual intensive” issues with business cases. This tool allows for transparency because it is excel-based, and all formulas are automatically created based on user-entered parameters. This tool incorporates Visual Basic-based Excel macros to automate the population of the business case tool based on user-specified inputs.

Results: This tool has been successfully fielded for a major federal government organization. It is most applicable within an organization that is looking to analyze a portfolio of investments with a rapid, standard process.


Andrew Hutchinson
Mr. Hutchinson has over eight years of experience in management consulting. He has worked on projects for the US Navy, US Army, US Marine Corps Headquarters, several civilian agencies, and private sector organizations. Through these projects, Mr. Hutchinson has developed strong competencies in federal financial management and performance improvement. He earned Certified Cost Estimator / Analyst status as well as multiple Lean Six Sigma Green Belts by driving cost savings at several organizations. He has developed a diverse management consulting skill set in areas such as Cost Forecasting, Activity-Based Costing, Should Cost, Business Case, Lean Six Sigma, Enterprise Performance Management, Balanced Scorecard, and Information Technology Project Management.
Mr. Hutchinson maintains the Navy ERP program Economic Analysis. Through this role he maintains the multi-billion dollar estimate of the Net Present Value and Return on Investment for the program. The business case analyzes Navy performance improvements due to the implementation of a single financial system as well as IT savings due to the retirement of legacy systems. In addition, it quantifies inventory benefits due to the implementation of the Navy ERP Single Supply Solution. The business case provides a dynamic, risk-adjusted, cost-benefit analysis for expanded implementation of Navy ERP. Through development of the Economic Analysis, Mr. Hutchinson helped the program progress through the Full Deployment Decision major milestone.
In addition, Mr. Hutchinson developed business cases for several budgetary issue papers to request funding for the Navy ERP program from external stakeholders. He represented the program by answering questions from external stakeholders about the basis of cost and benefits estimates for these efforts.

Mr. Hutchinson developed business cases to assess the economic viability of new technologies within the Electric Ships Office for the US Navy. Mr. Hutchinson applied linear regression and simulation tools to forecast the range of oil prices to increase the accuracy of business case tools at the Electric Ships Office. Mr. Hutchinson has also developed business cases for the US Army and the US Postal Service based on the expansion of automated Procure-to-Pay tools.
Mr. Hutchinson possesses a Master of Business Administration from the Darden School of Business (University of Virginia). This business school program is unique in that it is 100% business case study. Through his work at Darden, Mr. Hutchinson reviewed and analyzed 600 business cases across multiple industries and functions. Mr. Hutchinson earned the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence at Darden for maintaining a top 10% cumulative GPA.
Mr. Hutchinson possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Research / Financial Engineering from Princeton University. Mr. Hutchinson also earned certificates in Applications of Computing and Engineering Management Systems from Princeton University.