Make Change Happen: How to Build a Business Case


Lisa Pietrangeli
Executive Director of Business Operations, 36Software

Make Change Happen: How to Build a Business Case

9 February-16 March 2018 (Fridays) | Asynchronous

Note: Attendees will meet for one-hour live chat sessions with the instructor before the second and fifth sessions to discuss the progress and final of the course. These two sessions will take place on Wednesday, 14 February (1:00-2:00 PM EST) and Wednesday, 7 March (Noon-1:00 PM EST).

This course is designed to guide the process of building a business case and influencing change in your company. Whether you have identified the need for new tools, resources, or process, your company is looking to you to make a case that answers some key questions before they’ll buy-in to your recommendation: Why, How, and How Much? As a technical communicator, you learn about new tools and methods constantly.  Yet you may not be equipped with the necessary confidence and language to sell an idea back to your company. So…how do you influence positive change?

This course will offer a practical, actional step-by-step guide about how to organize information and present it to decision-makers with the goal of implementing changes that support your team and the company as a whole. Learn to express what’s important to you in the context of what’s best for your company, and you’ll make things happen!

While change is often necessary, it can also be daunting. Nobody wants new technology, methods, and rules to be imposed without having a say. Too often, technical communicators remain on the receiving end of these impositions rather than being proactive about helping to solve their company’s challenges. Even when they are confident in identifying opportunities for improvement, they don’t always know how to speak up in a way that allows them to be heard effectively.

At the end of this course, participants will have worked on developing their own business case and will be equipped with the practical tools to complete and present their case.

This course will emphasize the importance of:

  • Speaking business language
  • Identifying short-term successes
  • Analyzing effectiveness
  • Determining projected ROI
  • Designing a long-term plan (without getting overwhelmed)

Session Descriptions

  • Step 1 – Become the Expert
  • Introduction to the course/Become the Expert: Info-gathering, build expertise, demonstrate needs, present ideas about why a solution is necessary.
  • Handouts
  • Review Step 1 and any questions that have been submitted from participants.
  • Step 2 – Analyze Current State
  • Establish a baseline, prioritize requirements, determine what’s working and what’s not, identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Handouts
  • Review Step 2 and any questions that have been submitted from participants.
  • Step 3 – Define Desired End-State
  • Set goals, address a variety of perspectives, begin to identify perceived growth and improvement opportunities and projections, benefits analysis.
  • Handouts
  • Review Step 3 and any questions that have been submitted from participants.
  • Step 4 – Calculate ROI
  • Numbers to support the case, involving decision makers, apply metrics, results-based analysis of your proposal.
  • Handouts and Resources
  • Review Step 4 and any questions that have been submitted from participants.
  • Step 5 – Plan, Execute, and Measure
  • On-going and dynamic, measuring effectiveness and being able to identify necessary redirection, define success, ensuring that progress is yielding results, even if objectives fluctuate with the business.
  • Handouts and Resources
  • Review Step 5 and any questions that have been submitted from participants.
  • Use Case
  • We’ll go through a real-life use case that the instructor worked on with a client to further emphasize each step.


Lisa Pietrangeli is a managing partner and executive director at 36Software. At 36, Lisa specializes in working with clients to develop customized content development strategies. Lisa brings over 17 years of experience to 36Software, having worked extensively with companies around the world, helping them to streamline their content development and localization processes. Before joining 36Software, Lisa was Director of Global Client Solutions at Language Intelligence, where she worked with clients to develop internationalization strategies for all stages of the content development process, from authoring through to translation. Her extensive experience has included everything from project management, resource selection and management, to business development, localization consulting and managing client relationships. Her experience, combined with her analytical skills, make Lisa an ideal partner with whom to evaluate content development and localization processes, develop proof of concept, and tailor solutions for organizations of all types and sizes.

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