The good people in the clinical data standards world recently updated their business case for standards: “One key message, re-emphasized from the previous Gartner business case, is that the use of CDISC standards at project initiation can save 70 - 90% of time and resources spent prior to first patient enrolled and approximately 75% of the non-patient participation time during the Study Conduct and Analysis stages.” There is also “a safety reporting study citing a time savings from 34 minutes to less than a minute to report an adverse event”.
We can all identify with these examples because we know that in the clinical setting, time is of the essence. Standards tend to get a good hearing across healthcare because healthcare professionals are very process aware. The complexity and fragmentation of their environment is more likely to impede leverage of standards than any intellectual failure to see the benefits.
The value of this kind of business case is not in the comparison of investment and return. The value lies in bringing to life the tangible benefits on the ground. These benefits are speeding up processes, reducing errors, and saving lives.
If you're obligated to call part of your advocacy for standards a “business case” then I'd advise following the example of the clinicians. Highlight the tangible benefits that everyone will immediately recognize. Stick close to the core drivers of the profession you're addressing. Keep your audience's minds in the workplace. Make your case concrete, not abstract. Highlight good, real examples rather than general principles. streetinsider