What Will This Cost?
Because your initiative is in a very preliminary state, it is quite reasonable that projected costs are speculative. You sense that your decision makers are reluctant to move forward unless they have some understanding of cost. It may not be feasible to create detailed specific costs at this time, but it might help if you break it down around a number of categories.
8.1 Tangible Costs Start with the costs you can predict more easily. List tangible costs you believe are required to deliver the results of your initiative. Start with any labor costs needed to perform the initiative. This could include internal staff, consultants, or contract labor you think the project will need. Do you expect costs for equipment or supplies? What costs, if any, will the initiative need for facilities such as rent, purchase, or even remodeling? These could be the initial build-out costs incurred while the project is underway. Predict the cost of any computer hardware and software. How about training costs? These are real expenditures. Someone will write checks for these items. In a way, you can consider these sunk costs of the project. It represents what is needed to accomplish the work required to deliver on what you are proposing.