Better Business Cases

Better Business Cases is internationally recognised as the good practice standard for developing business cases for investment proposals. BBC is required for all New Zealand State Sector capital spending proposals that require Cabinet ministerial approval. It is recommended by HM Treasury and the Welsh Government for the preparation of business cases and is widely used across the UK Public sector.

Better Business Cases practice is rapidly growing. In New Zealand, BBC is being adopted by a growing number of organisations, not just for capital expenditure, not just in the Public sector and not just for large scale funding proposals. BBC is a flexible, pragmatic and common sense tool for supporting business decisions in a wide range of contexts. It provides managers with a valuable tool for successfully delivering on their strategic plans, particularly in complex, dynamic or resource-constrained environments. BBC does this by providing:

  • business case developers with easy access to a standard set of tools and techniques for developing robust, high quality business cases that better meet the expectations of stakeholders, and
  • decision-makers with confidence and assurance that they are doing the right things (business assurance), and in the right way (programme and project assurance).

The Better Business CasesĀ approach adds value to you by supporting fully informed decisions to allocate scarce resources. It does this with:

  • A systematic and disciplined process that provides transparency and accountability for investment
  • Early engagement with stakeholders to encourage challenge and to build consensus
  • Scalability of effort that meets stakeholder expectations (do it once, do it right)
  • Staged decisions to seek approval to proceed or provide off-ramps
  • Robust, empirically based and transparent trade-offs
  • A recognised standard that provides stakeholders with assurance of good management practice.

The Better Business Cases approach is structured around the UK Five Case Model, developed in 2001 as a consequence of a number of concerns raised about the performance of UK public sector ICT projects.

  1. The Strategic Case demonstrates that the proposal is strategically aligned and is supported by a compelling case for change
  2. The Economic Case ensures that a wide range of investment options have been evaluated and that the preferred option optimises value for money
  3. The Commercial Case ensures that any proposed procurement is commercially attractive and viable
  4. The Financial Case demonstrates that the preferred solution is affordable and can be funded
  5. The Management Case provides assurance that processes and capabilities are in place to ensure that the preferred solution can be successfully delivered.

5 case modelThe Five Case Model provides a disciplined, step by step approach that helps to ensure that each of the key aspects of a robust investment proposal is explicitly and systematically addressed as part of the business case development process. This ensures that important aspects of the analysis are less likely to be omitted or under-weighted.

Better Business Cases is a staged and flexible process. For smaller, non-contentious investment decisions, a concise single stage business case can be used to fully inform a decision to invest in change. For more complex investment decisions, the five cases can be developed step-wise using a scalable business case development process that ensures that there are sufficient off-ramps for stakeholders to be well-engaged, as well as ensuring the development effort is fit for purpose in relation to the decisions being sought. The Better Business Cases toolkit includes a menu of alternative template tools that can be used, regardless of whether the decision being sought is for a highly contentious and large scale programme, or for a straight-forward, non-contentious, small scale and internally funded project.

BBC roadmap

BBC integrates fully with good practice programme and project management and quality assurance. Project or programme delivery commences with a robust BBC business case that plans early for successful delivery of objectives.

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