Better Business Cases (BBC) is a methodology that provides objective analysis in a consistent format to decision-makers. It allows for better comparability and transparency that lets government make smart investment decisions that maximise public value.
All investments need a business case. Business cases provide a structured way to present the case for investment to decision-makers.
What you need before starting a business case
Programmes and projects start with a mandate and brief, not a business case. The most successful projects are delivered as part of a well-established organisation strategy and overarching programme with clear objectives at all levels. You need a Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) appointed, and the following documents.
The Five Case Model framework
The Five Case Model (5CM) is the organising framework for a Better Business Case. The 5CM:
- gives discipline and structure to a business case in the investment life cycle, and
- aims to address specific questions and give evidence to satisfy decision-makers and approvers.
The five cases
- Strategic case – is there a need for investment.
- Economic case – does the investment offer value for money.
- Commercial case – is the investment viable.
- Financial case – is the investment affordable.
- Management case – is the investment achievable.
The five cases are developed in increasing detail at each business case stage.
|Case||Strategic Assessment||Indicative Business Case||Detailed Business Case||Implementation Business Case|
|Strategic case||25% complete||80% complete||90% complete||100% complete|
|Economic case||10% complete||45% complete||70% complete||100% complete|
|Commercial case||5% complete||35% complete||70% complete||100% complete|
|Financial case||5% complete||20% complete||60% complete||100% complete|
|Management case||5% complete||25% complete||55% complete||100% complete|
In 2018 the G20 adopted the 5CM as an international standard for infrastructure projects. For more information about the 5CM refer to chapter 2 of The Green Book: International Guidance PDFs.
What business cases you need to complete
The business cases you need to complete depends on your risk rating or if the projects are in a programme.
Then for every project in the programme complete the following Business Case stages.
Projects not part of a programme
If you are completing a standalone project that is medium or high risk, complete the following Business Case stages.
If your project is low risk you can choose to complete the above business cases, or instead the following Business Case stages.
The Single-stage Business Case combines both the Indicative and Detailed Business Cases.
Find out more about how BBC works for Agile projects, the methods and tools used to help build your business cases, and what to do if you need a business case approved urgently.