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Project Single-Stage Business Case (SSBC)

When a Single-Stage Business Case is appropriate

With the agreement of the Treasury Vote Analyst or monitoring agency, a Single-Stage Business Case may be used for project proposals, whether standalone or part of a programme, that have a relatively low level of investment and/or risk profile:

  • within a Chief Executive’s delegated authority
  • where a Risk Profile Assessment is assessed as LOW or MEDIUM risk.

As a Single-Stage Business Case is not for High Risk projects, a Strategic Assessment is not required, although agencies may find one useful to analyse strategic drivers and fit, which justifies the need to invest in change, or a Programme Business Case.

Purpose of the Single-Stage Case

The Single-Stage Business Case combines the Indicative and Detailed Business Cases into one process document allowing a single decision-making point; it recommends a preferred option that optimises value for money and seeks approval from decision-makers to finalise the arrangements for successful implementation.  The SSBC:

  • confirms the strategic context of the organisation and how the proposed investment fits within that strategic context
  • confirms the need to invest and the case for change
  • identifies a wide range of potential options
  • determines the preferred option which optimises value for money, by undertaking a detailed analysis of the costs, benefits and risks of the short-listed options
  • prepares the proposal for procurement
  • plans the necessary funding and management arrangements for the successful delivery of the project, and
  • informs a proposal to decision-makers to seek agreement to approach the market and finalise the arrangements for implementation of the project.


Supporting collateral Single Stage Business Case
Guidance and template: to understand the Single-Stage Business Case development process and document the results Single-Stage Business Case - Template and Guidance (Dec 2020) (DOC 1940KB)
A3 presentation bbc-sinstg-pr-v2 (PPT 421KB)
Reviewer Assessment tool Single-Stage Business Case - Reviewer Assessment Tool (Dec 2020) (DOCX 181KB)


ICT-enabled state sector projects and programmes assessed as High Risk are required to prepare costed assurance plans.  Contact [email protected].

Gateway reviews are expected to be included in these assurance plans and programmes are normally required to have a Gateway Review (Gate 2: Delivery Strategy) as the Single Stage Business Case nears completion.  There is a 6-8 week lead time for contracts and logistics, so get in touch early: [email protected] 

Next steps

Once the Single-Stage Business Case has been approved, the agency may approach the market to select a supplier, through a Request for Proposal (RfP) or other procurement process as appropriate, and confirm commercial arrangements.

The investment proposal is then updated in the Implementation Business Case (ImpBC).  This documents the results of the procurement exercise – arrangements and costs – and forms the basis of the Project Management Plan used to manage the project.

Useful links

Last updated: 
Thursday, 14 January 2021