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BBC methods and tools

Business Case developers should consider the methods (and tools) that they will use to develop the business case.

This will depend on the level of uncertainty and/or ambiguity associated with the programme or project and whether the methods (and tools) are suitable, proven, inclusive, and the capability exists to apply it.

We suggest the senior responsible owner (ie, sponsor), use the Business Case Scoping document to agree the approach with the Reviewer.

There are a variety of methods and tools available, that we are currently aware of which will be updated over time. They are listed below under the relevant cases:

The Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) is developing guidance and support for iterative design and agile delivery approaches for small-scale, customer facing, information and technology enabled projects. Further information and guidance will be available on website soon.

Strategic Case

BBC workshop: Determine the case for change and identify options.

Investment Logic Mapping (ILM): The Victoria Department of Treasury and Finance Investment Management Standard (2013) provide a series of workshop based tools to aid the development of the investment story into separate, logical components. For more information see:

PESTLE and SWOT analysis: useful tools to analyse the changes in your business environment, to understand the 'big picture' forces of change and take advantage of the opportunities that they present.

Results-based Accountability: A simple, common sense framework to keep the focus on the results/outcomes

Strategic and Economic Cases

Appreciative inquiry: A model for analysis, decision-making and the creation of strategic change, particularly within organisations. It was developed at Case Western Reserve University's department of organizational behavior.

Collective Impact: A framework to tackle deeply entrenched and complex social problems. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change

Service design methods: These are flexible and iterative. For example Better by Design Design unlocks better business, better thinking, better insights, better products and services, and better customer experiences

Human-Centred Design is an approach that focuses on what a user wants and needs, and supports a broad exploration of potential solutions that are tested for desirability, feasibility and viability via a disciplined prototyping and testing process.  For more information see  This approach is particularly well suited to complex socio-economic challenges.  In the Strategic case, you are defining the driver for change/problem from the perspective of the system and users, using data analysis, systems thinking, ethnographic research, persona development etc, etc.  In the Economic case, you are developing the long list and a shortlist of likely solutions, with a main focus on whether the solutions meet customer needs.

Economic Case

BBC workshop: Identify the long list of options

BBC workshop: Assess the short listed options from the long list

Government Procurement has tools to support early market engagement (in the identification of and assessment of options)

BBC workshop: Developing the economic analysis on the shortlisted options

CBAx tool for social investments: To find the best way to get better results for people whose needs are not being met by existing social services, we need to look at the costs and benefits of different approaches. To help compare different options in New Zealand, the Treasury has developed a CBA tool called CBAx. CBAx is a spreadsheet model that contains a common database to help agencies monetise impacts and do return on investment analysis. More information can be found at: 

The Options framework is a useful tool and provides a structured approach to identifying and filtering a broad range of options for delivering policies, strategies, programmes and projects (Programme and Indicative Business Cases).

There are a number of techniques that can be used to quantify the risk and uncertainty on the economic analysis.

Commercial Cases

BBC workshop: Developing the deal

Government Procurement has tools to support the development of the procurement strategy

Financial Case

Testing the robustness of the preferred option to changes in key assumptions and/or variables can be done by using sensitivity analysis.

The Treasury has developed the Cross-agency Funding Framework to make funding cross-agency initiatives easier. The framework provides clarity on the range of funding models available, when they should be used and resets expectations about where it is reasonable to pursue particular funding arrangements.

Management Case

BBC workshop: Successful delivery arrangements.

Programmes and projects can be delivered using  programme (eg, MSP-Managing Successful Programmes) and project management (eg, PRINCE 2). Best Practice and Methodology - Projects, Programmes and Portfolios

Agile is an alternative delivery method. There are a range of agile delivery methods.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 15 September 2020