Business Case developers should consider the methods and tools that they will use to develop the business case.
The tools appropriate will depend on the level of uncertainty and/or ambiguity associated with the programme or project and agency experience in their use and access to practitioners. The BBC framework mandates some specific tools for projects and programmes assessed as High Risk – these requirements are specified in the guidance documentation.
We recommend the Senior Responsible Owner (Business Sponsor) use the Business Case Scoping document to agree the approach with the Reviewer (Treasury and/or monitoring agency).
There are a large number of methods and tools available – a selection is listed below, under the business case dimension where they can be used. Note that some can be used in more than one case.
BBC workshop: To determine the case for change and identify options (see BBC guidance for each business case stage).
Investment Logic Mapping (ILM): The Victoria Department of Treasury and Finance’s Investment Management Standard provides a series of workshop based tools to aid the development of the investment story into separate, logical components.
PESTLE and SWOT analysis: These are 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. There is a wealth of information available; search online for sources.
Results-based Accountability: A simple framework to keep the focus on the results/outcomes.
Strategic and Economic Cases
There are many tools available to support strategic analysis and decision-making. Those listed below may be useful. Agencies may also have access to and experience in other tools to so this analysis.
Design thinking: the Design Thinking process is iterative, flexible and focused on collaboration between designers and users, with an emphasis on bringing ideas to life based on how real users think, feel and behave. Design Thinking is in use in a number of NZ government agencies; search online for sources.
Deep Collaboration was created by First Nations and other multicultural Australians, sharing their ideas, experiences and expertise with one goal in mind; to find a new way to work and lead together. The website describes a way of working that follows the values and steps needed to create this shared leadership.
Human-Centred Design is an approach that focuses on what users want and need; it supports a broad exploration of potential solutions that are tested for desirability, feasibility and viability via a disciplined prototyping and testing process. This approach is 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. In the Economic case, you are developing the long-list and a short-list of likely solutions, with a main focus on whether the solutions meet customer needs.
Appreciative inquiry: A model for analysis, decision-making and the creation of strategic change, particularly within organisations. It was originally developed at Case Western Reserve University’s Organizational Behaviour Department and is now in widespread use.
BBC workshop: To identify the long-list of options (see BBC guidance for each business case stage).
BBC workshop: To assess the short-listed options from the long list (see BBC guidance for each business case stage).
BBC options framework: this 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).
BBC workshop: Developing the economic analysis for the shortlisted options (see BBC guidance for each business case stage).
Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA): 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 the CBAx tool. CBAx is a spreadsheet model that contains a common database to help agencies monetise impacts and carry out return-on-investment analysis.
Wellbeing analysis: Treasury’s Living Standards Framework (LSF) helps to consider the broader impacts and benefits of an initiative. He Ara Waiora is a framework that helps us understand a Māori perspective on wellbeing. Agencies may have their own frameworks for wellbeing impact analysis.
Quantifying risk and uncertainty: a number of techniques that can be used to quantify the risk and uncertainty on the economic analysis.
- Techniques to quantify risk and uncertainty. These include:
- Optimism bias contingency
- Single-point probability analysis
- Quantitative Risk analysis (QRA)
- Monte Carlo Analysis
Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA): MCDA is a general framework for supporting complex decision-making situations with multiple and often conflicting objectives that stakeholder groups and/or decision-makers value differently. It’s an umbrella term to describe a collection of formal approaches which seek to take explicit account of multiple criteria in helping individuals or groups explore decisions that matter.
BBC workshop: Developing the deal (see BBC guidance for each business case stage).
New Zealand Government Procurement (NZGPP) has tools to support early market engagement in the identification of and assessment of options.
- NZGPP home | New Zealand Government Procurement and Property
- Constructive Market Engagement - A guide to engaging effectively with suppliers (procurement.govt.nz) (PDF, 441KB)
New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga has guidance for major infrastructure projects including early market engagement.
Sensitivity analysis: this is a method for testing the robustness of the preferred option to changes in key assumptions and/or variables.
Cross-agency Funding Framework: The Treasury has developed this 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.
BBC workshop: Successful delivery arrangements.
Programme and project management frameworks: MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) PRINCE 2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) are the recommended management frameworks for programmes and projects in New Zealand government.
Agile development is an alternative delivery method. There are a range of agile delivery methods. The Digital Public Service branch, New Zealand Government Procurement and Datacom NZ have worked together to develop guidance on agile procurement and agile development.