Better Business Cases - Investing for Change for Better Value
Page updated 16 Apr 2013
The purpose of this webpage is to set out the objectives of BBC, progress to date and some information about BBC. There is also a training and support programme, which individuals and organisations can book online. We also describe our planned future developments.
The primary objective of Better Business Cases is to enable better informed decisions on public investments as part of projects, programmes and plans so they are well placed to deliver the intended benefits for New Zealand, whilst managing the risks and costs. The secondary objectives are to reduce the cost (internal and external) of developing business cases (economy) and improve the efficiency of the business case process both in production and review and to conform with recognised good practice.
What is Better Business Cases (BBC)?
Better Business Cases comprises the 5 Case Model and a collaborative process for decision-making, with stakeholders constructively engaged throughout the process. The New Zealand "concise" version is based on the UK version, with the consent of the UK-based BBC Standards Board. The UK version is hosted on the website of HM Treasury. The membership of the BBC Standards Board is the author of the 5 Case Model: HM Treasury, the Welsh Government and NZ Treasury.
Progress to Date
In mid 2010 we launched Better Business Cases (BBC), based on the UK Government five case model, for state sector capital investments requiring Cabinet decisions.
In mid 2011 we released an updated version with a programme approach, in response to stakeholder feedback, with training and support.
In early 2012 the BBC approach was adopted to public investments required as part of the Recovery Strategy of greater Christchurch. The Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Agency (CERA) website includes video clips of some segments of the awareness and training sessions provided in Christchurch.
In mid 2012 the New Zealand Transport Agency promulgated its consideration of applying BBC to programmes and projects within the National Land Transport Programme. Simultaneously the Auckland Plan expects that BBC will be applied to programmes and projects requiring crown investment in whole or part.
In August 2012, in response to interest across New Zealand, we made the guidance more generic, explained the difference between programmes and projects, made the scoping document more prominent to enable early agreement to the effort required for a business case, and clearly showed when and how stakeholders can do the thinking together using a workshop approach. We also launched the monthly training and support programme which is set out below.
Here is the “Overview Booklet” bbc-oview.pdf (326 KB).
Here is the Online Module for State sector organisations.
The first step is to determine the type of business case to inform the decision required by considering whether to take a programme or project approach. This can be done by using the Scoping Document Cover Sheet: bbc-scpcov.doc (108 KB).
The type of business cases are set out below together with the type of decisions they can inform:
- Programme or Project Strategic Assessment - Confirm fit with strategy and the need to invest, and proceed to a programme or project business case.
- Programme Business Case - Confirm case for change, preferred programme, project tranches, and funding.
- Project Indicative Business Case - Confirm way forward with short-listed options for further analysis.
- Project Detailed Business Case - Confirm best value for money option, outline potential deal and delivery plan, and assess affordability.
- Project Implementation Business Case - Confirm supplier offering best value, detailed commercials, confirm affordability. detailed management and delivery arrangements.
- The Project Single Stage Business Case covers all three above.
For each type of business case there are a number of products available to assist you:
Training and Support Programme
We are providing training and support on a cost recovery basis. You can learn more about the different options by visiting the training and support programme page and you can book the training and support relevant to your organisation by downloading a booking form (by location; Auckland, Rotorua/Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch) and emailing it to us. You could sequence those who need to come in anticipation of when your organisation will/could be applying BBC thinking to programmes, projects and/or considering its adoption internally.
In August we are also running a sequence of 2 hour Refresher Courses for those who have completed the BBC courses and need to be refreshed on the enhancements made from version 3 to version 4. See the training and support programme page for more information.
Planned future developments
Given the growing interest from across New Zealand we are working with a range of organisations to consider the future plans for BBC across New Zealand.
In March 2013 we undertook a national evaluation to determine the extent to which the objectives of BBC were being achieved. The key messages were:
- overwhelming agreement that BBC has had a positive impact on the quality of business case thinking enabling 'value for money' investment decisions and that it is generally fit for purpose
- the process is most effective when applied by experienced and knowledgeable people and that the current BBC training will achieve 'awareness', 'knowledge' (Foundation Course) and some 'applied knowledge' (Practitioner and Reviewer Courses). Many organisations requested help to develop their internal capability and expertise.
- consider a range of mechanisms, not just training, to help organisations address the wider capability gaps that have been identified.
A summary of the evaluation will be placed on the webpage by the end of May 2013 together with our response and way forward.
Other Related Guidance
Reference is made in Better Business Case guidance to other related guidance:
- Programmes (are not projects on steroids)
- Adobe PDF: bbc-progs.pdf (30 KB)
- Benefits Management: Better Business Case Guidance
- Adobe PDF: bbc-benmgt.pdf (136 KB)
- Better Capital Planning and Decision Making: Quick Reference Guide (National Infrastructure Unit, The Treasury)
- Cabinet Office Circular CO (10) 2
- Best Practice and Methodology - Projects, Programmes and Portfolios (Cabinet Office, United Kingdom)
- Public Private Partnerships (PPP) (National Infrastructure Unit, The Treasury)
- Strategic procurement (Ministry of Economic Development)
- Cost Benefit Analysis Primer (The Treasury) - For options analysis
- Investment Logic Mapping (ILM) and Quantitative Risk Analysis (QRA) (State Services Commission)
- Independent Quality Assurance (IQA) (State Services Commission)
- Gateway reviews (State Services Commission)
- Regulatory impact analysis (The Treasury)
- Regulatory impact statement independent quality assurance (IQA) (The Treasury)
- Major Project Monitoring (State Services Commission)