Step 2: Business case development

This page provides guidance on developing business cases for projects or individual proposals (either two-stage or single-stage) and programmes of work.

  • Project Business Cases
  • Programme Business Cases

The five case model

The five cases are not discrete business case deliverables. The five cases are embedded into the business case development process and provide an organising structure for the underlying analysis and communications to stakeholders.

  1. Strategic Case - the strategic case demonstrates that the proposal is well-aligned to government policy objectives (such as the Tertiary Education Strategy) and to the local and regional strategies of the institution. The strategic case must provide a robust and well-evidenced case for change and clear specification of the investment objectives and critical success factors of the business case. The focus must be on investment objectives driving capital investment, not the other way round.
  2. Economic Case - the economic case is intended to demonstrate that all viable options for delivering the required services and meeting the investment objectives have been thoroughly analysed. The preferred option is expected to represent the best value for money for the Crown from a national economy perspective and for the tertiary institution under various future scenarios.
  3. Commercial Case - the purpose of the commercial case is to show that the preferred option will result in a transparent, accountable and sustainable procurement arrangement that achieves desired outcomes and provides value for money.
  4. Financial Case - the financial case shows that the preferred option can be funded and is affordable to both the Government and the institution under various future scenarios including the status quo.
  5. Management Case - the purpose of the management case is to demonstrate that the preferred option can be delivered successfully using best practice project and programme management. This includes setting processes in place for change, risk and contract management, as well as managing the on-going delivery of expected benefits.

Project and programme business cases

Business case owners and writers can obtain the appropriate templates and guidance on the Better Business Case section of The Treasury website. The templates are in MS Word format and include guidance on the information and evidence required.

Templates, guidance and tools for projects
When to use Business Case Pages Link includes
Tools and templates Cost-Benefit Analysis Tool (Excel, 224 Kb) Economic analysis tool to enable business case writers to prepare a net-present-value (NPV) analysis to present in business case template.
Long-List Options Identification Tool (Excel, 52 Kb) Spreadsheet tool to enable business case writers to
present the long-list of options considered in the economic case and how these have been honed to a short-list of viable options (normally four or five options)


  • Last changed: 6 July 2015
  • Last verified: 6 July 2015