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BBC guidance

Better Business Cases – 2019 Refresh

(Nov 2018 update)

From September 2018 the Treasury is launching a refresh of the Better Business Cases process.

Changes made to date:

  • Home page updated to identify strategic planning thinking and documents that should be available to inform the business case
  • All templates updated to include reference to requirements for Wellbeing Budget 2019
  • Strategic Assessment guidance and template updated to include early links to Benefits thinking.

To keep you informed, as updates are completed we’ll be listing them here. Watch this space!

There are a range of types of business cases depending on the decision being sought, the nature of programme or project and the associated scale, risk and uncertainty.

Prior to commencing a business case it is recommended that the approach be agreed at an early stage between the sponsor/s and the reviewer/s, in particular:

  •  the business case pathway
  •  the assurance pathway
  •  the decision pathway.

We suggest the senior responsible owner (ie, sponsor), use the Point of entry document (below) to agree the approach, including the methods (and tools) and effort with the reviewer. In the State Sector, investment intensive agencies can engage with the Corporate Centre to secure this agreement through business case clinics.

We provide a range of business case products to support senior responsible owners (ie, sponsors), business case developers and reviewers.

Business case type

Guidance booklet


A3 one pager

Reviewer Assessment Tool

to understand the standard

to write the business case

to present the business case


Programme Business Cases


Strategic assessment


Programme business case

Project business cases


Strategic assessment


Indicative business case

559.07 KB

398.5 KB

Detailed business case

716.53 KB

Implementation business case

451.07 KB


Single-stage business case

684.02 KB

Single-stage (light) business case

684.02 KB



For more guidance on managing benefits from programmes and projects, including benefits templates, please see:

The main changes to the guidance are to:

  • clarify what's expected to ensure the business case is fit for purpose
  • bring a principles-based approach to the use of methods and tools for gathering the evidence needed to develop the business case
  • give greater clarity of the relationship between strategy and policy
  • provide greater clarity on how each type of business case supports what types of decisions being sought in the Governments annual budget process
  • incorporate recent changes to the Government Procurement Branch's guidance, including the need for early market engagement
  • replace multiple scoping documents into one point of entry document to agree the business case approach.

The New Zealand version of the Better Business Case guidance is based on international guidance. There are a few differences between the NZ and international version that you can read about below.

This also shows how the NZ version of the Better Business Case guidance compares to the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Business Case Approach.

In early 2017 the NZTA will begin reviewing how they apply the Business Case Approach.  This review will look at the number and timing of decision gateways and look to bring the Business Case Approach into closer alignment with the Better Business Case model.


Last updated: 
Wednesday, 21 November 2018