Business Case « Full » version Template

Project Name

Branch

National Project Management System
Business Projects-IT-Enabled
Analysis Phase

This NPMS document template is based on the Treasury Board Business Case Template.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2008
Catalogue No. ISBN
This document is available on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Web site at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
This document is also available in alternative formats on request.

Instructions

This document is your template for producing a business case. A business case document is typically a presentation or a proposal to an authority by an organization seeking funding, approval, or both, for an activity, initiative, or project.

Using this Template

To create a business case from this template, simply do the following:

  1. Replace the title on the cover page with “the name of the organization, the name of your project, and the document type: Business Case” and delete the brackets.
  2. Save your document with a file name that is in accordance with current branch document naming standards.
  3. Update the file name in the document footer by right-clicking and selecting Update Field.
  4. Complete the entire template. Each section contains brief instructions, shown in italics, which can be removed once your document is finalized. The template's companion document, Business Case Guide, provides sample tables as suggested layout for some of the information required.
  5. Update the table of contents by right-clicking and selecting Update Field, then update entire table.
  6. After completing this draft template, delete this page, the TBS guidance provided in text boxes and any italicized guidance text that is not incorporated into the content of your document.

NOTE: Consult the Treasury Board Business Case Guide if you would like more information about a particular section of your business case or information about business cases in general.

TBS Business Case Guide: Business Case Guide

Revision History

Table Summary

The table describes the revision history of the Business Case Full version with version number, description, date modified and author.

Version Number Description Date Modified Author
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

Authority Signatures

This section contains the signatures of key stakeholders, indicating that they agree with the presentation or proposal as it appears in the business case.

Full Name:

Date:

Title:

Position, other supporting organization:

Full Name:

Date:

Title:

Position, other supporting organization:

Full Name:

Date:

Title:

Position, other supporting organization:

Full Name:

Date:

Title:

Position, other supporting organization:

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

Provide an executive summary (high level) that captures only the essential elements of the business case being presented. Include the business case's most pertinent facts in a clear, concise, and strategic overview.

2. Phase 1: The Strategic Context

2.1 Business Needs and Desired Outcomes

Complete the following sections to identify the need (problem or opportunity) facing the sponsoring organization and the desired business outcomes.

2.1.1 Strategic Environment

2.1.1.1 Organizational Overview

To build a strong rationale for a proposed investment, the current environment needs to be described. The organizational overview of the sponsoring department, agency, or entity should include:

  • Mission
  • Strategic vision, goals, and service objectives
  • Current activities and services, including key stakeholders and clients
  • Organizational structure (high level)
  • Existing capacity—financial and human resources
2.1.1.2 Business Need

This subsection contains a clear articulation of the business need in the form of a well-structured statement that addresses the problem or opportunity. This statement should be no more than one or two sentences.

2.1.1.3 Drivers for Change

Identify the drivers that have triggered the investment proposal. Both internal and external drivers of change should be identified and clearly linked to the business need.

See typical drivers for change in the Business Case Guide.
2.1.1.4 Business Outcomes

Describe the business outcomes (high level). A business outcome is the expected result or benefit that the organization is striving to achieve at the end of an intervention or change.

2.1.2 Strategic Fit

To make a robust case for change, the business case should demonstrate how the proposed investment fits within the organization's broader strategic context and contributes toward the organization's goals and objectives. This subsection maps the investment proposal to the organizational framework.

2.1.3 Detailed Description of the Business Need

2.1.3.1 Problem/Opportunity Statement

Reiterate the Business Need subsection's well-structured statement that addressed the problem or opportunity. Along with the problem/opportunity statement, the following elements contribute to the detailed description of the business need.

2.1.3.2 Prioritized Requirements (High Level)

Specify the key requirements to fully address the business need. Though the requirements are simply an elaboration of the business need, keep to a reasonable level of detail that allows for their comparison against the options.

See example tables in the Business Case Guide
2.1.3.3 Assumptions

List and describe all the assumptions associated with the ability to address the key requirements and the potential impact of those assumptions if they are not addressed.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.
2.1.3.4 Constraints

List and describe the specific constraints that place limits or conditions on the investment. They can come from external or internal factors.

See example tables in the Business Case Guide.
2.1.3.5 Dependencies

Identify dependencies related to the overall business need, requirements, or solution.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

2.1.4 Scope

2.1.4.1 Boundaries

Identify what is to be included within the scope of the investment and explicitly state what is excluded from the investment.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.
2.1.4.2 Stakeholder Analysis

Describe the stakeholder environment by considering the types of stakeholders, their specific roles, and their contributions to the realization of the investment.

See stakeholder examples in the Business Case Guide.

Business Needs and Desired Outcomes Summary:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] The case for change is established and the need for investment is clearly defined.

Checklist:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] The pertinent facts of the business case are provided in a clear and concise fashion.

Phase 1 Checklist:

[ ]: Check box

The following questions are answered:

[ ] Where are we now? – by describing the current business environment

[ ] Where do we want to be? – by describing the business objectives

[ ] What is the business need? – by describing the problem or opportunity facing the organization and the associated proposed investment

[ ] What has triggered the need for change? – by describing the drivers for change

[ ] What are we trying to achieve? – by describing the business' desired outcomes

[ ] What is the strategic fit? – by describing how the proposed investment maps to the departmental framework and its goals, priorities, outcomes, and policies, as well as to those of the government

3. Phase 2: Analysis and Recommendation

3.1 Preliminary Options Analysis

Complete the following sections to screen a comprehensive list of options and narrow the field of alternatives down to a reasonable number of viable options.

3.1.1 Evaluation Criteria

Define the evaluation criteria that will be used for screening and analysis of the options and will ultimately determine an overall recommendation.

See evaluation criteria types (deal breakers, minimum requirement, and non-essential) and example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.1.2 List the Possible Options

Identify, describe, and explore every possible option that can address the business need. The list should demonstrate due diligence in exploring options.

See categories and example table in the Business Case Guide.
3.1.2.1 The Status Quo

Include the status quo option (also known as the base case) as it will act as the baseline for the upcoming analysis.

3.1.2.2 Describing the Option

Describe each preliminary option (high level).

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.1.3 Screening of Options

Assess how well each option meets the screening criteria. Determine whether a particular option should be discounted immediately or considered as a viable option for further analysis.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.1.4 Rationale for Discounted and Viable Options

Develop the short list of viable options based on the assessment conducted in the Screening of Options and provide the reasons for retaining or discarding each option.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

Preliminary Options Analysis Summary:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] The identification, analysis, and screening of a comprehensive list of options to demonstrate due diligence in their selection has been completed.

3.2 Viable Options

3.2.1 Alignment

3.2.1.1 Strategic Alignment

Describe how the option supports the organization's current business architecture and planned program results, and strategic outcomes (if applicable).

3.2.1.2 Alignment with Desired Business Outcomes

Prepare an option outcome analysis and present a summary of the findings for each business outcome. It may be preferable to organize the findings in a table format.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.2 Costs

Provide a complete description of the costs. Projected costing estimates should be based on total cost of ownership, which includes ongoing costs over the course of the investment's lifecycle as well as potential compliance costs for stakeholder groups.

See information on the Guide to Costing in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.3 Cost-Benefit Analysis

Based on the costs established for each option, describe how those costs are weighed against the benefits. Conduct the cost-benefit analysis for each option, taking into account costs, benefits, and risks.

See information on the Canadian Cost-Benefit Analysis Guide and example tables in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.4 Implementation and Capacity Considerations of Viable Options

Demonstrate the ability of the sponsoring organization to both deliver the investment and manage it throughout its life span.

3.2.4.1 Contracting and Procurement

Provide information concerning the procurement vehicle, and precisely how it will be utilized.

3.2.4.2 Schedule and Approach

Identify the core work streams and associated milestones.

3.2.4.3 Impact

Conduct an impact assessment from both internal and external perspectives.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.
3.2.4.4 Capacity

Describe the sponsoring organization's capability to successfully manage the investment. If available, a useful starting point for analyzing each option is the organization's Treasury Board-approved Organizational Project Management Capacity class.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.5 Risk

Conduct a risk assessment for each option, along with the development of a risk response. A useful tool for assessing the risk and complexity of a project is the Treasury Board Project Complexity and Risk Assessment (PCRA).

3.2.5.1 Option Risk Summary

Describe the various attributes of each risk. Provide an option risk summary, which should identify risk, probability, impact, mitigation and contingency, outcome, tolerance, and a risk assessment summary rating. It may be preferable to present the option risk summary for each option in a table format.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.
3.2.5.2 Risk Register

If an outcome management risk register has already been completed, its results can provide very useful input to the risk management section of the business case.

See example risk register in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.6 Benchmark

Compare each option against industry-standard benchmarks. The unavailability of benchmarking information for a specific option should be stated within the analysis.

3.2.7 Policy and Standard Considerations

Describe the option's impact, if any, on the existing policies and standards of the sponsoring organization and relevant stakeholder environments. Also describe any limitations imposed by existing policies and standards, and describe the known effect of those limitations on the option.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.2.8 Advantages and Disadvantages

Determine whether the option's measure against the aforementioned criteria is found to be either an advantage or a disadvantage (financial and non-financial). It may be preferable to summarize the findings in a table format.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

Viable Options Summary:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] Building on the preliminary analysis of options, each viable option is subjected to increasing analytical rigor.

3.3 Justification and Recommendation

3.3.1 Comparison Summary

Present the viable options (including the status quo option used as the baseline) and compare them against a standardized set of criteria (financial and non-financial). It may be preferable to organize the comparison in a table format.

See example table in the Business Case Guide.

3.3.2 The Preferred Option

3.3.2.1 Recommendation

Present the recommendation in a straightforward manner, clearly stating why the organization will benefit by focussing its investment on one particular option.

3.3.2.2 Deciding Factors

Identify the deciding factors (financial and strategic) for selecting the preferred option.

See common and possible factors in the Business Case Guide.
3.3.2.3 Costs

Provide a brief summary of the preferred option's costing estimates and link them with the components of the work streams.

See information on accrual accounting-based costs and Treasury Board Submissions in the Business Case Guide.
3.3.2.4 Risks

Illustrate why the identified risks are acceptable. Narrative may be included to further contextualize the key factors supporting the overall risk assessment, which include impact, probability, outcomes, and so forth. A useful tool is the Treasury Board PCRA.

3.3.2.5 Implementation Plan

Outline how the project will be implemented. Provide an implementation plan (strategic work plan) to demonstrate that the proposed investment has been appropriately thought through and that the estimates presented are within an acceptable degree of accuracy.

Justification and Recommendation Summary:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] A full comparison of each viable option against the evaluation criteria has been completed and the case is made to recommend a preferred option based on its net advantages over all other viable options.

Phase 2 Checklist:

[ ]: Check box

The following questions are answered:

[ ] How will we get there? – by presenting the viable options—and associated costs and benefits—for detailed analysis and assessing them against the evaluation criteria that is used to determine an overall recommendation

[ ] What is the best option? – by making the case to recommend a preferred option based on its net advantages over all other viable options

4. Phase 3: Management and Capacity

4.1 Managing the Investment

Complete the following sections to describe, at a strategic level, how the investment will be managed.

4.1.1 Governance and Oversight

Demonstrate where and how the proposed investment would fit within the organization's broader governance and oversight structure.

4.1.2 Project Management Strategy

Demonstrate that the organization has and will apply a sound methodology to manage the project during its lifecycle and through post-implementation.

4.1.2.1 Project Review Strategy

Provide an overview of the methods and processes that have been or will be implemented to gauge the project's progress and how that progress will be communicated to the project team, project sponsor, and other stakeholders.

4.1.3 Outcome Management Strategy

Describe how the organization will address outcome management (i.e., tracking of outcomes, outcome owner engagement, outcome target metrics and time frames, and outcome reporting process).

4.1.4 Risk Management Strategy

Demonstrate that the organization has a function in place to manage the risks of the project.

4.1.5 Change Management Strategy

Describe how the potential impact of the proposed change on organizational culture, systems, and processes and on people working within and with the invested organizations will be managed in later stages of the project management process.

4.1.6 Performance Measurement Strategy

Indicate how the organization will measure performance for project implementation and benefits realization.

See information in the Business Case Guide.

Managing the Investment Summary:

[ ]: Check box

[ ] Describe how the investment will be managed at the strategic level.

Phase 3 Checklist:

[ ]: Check box

The following questions are answered:

[ ] Where and how will the investment fit within the organization's broader governance and oversight structure? – by describing the governance and oversight strategy for the investment

[ ] How will the project be managed and reviewed throughout its lifecycle? – by describing the project management strategy for the investment

[ ] How will the business outcomes be realized? – by describing the outcome management strategy for the investment

[ ] How will the business risks be mitigated and managed? – by describing the risk management strategy for the investment

[ ] How will change be managed and implemented? – by describing the change management strategy for the investment

[ ] How will performance be measured? – by defining the project implementation and benefits realization performance measurement strategy

Appendix 1 - References

ReferencesThis is where you describe and identify the location of key documents that define and establish the project such as the business case, the departmental investment plan, departmental long-term strategy, outcome management plan, outcome map, Speech From the Throne, Cabinet directions, horizontal government initiatives, etc.

Table Summary

This table describes the names and file locations of the business case reference documents.

No. Reference Document Name Location
e.g. File No.: E-DRM No. Web Address etc
File Volume No.
1      
2      
3      
Etc      

Appendix 2 - Glossary of Acronyms and Terms

Provide all acronyms in full and define all terms required to understand the business case properly.

Table Summary

This table describes the business case glossary and definitions.

Term Definition
   
Acronym Name in Full