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Full Business Case Process

Full Business Case Process

All projects with more than £5 million total funding investment are required to follow the Better Business Case – using the five case model, for business case submission.

This is a three (3) stage process including:

  • Strategic Outline Case (SOC)
  • Outline Business Case (OBC)
  • Full Business Case (FBC)

This is an iterative process with information becoming more accurate and definitive as the business case moves through each stage. It is important that each of these submission stages incorporates information to answer the five key cases:

  • Strategic Case
    • How does the proposal fit strategically with government/local priorities?
    • What is the case for change and are there clear SMART investment objectives?
  • Economic Case
    • What are the options for delivering the investment objectives and which one optimises value for money?
  • Commercial Case
    • How can a deal be done with delivery agents?
    • What are the procurement strategy and the commercial arrangements for the proposed investment?
    • What is the Community Benefits plan?
  • Financial Case
    • Is the proposal affordable?
    • What are the sources of match funding and what is the accounting treatment of the investment?
  • Management Case
    • How will the successful delivery of the scheme and whole life benefits be managed?

Summary guidance for SOC, OBC and FBC stages are given below. For more guidance and information, please refer to our Business Case guidance and templates section.

SOC

This needs to:

  • establish the need for investment
  • appraise the main options for service delivery
  • provide a recommended or preferred way forward for further analysis
  • prepare and appraise the long list of options within the economic case
  • recommend a preferred way forward, together with indicative costs, for more detailed analysis within the OBC.

The Strategic Case should be completed in full at this stage. However, some revisions (refining of detail) are permissible at future iterations of the case (i.e. Outline and Full Business case).

OBC

The OBC is the second stage of the business case submission. The purpose and key elements to be assessed at OBC are :

Strategic

  • To update the Strategic Case as presented at SOC stage.

Economic

  • To provide a convincing and comprehensive economic case.

Commercial

  • To outline the proposed deal in relation to the referred option outlined in the economic case.

Financial

  • To contain a detailed analysis of affordability and any funding gaps of the preferred option (as set out in the economic case) and the proposed deal (as described in the commercial case).

Management

  • To include confirmation that the project will be managed in accordance with PRINCE 2 methodology, details of the reporting organisation and structure for the project, details of project roles and responsibilities, and an overview of the project plan with milestones. This should explain the governance, project management and resources pre, during and after procurement.  

FBC

The FBC is the final stage of the business case submission. The purpose and key cases to be assessed at FBC are:

Strategic

  • To note any key changes since the approval of the SOC and OBC.

Economic

  • To highlight any important changes since SOC and OBC stage and consider whether or not the changes might materially impact upon the ranking of the options achieved at OBC, and record your conclusions.

Commercial

  • To set out the negotiated arrangements and includes a description of the required services and risk transfer agreements.

Financial

  • To set out firm financial implications of the contracted solution.

Management

  • To include final arrangements for project management, benefits realised, risk register, contract management and Gateway Reviews.