Business Case Toolkit

A range of templates and supporting materials to improve the development of NSW Government Business Cases.

Business cases are a critical element within the decision-making process for the NSW Government.

The business case provides the basis against which continued development of options and then subsequent funding is compared and evaluated. It also provides the basis against which the success of the investment and/or policy intervention is measured.

A business case is a documented proposal to meet the Government’s objectives that is used to inform an investment and/or policy decision. It contains analyses of the costs, benefits, risks and assumptions associated with various investment and policy options linked to policy or program outcomes and informs future implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

In practice, a business case is a management tool and a living document which is developed over time and reflects the priorities of investment stages – from making a case for change at the concept stage all the way through to implementation and review. It is a multi-purpose document that can generate the participation necessary to turn an idea into reality. The business case summarises in one place, research and analysis of how proposals will contribute to key investment objectives and reflect the strategic context.

A range of material has been developed by the NSW Government to support the efficient and effective delivery of best practice business case documentation presented within this site including Guidelines, Templates and other supporting material.

The NSW Government has established Business Case Guidelines, developed by NSW Treasury, to provide guidance in preparing NSW Government business cases. Business cases, which are prepared according to these guidelines, provide a robust evidence base for government policy and investment proposals. They also inform effective and efficient resource allocation decisions for capital, recurrent and ICT investment and regulatory proposals.

The Guidelines will support the sector’s capacity and capability to deliver investment and policy proposals that are robust, transparent and appropriate to the size, complexity and cost of the intervention. They will strengthen confidence in the government to make sound investment decisions.

All business cases developed for the NSW Government should be undertaken in accordance with the NSW Treasury Business Case and Economic Evaluation Guidelines as well as any applicable Agency Business Case and/or Economic/Financial Evaluation Guidelines.  It is important that all business cases are completed in accordance with those guidelines that are specifically relevant to the individual project.  These Guidelines are presented below.

Infrastructure NSW provides templates to support the development of capital infrastructure business cases.  These templates can be viewed as frameworks to assist stakeholders with the delivery of best practice capital infrastructure business cases and support the underlying projects to go through the Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework gateway review process.

Presented below is a range of report templates that can be utilised to support a project through the development and review process for capital investment projects; from needs confirmation through to Strategic and Final Business Cases.

There may be numerous reasons as to why a department, program or project may wish to alter the generic templates to better inform readers as to the underlying reasoning for a project and support an informed decision-making process.

Any amendments to the presentation of business cases is a decision for the project stakeholder/team as long as the underlying work complies with the aforementioned guidelines and provides all the necessary information to support the gateway review process.

Agency Specific Business Case Templates are available through relevant agency Program Management Offices and / or internal agency finance areas

Practitioner Notes

Practitioner notes have been developed to assist anyone looking to complete a business case. The practitioner note series has been developed in conjunction with a variety of public and private sector stakeholders who provide specialist inputs, management and deliver business cases for the NSW Government.

Each paper has been developed on a key issue that generally needs to be considered as part of the process of completing a business case – from what analysis is required, guidelines to follow, who to engage and the overall process that must be undertaken.  Each of these topics are presented by category are linked to the business case templates.

These notes are intended to provide the reader with an insight into the need, frameworks, guidance and key issues that these specialists take into account when completing specific tasks.

Each note should be read as an industry discussion paper, from the perspective of the practitioner, and while generally aligned, not specifically NSW Government policy.

Recognition of partners

A number of supporting NSW Government Agencies, private sector firms and individuals were kind enough to provide their time and knowledge in completing material as presented within this section of the INSW website.

We would like to thank and acknowledge their input.


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