Business Case - Methodologies

Business Case - Guidelines and Methodologies

For government projects - detailed below are links to commonly used Government business case guidelines and methodologies. Please use an appropriate methodology for your location, project type and funding model.

For private sector projects - we suggest using company specific guidelines.  For all projects – the Solute Methodology can assist in providing ‘How to’ support.

Listed below are resources from the following Governments:

  1. Australian
  2. Queensland
  3. NSW
  4. Victorian
  5. South Australia
  6. Western Australia
  7. Northern Territory
  8. Tasmania
  9. Brisbane City Council
  10. New Zealand
  11. United Kingdom
  12. OECD
  13. Solute Consulting

Australian Government Guidelines

Assessment Framework: For initiatives and projects to be included in the Infrastructure Priority List

Assessment Framework: For initiatives and projects to be included in the Infrastructure Priority List

The Assessment Framework facilitates evidence-based development of infrastructure projects. The information contained in this document is essential for proponents looking to progress projects through the Infrastructure Australia assessment stages.

Infrastructure Australia encourages proponents, end users and commentators to read this document, and seek advice from Infrastructure Australia when required.

Link: Assessment Framework: For initiatives and projects to be included in the Infrastructure Priority List


National Public Private Partnership Guidelines

This National PPP Policy (NPPP) provides a consistent framework that enables public and private sectors to work together to improve public service delivery through private sector provision of public infrastructure and related services.

Link: National Public Private Partnership Guidelines

PPP Guide

Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines

The Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines are an infrastructure planning and decision-support framework applied to transport. They outline best practice for transport planning and assessment in Australia and are a web-based product available at

They are endorsed by all Australian jurisdictions and are published by the Transport and Infrastructure Council. They are also closely aligned with the Infrastructure Australia Assessment Framework (IA 2017).

Link: Australian Transport Assessment and Planning Guidelines

PPP Guide

ICT Business Case Guide

This guide will assist Australian Public Service agencies to develop sound business cases when seeking to make significant ICT investments. Business cases developed in accordance with this guide are expected to be suitable for both internal decision making and as inputs to the ICT Two Pass Review process.

Link: ICT Business Case Guide


Queensland Guidelines

Building Queensland Framework

Building Queensland Framework

Provides an overview of the Business Case Development Framework including how the framework integrates with other government frameworks, overarching principles, structure, key features and governance arrangements.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0).

Link: Building Queensland Framework


Queensland Treasury, Project Assessment Framework

Queensland’s Project Assessment Framework (PAF) is used across government to ensure a common, rigorous approach to assessing projects at critical stages in their lifecycle, from the initial assessment of the service required, through to delivery. The PAF’s application is not limited to infrastructure projects or public private partnership (PPP) projects. At each stage of a project, the project’s progress and quality is assessed to ensure that the project (and associated investment) meets strategic objectives and achieves value for money. Once a project ‘clears’ a stage, it can progress to the next. The Treasury Commercial Group manages the PAF and works with agencies to ensure consistent application.

This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence.

Link: Project Assessment Framework

Project Assessment Framework

Exclusive transactions

This process offers a pathway for complex private sector commercial proposals to seek an exclusive mandate with government. These proposals must provide a service or deliver infrastructure that aligns with Queensland Government priorities and demonstrate a strong potential of being delivered.

Proposals are to include a role for government and are expected to provide additional benefits to government and/or the Queensland community. They need to demonstrate value for money for Queensland and must present a clear case as to why they should be considered under an exclusive arrangement as opposed to procurement through a competitive process.

An exclusive transaction must:

  • align with government priorities
  • justify its exclusive dealing with government
  • represent value for money
  • be financially feasible with an investor that has the financial and technical capacity, capability and experience to deliver the proposal.

PPP Guide

New South Wales Guidelines

Infrastructure Investor Assurance

The NSW Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework (IIAF) is an independent4 risk-based assurance process for the State’s capital projects. It identifies the level of confidence that can be provided to Cabinet that the State’s capital projects are being effectively developed and delivered in accordance with the Government’s objectives.

Link: Infrastructure Investor Assurance Framework


NSW Business Case Guidelines

The NSW Government Business Case Guidelines have been developed to assist agencies and government entities with the preparation of business cases in line with best practice. This version of the Guidelines supersedes the previous Department of Premier and Cabinet Business Case Guidelines 2000, the Treasury policy papers Guidelines for Capital Business Cases (TPP08-05) and the Commercial Policy Framework: Guidelines for Financial Appraisal (TPP07-04). 

Link: NSW Business Case Guidelines

Project Assessment Framework

Risk Management Framework

This Risk Management Framework (Framework) outlines NSW Treasury’s approach to enterprise risk management. Risk management is an integral part of good management practice and an essential element of good corporate governance. 

Link: NSW Risk Management Framework

PPP Guide

Unsolicited Proposals

The NSW Government is continually seeking to capture value and explore unique and innovative ideas from industry that provide real and tangible benefits to the people of NSW.

The Unsolicited Proposals process is designed to encourage non-government sector participants to approach government with innovative infrastructure or service delivery solutions, where the government has not requested a proposal and the proponent is uniquely placed to provide a value-for-money solution. Its key objective is to provide consistency and certainty to non-government sector

Link: NSW Unsolicited Proposals

PPP Guide

Victorian Government

Infrastructure Investor Assurance

These guidelines provide practical assistance to anyone developing investment projects in Victoria. They help shape proposals, inform investment decisions, monitor project delivery and track the benefits of investments. They emphasise the need to better align the policies, programs and projects of departments and agencies with government priorities and outline the requirements under the high value high risk process. The guidelines will help ensure government investments provide maximum benefit to Victoria.

Link: Infrastructure Investor Assurance


Asset management accountability framework

The Asset Management Accountability Framework (AMAF) replaces Victoria’s existing asset management framework, Sustaining Our Assets and the related asset management series. The AMAF assists Victorian Public Sector agencies manage their asset portfolios and provide better services for Victorians.

Like Sustaining Our Assets, the AMAF is premised on a non-prescriptive, devolved accountability model of asset management. This allows public sector bodies to manage their assets in a manner that is consistent with government requirements, their own specific operational circumstances and the nature of their asset base.

The AMAF details mandatory asset management requirements as well as general guidance for agencies responsible for managing assets. Mandatory requirements include developing asset management strategies, governance frameworks, performance standards and processes to regularly monitor and improve asset management. The requirements also include establishing systems for maintaining assets and processes for identifying and addressing performance failures.

Link: Asset management accountability framework

Project Assessment Framework

Market-Led Proposals

The Market-led Proposals Guideline provides a valuable opportunity for Government and the private sector to work together to meet Victoria’s infrastructure and service needs. Since the introduction of the guideline in 2015, the Government has progressed a number of significant proposals that will

provide benefit to Victorians. The guideline outlines the process for parties seeking to approach Government with new and innovative proposals. Proposals must be in the public interest and will only proceed where they meet Government objectives, achieve value for money and are unique.

 Link: Market-Led Proposals

PPP Guide

Partnerships Victoria

The public private partnerships (PPP) model promotes efficiency and social and economic returns from government expenditure and ensures value for money over the longer term.

Since the 1990s, roads, prisons, hospitals, schools and many other projects have been procured by the Government working with the private sector to build high-quality infrastructure and services, using the PPP framework.

Link: Partnerships Victoria

PPP Guide

South Australian Government

Guidelines for the evaluation of public sector initiatives

The Government of South Australia (the government) is committed to the efficient and effective delivery of essential services to the community, while maintaining budgetary discipline that creates the framework for responsible investments in the longer term.  Early and effective planning, prioritisation and coordination of public sector initiatives by a lead agency1, that is based on clear and shared long-term strategic directions is essential. This is to ensure investments are delivered where and when needed, for a cost that represents ‘value for money’ (compared to alternative proposals), within budget capacity, and that provides for the sound management of risks.

Link: Guidelines for the evaluation of public sector initiatives

Project Assessment Framework

Unsolicited Proposals

The Government of South Australia (the government) is committed to the efficient and effective delivery of essential services to the community, while maintaining budgetary discipline that creates the framework for responsible investments in the longer term.  Early and effective planning, prioritisation and coordination of public sector initiatives by a lead agency1, that is based on clear and shared long-term strategic directions is essential. This is to ensure investments are delivered where and when needed, for a cost that represents ‘value for money’ (compared to alternative proposals), within budget capacity, and that provides for the sound management of risks.

Link: SA Unsolicited Proposals

Project Assessment Framework

WA Government

Strategic Asset Management Framework

The main purpose of the Strategic Asset Management Framework (SAMF) is to provide a sound basis for decisions, which will ultimately be made by Cabinet, on the investment in, and the management and disposal of, significant government assets.

SAMF puts government policy objectives and practical service delivery to the Western Australian community at the forefront of asset investment planning and management.

Link: Strategic Asset Management Framework


Strategic Asset Management Framework Business Case

This module clarifies the purpose, standards and model for the content, development and review of a business case. Before proceeding, readers should consult the SAMF Overview which describes how a business case is used during asset investment planning and decision-making.

Link: Strategic Asset Management Framework Business Case

Project Assessment Framework

Market Led Proposals

The WA Governments Market-led Proposals (MLP) Policy is an innovative pathway for businesses and government to work together to create jobs and stimulate the economy. MLPs allow the government to harness good ideas, private sector investment and entrepreneurship to develop projects that benefit Western Australians.

Link:Market Led Proposals

Project Assessment Framework

NT Government

NT Market Led Proposals

The MLPP makes it easier to do business in the Northern Territory and deliver great outcomes for both Proponents and the taxpayers by creating an interactive process between the NT Government and Proponents. The process aligns the effort and costs of the Proponent with the level of interest from the NT Government to develop Proposals that address Northern Territory priorities.

Link: NT Market Led Proposals
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Tasmanian Government

Tasmania Unsolicited Proposals

In order to qualify as an unsolicited proposal, the project must have a minimum private investment contribution of $10 million or the creation of a minimum of 100 direct jobs in Tasmania. The project must also be a unique or innovative proposal initiated by the private sector and made to government to deliver outcomes that are desirable to government and which are not suitable to progress through standard competitive procurement processes. It involves private sector businesses approaching government for approval and support for the project, which could take the form of financial support, or other forms of support such as regulatory or social support, or the provision of government assets.

The Unsolicited Proposals: Policy and Guidelines applies to the General Government Sector.  All proponents are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposal with the Office of the Coordinator-General, on a confidential basis, in order to gauge the suitability of the proposal and discuss key requirements under the Policy and Guideline prior to making their submission.

Proponents submitting an unsolicited proposal to Government, will be directed to the Office of the Coordinator-General, and their proposal must include key information to facilitate a preliminary review by the Office of the Coordinator-General before calling an assessment panel to review the proposal and provide a recommendation to Cabinet. The Office of the Coordinator-General will assist successful preliminary proponents through a case management approach.

Link: Tasmania Unsolicited Proposals


Brisbane City Council

Better Brisbane Proposals

A Better Brisbane Proposal should represent value for money for Brisbane and contribute to the Brisbane Vision. It should solve a Brisbane problem, address an opportunity for Brisbane or enhance services that Council provides. For Council to directly engage a supplier for a Better Brisbane Proposal, it will consider if:

  • the outcome is fair to the supply market
  • the proposal is advantageous for Brisbane
  • value for money can be demonstrated and substantiated

Link: Better Brisbane Proposals

Better Brisbane Proposals

International Standards

The Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government - UK

The Green Book is guidance issued by HM Treasury on how to appraise policies, programmes and projects. It also provides guidance on the design and use of monitoring and evaluation before, during and after implementation.

The Green Book should be used alongside other HM Treasury guidance:

  • Managing Public Money which provides guidance on the responsible use of public resources
  • The Aqua Book which sets out standards for analytical modelling and assurance
  • The Magenta Book which provides detailed guidance on evaluation methods (Last updated March 2022)

Link: The Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government - UK


Better Business Cases - Guide to Developing the Detailed Business Case - NZ

The objective of Better Business Cases is to provide objective analysis and consistent information to decision-makers, to enable them to make smart investment decisions for public value.

BBC is designed around an internationally recognised best practice standard, the five-case model. This builds a business case proposal by answering five core questions:

 What is the compelling case for change?

  • Does the preferred option optimise value for money?
  • Is the proposed deal commercially viable?
  • Is the investment proposal affordable?
  • How can the proposal be delivered successfully

Link: Better Business Cases - Guide to Developing the Detailed Business Case - NZ


The OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure

Getting Infrastructure Right: The 10 Key Governance Challenges and Policy Options

High-quality public infrastructure supports growth, improves well-being and generates jobs. Yet, infrastructure investment is complex, and getting from conception to construction and operation is a long road fraught with obstacles and pitfalls. This OECD survey of the state of infrastructure policy making highlights a number of challenges that all countries face.

Link: The OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure

The OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure


Solute Consulting's Business Case "How to" Guide

With 15 years’ experience of hands on experience developing business cases across a variety of industries, frameworks and project sizes we have developed a business case training course that enables us to teach a proven approach to successfully develop a preliminary or detailed business case, and avoid many of the common pitfalls of business case preparation.  Our Business Case How to Guide is underpinned by our experience with different business case development frameworks including the UK Five Case Model, National PPP Guidelines, Infrastructure Australia guidelines, Queensland Project Assessment Framework, Building Queensland Framework, NSW Guidelines for Capital Business Cases and Victorian Investment Lifecycle and High Value/High Risk Guidelines.

Our standard Business Case course is a 1 day online course, supplemented by a one or two day, face to face course covering the practical aspects of business case development (including cost, benefit and risk modelling) and how to apply that knowledge to locally used frameworks, such as Qld Government's - Project Assurance Framework, Building Queensland Framework and Infrastructure Australia's Guidelines.

Additionally, we can also provide customer specific training, including:

  • One on one or small group training
  • Combination 'training and consulting packages' to quickly uplift organisational capability.

Training options:

  • Online - contact the office to register
  • Classroom - 1 or 2 day courses
  • Customer tailored options - contact the office on (07) 3003 1402 or

For further information - see the training page.

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