How to build a robust business case? 

How to build a robust business case, blog by Sue Stockley, APMG accredited Better Business Cases™ trainer.

I’m Sue Stockley and am one of the APMG accredited Better Business Cases™ trainers in the Business Case Training Team, hosted by NHS Midlands and Lancashire CSU (MLCSU). The team comprises me, Michael Gemson and Glen Mackie.

We firmly believe that a business case is a vital tool for evidence-based decision making and optimising value for money. It’s also used for seeking approval for an initiative, the audit trail and bidding for funds but it’s all too easy to see the business case as a hurdle to jump through or as a tick list or to retrofit to a pre-determined solution!

There are many reasons why projects fail – not least lack of a clear link to the organisation’s strategic priorities, senior management ownership or effective engagement with stakeholders. How do we go about putting the right foot forward to build a robust business case? The Five Case Model approach and Better Business Cases™ methodology are fundamental to a strong business case but these should be used proportionately.

The five business case dimensions (strategic, economic, commercial, financial and management) are connected and can’t be considered in isolation. Focussing on the Strategic Case – this often massively overdone. It’s the sales pitch starting with the rationale for the proposal and how it fits with NHS policies and organisational strategy. How does it achieve the organisations objectives, and does it describe succinctly existing and future arrangements, business needs and scope? This is where we start to identify benefits for patients as well as any risks, constraints, and dependencies and set out initial thinking for example on demand and capacity modelling, workforce impact.

To find out more please contact at and see our Prospectus and details of our Better Business Cases™ and Bite Size Training including Benefits Management and Realisation and Comprehensive Investment Appraisal Training at

Sue Stockley

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