2. Growing the Business Case

Progressing effectively through Steps 1 to 3 of the ATAP Framework is a necessary pre-requisite in order to generate a justified initiative. This is a progressive, evolving process, during which information about a problem, and options for solving that problem, grows.

The Business Case should grow and expand at the same time, becoming more detailed as the planning and assessment process progresses through the Framework. The Business Case should be revised, expanded and continually improved as more detailed and wide-ranging analyses are completed.

The Business Case is the vehicle for communicating this developing and evolving information. This can be achieved by creating a Business Case in stages, with the level and quality of information increasing from stage to stage.

The title of the Business Case can be varied during this progression to reflect the stage of development, and the growing sophistication of the information included. A logical naming scheme might be:

  • Strategic Business Case
  • Rapid Business Case
  • Full/Final Business Case.

Table 1 illustrates the main focus the Business Case could have at each stage of development. The table closely reflects the approach used in the IA submission guidelines (IA, 2014a, Table 1, p.13).

Table 1: Business Case stages
Business Case stage
Aspect Strategic Rapid Full/Final
Goals, Objectives, Targets Strategic context well developed and explained:
  • Jurisdiction goals, transport system objectives and targets documented
  • Relevant objectives and targets within transport system (e.g. corridor) documented
  • Relevant scene-setting/influencing strategies, plans, policies documented
As per Strategic As per Strategic
Problem Well developed:
  • Identified
  • Strategic significance of problem
  • Evidence-base of severity
  • Priority – initial assessment
In addition to Strategic:
  • Strengthened evidence-base
  • Priority confirmed
  • Root cause well understood
In addition to Rapid:
  • Strong evidence base
  • Problem well explained and presented
  • Long list of ‘initial options’
  • Strategic Merit Test
  • ‘Initial options’ → ‘Filtered options’
In addition to Strategic:
  • Rapid appraisal of ‘filtered options’
  • Rapid Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Rapid AST
  • ‘Filtered options’ → ‘Final options’
In addition to Rapid:
  • Detailed appraisal of ‘Final options’
  • Strong evidence base
  • ‘Final options’ → ‘Preferred Solution’
Deliverability Not required Initial assessment Detailed assessment