You have now told stakeholders and suppliers the basic principles of frameworking. And you have demonstrated how it could offer better value for money. You have convinced the key decision-makers that frameworking looks attractive. It’s now time to document the business case for your specific programme.
We will look at this in three stages:
- Defining the brief
- Assembling the business case
- Fit for purpose checklist.
Note that the business case for procuring services via a framework agreement must be made in the context of a specific programme of work. It cannot be a ”generic” business case.
Essentials of a programme brief
Essential of a brief (see Appendix 3) is adapted from “Briefing the Team”, produced by the Construction Industry Board. If your brief answers this checklist, you should be well on the way towards convincing others that you have a clear understanding of the programme you want to run as a framework.
It is wise to now ask the key decision-makers in all stakeholder groups to review the programme brief, before you document the business case. The business case is of no use if there is disagreement about the brief.
Business Case Template
Here are three powerful reasons to have a solid business case:
- Obtaining management commitment and approval for the investment
- Creating a framework for planning and management of the business change
- Monitoring the ongoing programme.
This template is adapted from Appendix 4. Your business case for the programme, including the proposal to procure via a framework agreement(s), should cover these five aspects:
- Description of the business need and its contribution to the organisations business strategy
- Why it is needed now
- Key benefits to be realised
- Critical success factors and how they will be measured.
Appraisal of outcome of consultation with stakeholders
- High level cost/benefit analysis of (ideally) at least three options for meeting the business need
- Include analysis of ‘soft’ benefits that cannot be quantified in financial terms
- Identify the preferred option and any trade-offs.
- Proposed sourcing option with rational for its selection
- Key features of proposed commercial arrangements (e.g. framework terms, framework length, form of contract to apply to orders under the framework, payment mechanisms and performance incentives)
- The procurement strategy with supporting rationale.
- Statement of available funding and ‘ballpark’ Estimates of projected whole-life cost of the programme
- Including stakeholder costs (where applicable).
- High level plan for achieving the desired outcomes, with key milestones and major dependencies (e.g. interfaces between projects in the programme and other projects)
- Outline contingency plans such as failure to deliver service on time
- Major risks identified and outline plan for addressing them
- Potential conflicts with standing orders, policies and practices identified and proposals for change
- Assessment of skills ands experience needed to deliver the programme
- Ability of suppliers to deliver
- Sustainability of local construction industry.
Fit for purpose checklist
This Fit for purpose checklist (see Appendix 4) is for anyone asked to review the business case.
Make sure your business case ‘adds up’ against this checklist before you ask seek comments and approval.
When you have prepared your business case thoroughly, the next step is to ‘sell’ it. Don’t expect people to just read it and say: “What a fantastic idea. Why didn’t we do this sooner?”
You’ll need to meet face-to-face with the stakeholders, focusing most attention on the key decision-makers. Their personal impressions of the programme officers count a lot. You need to persuade them that you know what you’re doing and that they can rely on you to make it a success.