This page introduces the point of entry (PoE) phase, the starting point of business case development. It explains why it is important, and how to have the conversations and gather the information you need and how to record it, and complete this phase.
If you are preparing to start the PoE phase, please talk to your investment advisor or email email@example.com to get started.
As part of the Business Case Refresh, we are updating the record of PoE template in response to practical lessons learned and consultation feedback. This will be an iterative process – we are currently testing an initial updated version to gather feedback and refine it further. We are also working on a digital version, which will integrate with Transport Investment Online allowing some automation.
We don’t expect you do any rework as part of the phased approach to the PoE updates, and you can continue to use the previous version of the template until the end of September 2023
If you have any feedback, questions or require assistance with undertaking the PoE, get in touch with your investment advisor or email the business case process team: firstname.lastname@example.org
The purpose of a PoE phase is to discuss and reach agreement on how the activity/potential investment should progress through the Business Case Approach (BCA). This includes:
The PoE phase ensures that business case work is well positioned. Double-up effort can be minimised by:
The PoE phase is meant to be a brief exercise using the minimum appropriate resource. The focus is on discussion and critical thinking to ensure fit-for-purpose effort and readiness to progress.
It is critical to record the outcome of a PoE phase, including any recommendations, so it can be clearly communicated to decision makers and stakeholders.
The BCA is aligned with the international Better Business Cases (BBC) and New Zealand Treasury BBC framework, and the PoE is equivalent to the BBC scoping document.
The diagram below shows where the PoE phase fits within the framework of business case development pathways.
Common reasons for starting a PoE include:
The first step is to have an initial PoE conversation. You should start talking with a Waka Kotahi investment advisor at an early stage to get advice and agree the next steps. This may include having a brief meeting with relevant stakeholders to think about the problem/opportunity and draw on existing knowledge. To initiate a PoE conversation, talk to your investment advisor. If you don’t know who your investment advisor is, email email@example.com
When considering the problem further, in consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, it is important to:
Effective engagement with stakeholders is a core part of business case development and should start at the PoE. More information on engagement in the BCA, see our detailed guidance.
Some key tools to assist with your PoE conversations include:
In the PoE phase you will need to apply the power skill of critical thinking and the BCA principles of investing for benefits, clarity of intent, fit-for-purpose effort, gathering information through informed discussions and building the case for investment progressively to develop your understanding about the potential investment.
The PoE phase is about determining how the BCA is going to be applied, not doing the business case itself.
An agreed business case pathway allows project owners to have confidence in the scope required to reach the next investment decision gate, resources required (including funding), governance and other key aspects identified to address the risks, uncertainties, and complexities of the project.
In collaboration with a Waka Kotahi investment advisor, the PoE conversation and critical thinking will help determine the subsequent business case pathway of the activity.
If a business case is the next step, it is important to briefly consider the remaining phases through to implementation. This will provide decision makers with clarity regarding the forward pipeline of work.
The project approach may include information that has already been prepared by your organisation for your own internal purposes. The format is flexible, as long as there is the key information of how the project is going to be progressed.
The business case pathway needs to be demonstrative of the level of existing information, and the risk and complexity of the investment. Further advice on assessing risk and complexity, and finding the appropriate pathway for your business case, see our detailed guidance:
Your proposed business case pathway will be recorded in the ‘Project approach’ section of the record of PoE.
The PoE requirements for business cases about the potential replacement of existing structures are relatively consistent from case to case. Because of this, specific guidelines have been developed to help maintain consistency of practice and reduce the amount of effort needed to complete the PoE and plan the business case pathway.
The following guidelines include information on how the present value end-of-life (PVEOL) analysis should be used to support decision-making regarding existing structures.
The purpose of recording the PoE is to describe the problem/opportunity and likely outcomes of addressing it, and the expected scope required to complete the next phase. Having a documented record also means you can explain your thinking later on.
Before you complete the record of the PoE you will already have had the necessary conversations and explored your thinking, the relevant information you have or need and discussed options for applying the business case approach to the project, as detailed above.
We’ve developed the record of PoE template to help you capture the appropriate information.
The ‘Project approach’ section of the record of the PoE refers to how the BCA is going to be applied to the activity. This includes the business case pathway and the agreed scope that reflects how the identified risks, uncertainties and complexities are going to be addressed. This section also includes anticipated timeframes and resources required, such as NLTF investment. The project approach may include information that has already been prepared by your organisation for your own internal purposes. The format is flexible, as long as there is the key information of how the project is going to be progressed.
It is important to talk to us at an early stage of developing your business case. Contact your Waka Kotahi investment advisor or email the Business Case Process team at firstname.lastname@example.org