The NZ Transport Agency is implementing business case process improvements. The changes are designed to improve the clarity and consistency of our investment decision-making, and to reduce the time and costs taken to make decisions and deliver outcomes.
From 30 April 2019, the Transport Agency will introduce new Point of Entry (PoE) guidance to ensure future and in-progress business cases are ‘right-sized’ to local context and risks.
The contents of this page have been updated with the new guidance and expectations the Transport Agency has regarding the investment decision-making process and the decision maker around developing a new business case. Further updates will be made over the next few months.
The purpose of a point of entry (PoE) phase is to discuss and reach agreement on how the business case approach will be applied. It allows problem owners and the Transport Agency to:
The PoE phase ensures there is prioritising of business case work to match resources and work programmes. Considering the context and scale of the problem/opportunity and identifying relevant work that has already been done will minimise the risk of double-up of effort.
The PoE phase is meant to be a brief exercise using the minimum appropriate resource. The main focus is on discussion, fact-finding and critical thinking.
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. There is a template to help with capturing all the information the Transport Agency needs to decide whether to endorse a PoE.
The PoE template should also be revisited before starting each new phase of a business case and revised or updated as necessary.
The reason for starting a PoE is often in response to the environment. For example:
Exploring the issue may be as simple as a single conversation between likely problem owners, or if it’s a more complex issue, it may involve discussions with investors and stakeholders who have been identified for early engagement.
Start talking with a Transport Agency investment advisor at an early stage to get advice and agree the PoE recommendation with them.
A note about problems and opportunities…
Problems and opportunities can be thought of as opposite sides of the same coin; problems can help to identify opportunities, and describing an opportunity is a great way of showing what an investment could deliver.
When considering the issue further, in consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, it is important to:
Applying critical thinking and the BCA principles and behaviours is an important part of determining the point of entry. They must be used to develop your understanding about the potential investment.
Make a clear recommendation based on your view of what the fit-for-purpose effort would be. This could mean recommending:
If your recommendation is to start at a later phase than the Strategic Case, the record of PoE needs to show how the relevant investment decision questions have been answered.
If a business case is the next step, it is important to consider the remaining business case phases through to implementation. This will provide decision makers with clarity regarding the timeframes and resources that will likely be needed.
The pathway needs to be consistent with the level of existing information, and the risk and complexity of the investment. Further advice on assessing risk and complexity, and finding the appropriate investment development pathway for a business case, can be found here:
The purpose of recording the PoE is to provide a high-level description of the problem/opportunity and likely outcomes, and a recommendation about where the business case should formally start, if at all.
Having a documented record also means you can explain your thinking later on.
It is important to also record information that the Transport Agency needs to make a decision regarding endorsement of the PoE. The record of PoE template has been developed to capture the appropriate information and we've produced a guide on what a good PoE includes:
Your organisation decides whether to advance to the business case process based on the recommendation you have agreed, and the PoE is signed off by the business owner.
The PoE phase is funded by the problem owner’s organisation.
Completed record of the point of entry, agreed with the Transport Agency.
There are online learning modules available to our partner organisations. To request access to the modules, email email@example.com with your name, title, organisation and manager’s name.
The point of entry course includes:
You will be prompted to enter your login if you click the link above. Once you have logged in, you should be taken directly to the course. You can also find it by going to the catalogue and searching for ‘point of entry’.
It is important to talk to the Transport Agency at an early stage. Contact either your Transport Agency representative, or e-mail the Strategy, Policy and Planning team direct at firstname.lastname@example.org