Requirements and checklist – business case approval process

The Ministry looks for the following in investment decisions:

  • All proposals should clearly articulate why the project is important, why it needs to be done now, and why you are proposing to do it in a particular way
  • The inclusion of background information so the context of your proposal is clear. For example, if you are seeking a new IT system for a team, explain what the team does and its purpose
  • Generally, IT systems developed or used in the New Zealand health system need to use the Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO) standards. Describe how your proposal will leverage or adopt the relevant standards.

Business case development

The eHealth team reviews and provides feedback on business cases. It is recommended to use the Better Business Case (BBC) templates provided by Treasury.

Below is is a checklist of required information to keep in mind when you develop a business case.

Business case checklist

  • What is the business case proposing?
  • Why is it being proposed?
  • Why is it being proposed at this particular time?
  • What is the scope of the proposal?
  • Who is the business case owner?
  • Who is the business case sponsor?
  • Is there clear and demonstrated business/clinical support for the proposal?
  • What are the dependencies of the proposal?
  • What are the constraints and assumptions of the proposal?
  • What background research has been undertaken?
  • How will success be identified and measured?
  • What options have been considered, and what option is recommended and why?
  • What significant risks and issues exist and how will these be mitigated?


  • What is the governance structure for the project?
  • How is funding to be obtained?
  • What evidence of regional or national collaboration is in the proposal?
  • How does this proposal align with Digital Health 2020 and the New Zealand Health Strategy (and national, regional and local strategies)?
  • What is the strategic framework under which the work/results will fall?
  • What other agencies have been consulted or involved in the proposal?
  • What standards have been considered/adopted in this proposal? How does the proposed solution leverage or utilise Health Information Standards Organisation (HISO) standards? If it doesn’t, be clear why they are not.

Effects and implications

  • What are the downstream implications of the proposal?
  • What other (related) systems are affected?
  • What are the identified significant legal issues? Include specific comment on legislative implications.
  • What other issues need to be identified, e.g. implications for privacy, Health Information Privacy Code, Treaty of Waitangi?
  • Does the proposal address (for example):
    • communications
    • change management
    • training
    • a need for independent quality assurance
    • privacy impact assessment?

Costs and benefits

  • What investment is needed?
  • What is the source of funding – is any national funding required?
  • What benefits will be realised from the investment?
  • How will benefits be measured and who will be responsible for benefits realisation?

Regional projects

  • Is there clearly demonstrated support from DHBs and commitment and capability to provide funding?
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