Certainly you need to understand the financial case and return on investment. Each initiative needs to justify the investment made.
But in public service, the quality outcomes are what justify the investment (when Labour came to power, we as a nation invested approx £42billion in NHS each year. We now invest £100billion - if we wanted to SAVE MONEY we wouldn't go on putting more in).
This means that the business case needs to appeal to each of the major stakeholder groups: those investing the money, the main providers of service (staff, employers), the receivers of service (could be patients and public, though for improvements in process the customer will be other staff), and those who look for quality in public services (politicians, OSC, etc). In my terminology, Quality outcomes, User Experience, Staff Experience and Effectiveness.
I used to write a different business case for each one. Then I found that by combining the business cases, we ended up with a shorter more succinct document that answered every audience, and since everyone used the same document there was no suspicion.
Connecting for Health promotes the 5-Case model, which is broadly along the same lines (a business case for each stakeholder). In their case the 5 Business Cases are:
- Strategic Case
- Economic Case
- Financial Case
- Commercial Case
- Management Case
It makes a lot of sense to follow a structured template and you can find out more by examining this example on the Connecting for Health web site.