1. Executive summary
- Highlight key points including important benefits and the return on investment
- Define the reasons for undertaking the project
- Explain how the project will enable the achievement of objectives
Analysis and reasoned recommendation for the base options of
- do nothing;
- do the minimum; and
- do something
The difference between ‘do nothing’ and ‘do the minimum’ or ‘do something’ is the benefit that the investment will buy. The analysis of each option provides the decision maker(s) with sufficient information to judge which option presents the best value. It provides the answer to the question: for this level of investment, are the anticipated benefits more desirable, viable and achievable than the other options available?
4. Expected benefits
Express the benefits in measurable terms against the situation as it exists prior to the project. Benefits should be both qualitative and quantitative.
Measurability of benefits ensures that they can be proven. If the project includes benefits that cannot be proven, then it is impossible to judge whether the project
- has been a success
- has provided value for money
- should be (or have been) initiated
5. Expected dis-benefits
Dis-benefits are actual consequences of an activity whereas, a risk is uncertain and may never materialise. Dis-benefits need to be valued and incorporated into the investment appraisal.
6. Timescale ⌛
- Define the proposed period over which the project will run (summary of the project plan) and the period over which the benefits will be realised.
- Summarise the project costs, the ongoing operations and maintenance costs and their funding arrangements.
8. Investment appraisal
- Compare the aggregated benefits and dis-benefits with the project costs and the ongoing incremental operations and maintenance costs.
- Define the value of the project as an investment
- Address how the project will be funded
9. Major risks
- Summarise the key risks associated with the project together with the likely impact and plans should they occur.