Stage 3: Prioritised projects meet requirements
Preparing a Business Case
During pipeline prioritisation, projects will be determined as ‘Seed’ funding or ‘Scale’ funding. Project teams must prepare and submit the following:
- Business Case (for scale pathway projects)
- Lean Business Case (for seed pathway projects)
- Chief Financial Officer sign-off on a commitment to project level savings (if any) and ongoing costs will be met by the responsible Agency
- Inputs for Statutory and Treasury Reporting (ISTR)
Project teams are required to submit a Business Case or Lean Business Case for assessment within 12 months of the funds being allocated to the project or the funds will be returned to the DRF and re-prioritised. DSIA will consult with project teams who haven’t come forward with the relevant documents before providing this information to DTB for their decision.
DSIA established a Technical Design Advisory Group (TDAG) in 2023. The TDAG’s role is to provide advice to agencies on how to increase digital asset reuse, reduce legacy systems, and maximise emergent technology.
Projects are assessed and ranked against criteria
Once a business case has been submitted, it will be assessed and ranked against the criteria. This is to help decide which projects will deliver the best outcome and the best value for money. Strategic alignment ensures the project aligns with the Portfolio’s Objectives and existing government priorities.
- Feasibility/ Deliverability assessment to ensure the project can be delivered with reasonable effort given existing capabilities
- Economic viability to ensure the project is expected to produce a net economic benefit to the State, improving economic growth and productivity (We look at cost-benefit analysis and score them against other projects)
- Affordability assessment to ensure that project costs are reasonable and accurate
- Desirability (Social impact) assessment to ensure that the investment will generate a positive impact on citizen and/or internal user experience. Business cases should be linked to NSW’s social impact policy.
If your project does not make it into the pipeline
If the initiative is rejected, the initiative data will remain in the pipeline enabling the owner to address/update and resubmit if the reason for rejection allows this. Any resubmitted investment will run through the pipeline process again.
You can also contact the Digital Restart Fund Team to find out about the next pipeline prioritisation process.
Types of funding pathways
This level of funding is allocated to supporting larger, more complex projects that are scaling to a full or broader customer base. These projects may be an existing seed project that’s ready to take the next step, or a long-term project that will exceed $5 million in costs over time.
If your project is designated as a scale project in the pipeline process, you will need to complete:
- A detailed Business Case; and
- Chief Financial Officer sign-off on a commitment to project level savings (if any)
- Statutory Treasury Reporting (ISTR) – this includes funding of ongoing costs.
To seek seed funding (under $5 million), a Lean Business Case (LBC) should be developed in consultation with DSIA.
The LBC needs to:
- Distinguish fact from hypotheses
- Commit to many small, incremental achievements
- Provide outcomes over outputs
- Demonstrate how the project might adapt based on evidence.
Seed funding requests are intended as small investments to test a concept before scaling delivery. This level of funding is allocated to smaller projects going through the customer discovery process, building working prototypes or, where possible, releasing Beta services for testing by customers. Project teams can refer to the Design Standards and Delivery Manual, the NSW agile service delivery design and development process.
Due to the nature of seed funding requests, financial benefits that flow from a proposed initiative may not always be achievable. Sometimes, prototypes tested in seed funded projects may not be successful which is an appropriate outcome for a seed funded project.
For scale projects, funding will be released in portions (referred to as tranche funding). Tranche funding is aimed at reducing project risks by breaking up project deliverables into manageable stages. Full business cases must outline the deliverables and the funding required for each stage.
Stage 4: The Minister approves, and funds projects
The DTB recommends funding approval directly to the Minister for ‘seed’ projects and endorses ‘scale’ projects and tranche release requests to the Expenditure Review Committee for endorsement.