Idea Initiation Phase


Prepare Concept Paper

The Concept Paper or RFC (Request for Change) is a one or two page summary of the idea. It provides enough information so that the idea is understood and a rational decision made as to whether it is worth further work.
  • Idea from Initiator
    1. Business Analyst sets up meeting with Initiator
    2. Business Analyst discusses the idea with Initiator in order to complete Concept Paper/RFC
    3. Business Analyst goes away to prepare Concept Paper/RFC
  • First Draft of Concept Paper or RFC

After arranging to meet with the Initiator, the Business Analyst would look at the idea as referred from the nominated person in IT. Some investigation may be in order to understand the context of the idea and see if it overlaps with existing work, or ideas already under discussion.

A meeting is held and the BA explores the areas required to be completed on the paper. If during the discussion, it is decided that the Initiator does not want to proceed, the status of the idea should be changed to "Cancelled". If it becomes evident the idea overlaps with another piece of work, it should be referred through as a change request on that piece of work (provided of course the Initiator is prepared to sponsor it as a variation).

If it is a new piece of work, the BA should prepare a draft of the Concept Paper. This may require further questioning of the Initiator to fill in missing details. It may also require discussion with others. For example if it relates to a business process, and there is a Process Owner, it may require a meeting with that person to clarify details. The Initiator may already have some ideas as to what the solution may look like. These should be included in the concept paper.

We provide three types of concept paper.

  • Short concept paper which is suitable for less complex ideas
  • Long concept paper which is more suitable for more extensive proposals
  • Request for Change(RFC). An RFC is part of ITIL. It is different to a concept paper in that it not only explores a problem and outcome but covers the proposed solution. If your organisation is aligned with ITIL and this is a change, the RFC will be suitable.

The Business Analyst may recommend a priority, however when the Concept Paper is reviewed in the next activity, a priority can be discussed with the Initiator and finalised as a recommendation to IT Management and Business. The forum consisting of Business and IT Management have final responsibility for setting priority and allocating resources for further work.

Short Concept Paper Short document which outlines the idea and details key information.
Long Concept Paper A more comprehensive version of the concept paper
Request For Change Specifically geared to organisations using ITIL
Concept Log Excel spreadsheet to record concepts

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