Stage 1 – Initiation

Purpose: To define and document the problem area to allow it be understood by stakeholders to allow them to decide what to happen next. It should be very low cost exercise and not involve too many resources

The Problem Area – three types of “problems”: Immediate issues. Anticipated issues that require mitigation. Opportunities. There can be overlap. E.g. Someone might identify an opportunity that can be taken when solving an issue.

The problem space sets a boundary for the scope of the solution activity.

Once known, might be possible to identity a business sponsor


  • Vision doc
    • Problem statement
    • Stakeholders
    • Concept solution
  • Architecture initiation doc

Stage 1 – Initiation. HowTo.

  • Identify drivers
    • internal (business/IT strategy, BA, EA)
    • external (legislation/regulation/markets/economy/competitor/customer opinion)
  • Create solution vision document
    • Description of problem, risk or opportunity
      • Need to avoid spending too much time on analysis at this stage
      • Use a technique such as “why, how, what, who, where, when”. E.g. Questions like: What is the problem, why is this a concern, where does the problem occur, who is impacted, when did this start, how important is this?
    • Solution vision
      • What will the solution do for the business/stakeholders? What will be the effect of solving the problem?
    • Stakeholder – initial list
      • Important to have a business sponsor who will own it and make sure it happens. They are usually the one who will have most interest in seeing a solution in place, so often end up choosing the person who stands to benefit most from the solution.
  • Create architecture initiation doc
    • Stakeholders – call out business sponsor and other key contacts
    • Timeframe – for the discovery phase, and any milestone dates/updates for stakeholder updates
    • Resources – to be dedicated to discovery – people, equipment, money
    • Deliverables – to be produced by discovery phase. Type and level needs to be aligned with the resource allocated and the scope
    • Scope: of business activities to be investigated
    • Constraints: other constraints to be observed during discover (other than time/resources)
    • Terms of reference: who will lead, arrangements for reporting back, escalating issues, notifying risks
    • Authorisation: of the document by the business sponsor or other senior stakeholder

Key quotes

“whichever person or group identified the need for a solution undoubtedly has some ideas about their vision of the future. These need to be separated from any detailed suggestions on how to solve the problem. A technique to expand on these ideas is to ask those involved to describe the situation as if the problem has been solved already. This can be done using storyboards and scenarios e.g. to represent the user experience.”