Stage 1: Concept

  • Setting out what you want to do

    A project begins when the Sponsor approaches the Project Manager and gives them a mandate to develop the Project Brief . They will continue to meet regularly to ensure that the project develops in a way that the Sponsor supports.

    The Project Manager then writes and initial outline of the project background, objectives, scope and exclusions. they refer this back to their Sponsor to check it accurately reflects what they've been asked to do. 

    The PM begins initial stakeholder identification and talks to user group representatives to help them understand the aims of the project and develop the brief further. They begin to elicit details of what customers and users expect of the product or service being developed, to form the Customer Quality Expectations or CQE

    Requirements gathered now are about what customers expect the product to do or to be like, not technical details or technical approaches to how the requirements are achieved. Those will come later in discussion with technical experts.

    If there are a lot of stakeholders groups the PM may seek their Sponsor’s approval for early identification and engagement of a Senior User to help coordinate requirements gathering. .

    The PM and Senior User work with the users to prioritise long requirements lists into essentials and desirables. The Essential CQE form the basis for developing the Acceptance Criteria, those qualities that the deliverables must have to be deemed fit for purpose and, without which, it will be rejected.


  • Key actions

    • Establish regular contact with Sponsor
    • Identify and engage user groups
    • Outline the definition and scope
    • Initial consideration of costs, quality and risks outlined
    • Complete document template: Project Brief

    Key outcomes

    • A clear and compelling vision of the project
    • Early engagement of key stakeholders
    • Project Brief completed and approved by Sponsor
    • Project Brief ready to present to appointed Board for decision at Gateway 1