Stage 1: Conceptualise


Stage 1: Conceptualise provides structure for the initial examination of problems on the basis of their policy and strategic merit. This stage assists with the development of a strategic assessment or preliminary business case.

Investment lifecycle guidance stage 1 conceptualise - Confirm the need 

This process will enable agencies to identify, assess, and prioritise the investments which are most deserving of attention from government.

To achieve this departments and agencies need to:

  • identify and properly characterise the problem or service need;
  • define the benefits that would result from fixing the problem or addressing the service need;
  • explore the appropriate strategic response; and
  • outline high level solutions that are deliverable.


Based on this examination and assessment, agencies are required to develop one of the three outputs below and submit to government for consideration:

  • strategic assessment (for non-High Value High Risk (HVHR)); or
  • preliminary business case (for HVHR) submission; or
  • if an agency has insufficient resources to undertake a full business case, it should include an investment development funding section in its submission.

High Value High Risk investments

Agencies need to:

  • engage early with Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) and Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC);
  • undertake a Gate 1: Concept and feasibility review prior to submitting the preliminary business case to government;
  • submit a preliminary business case so government can decide whether to proceed to a full business case.

Use of the investment management standard (IMS)

The IMS  tools are available to assist agencies as they move through this stage. It is recommended that agencies engage an accredited facilitator to ensure a high quality outcome.