The Development Stage: Ask the right question, get the right answer

21 March 2019

At this point in the process your problem statement has been fully defined, the scale of the issue has been identified, and the Change Sub-Committee has reviewed the resulting Draft Proposal. It is now time to evolve your change into a Modification Proposal. This final step in the Development Stage is what we will be covering in the last of our four-part series on the Development Stage.

Once a Draft Proposal is ready to proceed as a Modification Proposal, a report setting out the work undertaken so far and the views of the Change Sub Committee will be presented to the SEC Panel. Additionally, this report also sets out the next steps and progression timetable for the proposal. If the Panel believe that the problem is clearly defined and that consideration has been given to the magnitude of the issue, they will progress the Modification to the next stage of the process (be that the Refinement Process or the Report Phase). If the Panel believe further work is required, they can request the Change Sub-Committee provide further clarity on the issue that needs to be addressed.

If the Panel agree that your Draft Proposal is ready to proceed, it will be converted to a Modification Proposal. From here, the process is flexible depending on the magnitude of the changes required:

  • For a solution that is self-evident and low impacting, the Modification Proposal would likely proceed directly to the Report Phase. Where this is the case, we would use the Change Sub-Committee as a sounding board for the text changes before the proposal proceeds to the Panel, but we would do this only after the problem statement has been nailed down.
  • If the solution would need to be further assessed and refined or will impact on DCC Systems, the Panel would progress it through the Refinement Process first.

At this point though, the job of the Development Stage is complete, and your Modification Proposal proceeds through this gateway in the process better prepared for a smoother onward journey.

As noted in the first article in this series, ensuring we fully understand the issue we are trying to resolve will enable efficient solutions to be developed in a more effective manner. Furthermore, completing the Development Stage will mean any subsequent Refinement Process can immediately focus on identifying, developing and assessing solutions against a clearly articulated defect. Knowing the right question means we can set about finding the right answer.

This brings us to the end of our series on the new Development Stage, and we hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please contact us at We will be beginning a new series on the Refinement Process soon, but if you have any other areas of the Modification Process you would find beneficial for us to write about, please let us know.

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