Ideas Process

This process is concerned with how we take a pool of ideas, analyse them and then divide them into a set of JIRA issues that will form the start of the development process to take them to implementation. It involves the filtering of the pool based on some measure or intuition of realism and the breakdown of what's left into clearly defined tasks.

We assume that there are ideas being generated, but from time to time, it may be helpful to formalise the search for new ideas. This is discussed separately here.

Evaluating New Ideas

There are many ideas that will be conceived by individuals outside of any official call or process. These should be collected and not forgotten and the place they should go is here: 


Ideas Call (monthly)

New ideas from the HDX Ideas for Brainstorming document linked to above and other ideas are discussed and evaluated in this monthly call. This is a chance for brainstorming and without being too prescriptive, we will loosely follow the Six Hats of Critical Thinking methods to assess ideas. Six Hats encourages looking at possible ideas from different angles, represented by a hat colour. 

White hat

We start by sharing the information about the idea.

  • What is the available information?
  • What facts do we have?

Yellow hat

We think optimistically about the idea, highlighting the advantages and benefits of solving it.

  • What are the benefits?
  • Why is it workable?

Black hat

We then think cautiously to identify the drawbacks of the idea.

  • What are the risks?
  • Why is the idea not workable?

Red hat

We then consider our gut reaction towards the idea without attempting to understand the reason behind the feeling.

  • What is your hunch about the idea?
  • What do you like/dislike/love/hate about it?

Green hat

Here we consider possibilities, alternatives and new ideas, donning the hats above as necessary.

Blue hat

This hat comes into play as and when needed as a control and moderation mechanism to manage the thinking process.


The end result of this call should be ideas that we intend to take forward and actions on individuals to take specific ideas to break down into JIRA epics and issues.

Ideas Breakdown

It is the responsibility of individuals actioned in the Ideas Call to take selected ideas and turn them into appropriate JIRA issues. For those less familiar with how to do this, the place to start is by creating an "epic" (assuming the piece of work is reasonably substantial). The epic describes the overall goal  - it is a broad description of the idea. The epic is then subdivided into JIRA issues by considering what smaller pieces of work need to be done and in what order to complete the epic. This task should be done either in coordination or in partnership with the Product Owner. See Development Process.