Initial Discovery

This phase focuses on understanding the high level goals, needs and timelines for the potential project. This is typically a one-to-four hour meeting in which the key stakeholders of the solution, such as business subject matter experts (SMEs), technical leads and/or project manager(s) have a discovery conversation with the leads from the potential implementation team (referred to as business architect and technical architect).

The initial discovery conversation focuses on the establishment of a baseline understanding of the key business and technical drivers. Depending on the level of detail already known, there are few templates available to help assist with documenting this initial session.

Common roles that participate within this phase include the following:.

NOTE: exact roles can change based upon specific project needs. Additionally, it is common for a single person to be responsible for more than one role.

ROLE
DESCRIPTION
Technical stakeholder/sponsor
Owner of the IT implementation initiative – typically a manager/executive.
Business stakeholder/sponsor
Owner of the delivered solution – typically a manager/executive.
Business analyst/SME
Individual(s) familiar with the technical needs of the targeted solution – commonly based upon involvement with existing/legacy systems or targeted integrations.
Technical lead
Individual(s) tasked with formulating the initial solution vision and architecture. this person(s) will typically drive this initiative through following solution analysis & planning and elaboration, design and planning phases and beyond. A business architect is typically business and operations focused and commonly transitions into a lead business analyst or project manager. A technical architect is a resource with significant solution delivery experience with the expected key technical components of the solution and often transitions to the implementation lead.

The initial conversation enables the effective planning of the next solution analysis and planning phase. Specifically, the initial discovery session should be able to provide insight into who needs to participate in, and how much time should be devoted to, the ensuing solution analysis and planning phase. Additionally, the conversation should allow resources to effectively plan their participation and involvement accordingly to maximize value of the solution analysis and planning phase.

Supporting content for this phase:

TEMPLATE
DESCRIPTION
This document contains a list of 20 questions used during the initial discovery session to help drive to a baseline understanding of the project requirements. It requires SMEs knowledgeable with the business process and expected integrations. These questions are used to gain a more complete understanding of the proposed process and how this process is expected to work. The information gathered during this discussion will be used during the follow-up discussions and process discovery stages of a K2 project.
This is useful in early stage conversations for projects with very few set requirements or goals. Alternatively, it can be useful when trying to gauge a number of potential projects in short order.
This can be distributed in advance of a conversation to help participants in a process discovery session prepare for the session. It is not necessary to answer every question in detail during the session, but at least have a high-level explanation to the listed questions.

Solution Analysis and Planning

The solution analysis and planning phase is the entry point into solution functional scoping and project planning. The goals of this phase are to identify project critical success factors, as well as discover initial functional scope/business requirements and technical drivers and integrations. This phase is typically lead by the business architect and the technical architects leveraged during the initial discovery phase.

Elaboration and Design

The elaboration and design phase expands upon the previous phases by delving deeper into identifying and documenting the business and technical requirements. The goal of the phase is to derive a target solution architecture, technical design and implementation plan. This phase has a typical duration of two-to-six weeks depending on the size of the project.

Implementation

Milestones are best implemented by following a build, test and review cycle. This section goes into detail on who should be involved and best practices to follow.

Roll Out

The roll out phase occurs when a version is deployed to the production environment and becomes operational within the business unit. Learn how to coordinate a roll out across multiple stakeholder groups.