Initial Discovery

This phase focuses on understanding the high-level goals, needs and timelines for the potential project. This is typically less than a couple of hours of conversation where the key stakeholders of the solution, such as business subject matter experts (SME), technical leads and project manager have a conversation with the leads from the potential implementation team (referred to as Business Architect and Technical Architect).

This 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 are outlined below.

Note: Keep in mind that exact roles can change based upon specific project needs. Additionally, it is common for individual people to be responsible for more than one role.

ROLE
DESCRIPTION
Technical Stakeholder / Sponsor
Person who will own the IT implementation initiative. This is typically a manager / executive.
Business Stakeholder / Sponsor
Person who will own delivered solution. This is typically a manager / executive.
Business Analyst / SME
Person who is familiar with the functional needs of the targeted solution.
Technical Leads
Person who is familiar with the technical needs of the targeted solution. This is commonly based upon involvement with existing / legacy systems or targeted integrations.
Business and Technical Architect
Person tasked with formulating the initial solution vision and architecture. This person will typically drive this initiative through following SA&P 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 during the following project phases.

The outcome of this initial conversation will be to plan the Solution Analysis and Planning (SA&P) phase. Specifically, this initial discovery session should be able to provide insight into who needs to participate within, and how much time should be devoted to, the ensuing SA&P phase. This should allow resources to effectively plan their participation and involvement accordingly to maximize value of the SA&P phase.

Below outlines available supporting content for this section:

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 needs. It will require 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 when having very early stage conversations around a project with very little set requirements or goals. Alternatively this 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. The aim is to 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 to discover initial functional scope, business requirements, technical drivers and integrations. This phase is typically lead by the Business Architect and the Technical Architect leveraged during the Initial Discovery phase. Once the functional and technical factors are determined, a high-level solution vision and reference architecture can be formulated to articulate how the key components of the proposed solution can be aligned and leveraged to achieve the functional requirements. Additionally, initial infrastructure planning can be formulated to support the project needs. With this reference architecture in place, initial estimates can be formulated and work breakdown structures generated to allow for initial project costing; allowing for more detailed budgeting and planning discussions.

Elaboration and Design

Upon completion of the SA&P phase there should be a foundational understanding of the goals, scope and vision of the proposed solution. The Elaboration and Design phase expands the prior work by delving deeper into identifying and documenting the business and technical requirements in order to drive to derive at a target solution architecture, technical design and implementation plan. This phase can be of a short duration depending on the size of the project.

Implementation

The below Build, Test and Review cycles fall within a given milestone. This section goes into detail on who should be involved and best practices to follow.

Roll Out

The rollout phase is when a version is deployed to the Production environment and becomes operational within the business unit. This requires planning and coordination across multiple units.