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.

Once the functional and technical factors are determined, a high-level solution vision and reference architecture can be formulated to show how key components of the proposed solution can 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 allocations generated to allow for initial project costing, which allows for more detailed budgeting and planning discussions.

Typical outcomes from the solution analysis and planning phase are:

  • High-level functional and technical requirements and scope
  • Reference solution architecture, including:
    • Integrations and system interactions
    • Authentication and authorization
    • Data to be managed
    • Forms
    • Workflows
    • Reports
    • Infrastructure needs
  • Initial high-level solution estimate
  • Preliminary project roadmap outlining vision for phases and delivery
  • Plan for duration and focus of elaboration and design phase

Common roles that participate within this phase are outlined below.

ROLE
DESCRIPTION
Business analyst/SME
Individual(s) familiar with the functional needs of the targeted solution.
Technical lead
Individual(s) familiar with the technical needs of the targeted solution – commonly based upon involvement with existing/legacy systems or targeted integrations. Technical roles that are commonly involved in this phase are infrastructure architects (e.g., SharePoint/Active Directory) and line-of-business system SMEs (e.g., SAP, Oracle, proprietary apps).
Business and/or technical architect
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.

Supporting content for this phase:

TEMPLATE
DESCRIPTION
Spreadsheet used to provide an initial estimate for a K2 project based upon high level understanding of expected items that need to be built. This estimate should be refined during the elaboration and design phase.

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).

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.