Solution Analysis and Planning (SA&P)

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.

The typical outcomes from the SA&P are:

  • High level functional and technical requirements and scope
  • Reference solution architecture, covering:
    • 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 around phases and delivery
  • Planning outlining duration and focus of following Elaboration and Design phase

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
Business Analyst / SME
Persons familiar with the functional needs of the targeted solution.
Technical Leads
Persons familiar with the technical needs of the targeted solution. This is commonly based upon involvement with existing / legacy systems or targeted integrations. Technical roles that are commonly interacted with during this phase are Infrastructure Architects (e.g. SharePoint / Active Directory, etc.); line of business system SMEs (e.g. SAP, Oracle, etc.)
Business and Technical Architect
Persons that are tasked with formulating the initial solution vision and architecture. These people 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.

Below outlines available supporting content for this section:

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 & Design phase.

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).

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.