Category : Expertise
Publication Date : 03.06.2021

Pre-project Business Analysis : Scoping or Solution envisioning

Let’s focus today on preparing to launch a project for a specific functional/technical area:

Whether you want to work in AGILE mode or not, the starting point is to scope the project, to define and present the big picture, and then determine the best possible organization, with the appropriate resources.

By scoping phase, we mean the preparation of a note or a report, which will present the foundations and the macro elements of the project, useful for:

  • Start discussions with the internal project team or a technology partner/provider
  • Share the stakes and objectives, and collaboratively validate a global vision before going any further
  • Establish a reference documentation, which can be maintained/updated at each stage of the project and which should be easily accessible to stakeholders

The Solution Envisioning, even if it presents the scoping content, goes one step further, by working more precisely on:

  • the identification and definition of functional requirements and technical prerequisites,
  • the design of an appropriated technical solution
  • the project’s roadmap

→ Answering the question : WHY ?

The person(s) in charge of this analysis, through exchanges or conclusions of upstream strategic analyses, will then formalise:

  • The origin of the need: poor performance indicators, user/stakeholder request, sticking point, optimization/improvement topic to be addressed, ...
  • The project perimeter: considered departments/teams/processes, tools/applications/data, …
  • Goals: Optimize the working time of teams by digitalizing/automating, securing information, improving the customer experience, etc.
  • The stakeholders (internal, external)
  • The possible conclusions of an Opportunity study
  • Constraints and risks already identified

→ Answering the question : WHAT ?

The starting point here will be to validate the following assumptions:

  • Actors and their Business/operational stakes
  • Existing tools and entities they deal with (documents, data, associated Business logic, security rules, permissions, …)
  • Functional/technical shortcomings of the existing system, optimization/re-engineering options, ...

To then accompany the reflection towards the expected solution:

  • Identify all the needs/expectations of the business/operational teams
  • Identify all technical prerequisites/requirements
  • Identify what to keep from the existing one, if any, and what to drop
  • Formalise all functional specifications in an intelligible and user-friendly document
  • Helping to think about priority levels

Collaborate with technical experts (internal or external) to identify and challenge the technical/technological hypothesis, relevant for the project:

Whether we are talking about the re-engineering of the current tool or the creation of a new solution from scratch, this stage will make it possible to decide between the installation of an application available on the market (standard and/or customized settings), an implementation based on low-code resources or the development of a full custom solution.

The objective here is to propose one or more implementation hypotheses, as well as macro-estimates, and to highlight the interdependencies and the optimal sequencing/phasing of the project.

→ Answering the question: HOW ?

We will present here the hypotheses and recommendations in terms of resources (human, technical, financial, etc.), project organisation and key milestones (time and budget).

Crossed with the estimates and business inputs, these elements will help to build and present a coherent project plan based on the functional/operational priorities, the technical requirements and the client's budgetary and/or planning constraints.

→ Method of pre-project analysis

To do this, it is important to structure the process, including:

  • The organization of a demo of several solutions to help projecting, if necessary
  • The organization of workshops and brainstorming sessions with the business/project and technical teams
  • A precise work of formalisation of the gathered needs
  • Reviewing session
  • A feedback meeting with the teams  

It is also essential to take care of the deliverables, which will be shared with the teams: both in terms of content and form, they must be clear, precise, simple to consume, and easily maintained over time:

  • Meeting reports
  • Reference documents (logical flows, mock-ups, Documentary tree structures, security flows,… Depending the context)
  • Requirements list and follow-up
  • Technical proposal ans estimations
  • Provisional planning of the project
  • Project management strategy (organization, delivery milestones, support in setting up the acceptance process, etc.)

Through its new centre of competence called “Digital Strategy and project”, AINOS offers various business analysis support plans, including services for Solution envisioning: don’t hesitate to contact us to have a talk about it, our team will be pleased to exchange with you!