Stage 3: Solution Outline Definition Phase

Purpose: Produce a high level conceptual design of one or more potential solutions.

Also known as conceptual design. Need to be kept high level to avoid limiting creativity.

Develop a description and illustration of one or more potential solutions.

Be aware that business sponsor may decide to not take any of them forward to next stage. That is the point of stages!

The main thing to produce is something visual, for wide consumption. It may need to be supported by multiple more details documents tailored for  different stakeholder viewpoints.

This stage should be used to resolve differences/disagreements between stakeholders in the general approach

Stage 3 – Solution Outline HowTo

Use techniques such as idealisation, generalisation and composition in order to keep things abstract. The designs should be at the higher end of the idealisation hierarchy that goes from conceptual -> logical -> physical

Don’t want to constrain the final design, keep an open mind and don’t jump to conclusions.

Use visual representations where possible as they promote discussion more easily.

Use visual representations shared with stakeholders via presentations etc to allow concerns to be raised

A traceability grid is very useful for explaining to stakeholders how the solution concept components were arrived at from the original solution vision. It gives a way to capture why any variations in the design have occurred (e.g. new requirements being discovered).