In Part 1 of this series, we discussed an overview of Solution Design and its benefits. In the current blog, we shall take a look at how Solution Design, must be typically approached, in order to arrive at one that meets business requirements holistically, eliminates existing pain points and addresses the concerns of all stakeholders adequately.
An elegant Solution Design is key to achieving successful Digital Transformation within a business or an organization.However, attempting to delve straight into Solution Design without adequate groundwork done to understand the current/legacy systems, techno-business landscape and business needs, can result in the Solution getting improperly or inadequately designed. It is therefore wise to invest in getting these pre-requisites well-addressed before proceeding to design a Solution for a new system or a new set of software applications.
So, what do these pre-requisites entail? Let’s take a look:
Software Solution Design should be preceded by the following 3 stages of preparatory work, that is best done by organizations that offer professional Software Technology Consulting services.
This refers to the gathering of information to understand the business and techno-functional landscape as well as the existing software solutions in use, if any. It includes gathering information about the problem statement, business requirements, non-functional requirements, existing IT systems and applications, specific technical requirements and/or system integration touch points etc.
Depending on the kind of assignment being dealt with, professional consultants would employ one or more different types of methods to carry out discovery and information-gathering. These could range from workshops and interviews with stakeholders, shadowing end users or reviewing existing documentation that is available.
During this phase, the information gathered is consolidated and analyzed to identify systems, actors, potential use cases, data flows, data transformation etc. as applicable; areas that need to be specifically addressed in the solution and optimizations that can be made in existing systems or workflows, if any.
This exercise is vital for several reasons. It helps understand the extent to which existing systems, can be re-used or retained, if at all. It throws light on areas where new or latest technologies can be leveraged to improve workflows and quality of operations. It helps give clarity to the Solution Design team to appreciate how various systems interact with each other and with actors that use them. And most importantly, it helps stakeholders understand the true state of the current system and how a new solution might prove to be beneficial. The Solution Design that is eventually developed and delivered must be able to illustrate the same as well, qualitatively and/or quantitatively, as applicable.
Review, Feedback and RefinementThe initial findings and output of the discovery and analysis exercise must be well-documented and circulated amongst key stakeholders for review and feedback. The aim of the feedback is to validate the findings and analysis done thus far, while also covering any knowledge gaps that may exist, and refining the analysis with inputs based on organizational experience with the systems and processes currently in use. Once the feedback has been discussed and incorporated into the existing documentation, it puts the entire team in good stead to move to the next step of actually designing the Solution.
It helps the Solution Architects, in particular, have the best possible insight they can get, as they proceed to carry out Functional Architecture, Interface Design and Technical Architecture Design.
That was a quick walk-through of some important pre-requisites that must be carried out in the run up to actual Software Solution Design. In the subsequent blogs in this series, we will go into the details of what comprises an actual Solution Design exercise and the characteristics of an ideal solution design.
Boston Technology Corporation is a specialized software solutions and services provider, helping you get the best solutions for your needs. With more than 14 years of industry experience, our teams possess extensive knowledge and rich skillsets necessary to successfully design, develop, test and deploy a variety of solutions. Our techno-functional platter of services range from Strategic Technology Consulting and Solution Design to Product Engineering, App Development, Quality Assurance and Testing services and more. Reach out to our team of technology and solution experts, and explore how they can help you meet and exceed goals with the use of technology.