In the Definition phase, we plan the project, review Customer business objectives, understand the business processes, and evaluate the feasibility of meeting those objectives under time, resource and budget constraints. The emphasis is on building an achievable work plan and introducing guidelines on how the organization will work to achieve common objectives. Establishing scope early in the implementation gives the team a common reference point and an effective way to communicate. Strategies, objectives and approaches are determined for each (IM) process, providing the basis for the project plan. Sharing an accurate understanding of these requirements is a critical success factor for the project.
The team reviews financial, operational, technical and administrative processes and leads workshops with representatives from the organization’s staff to verify that all stakeholders understand and agree on the detailed business requirements. Then, the project team develops high-level process scenarios that are used to assess the level of fit between the idealized future processes for the organization and standard application functionality. Gaps are identified, and corresponding solutions developed. The analysis results in a high-level design for future business processes. This high-level design is developed into more detailed business process designs during the Operations Analysis phase.
During Operations Analysis, the project team develops the Business Requirements Scenarios based on deliverables from Definition that are used to assess the level of fit between the detailed business requirements and standard application functionality. Gaps are identified and new proposed solutions are developed. The analysis results in a proposal for conducting business operations under the envisioned application technical architecture. Proposed solutions for gaps evolve into detailed designs during the Solution Design phase.
To develop models of future business operations, we must verify initial assumptions regarding proposed functionality for gaps. The new system may require only minor modifications to forms, reports and programs. The team should explore workarounds to application gaps before considering custom modifications or new developments. If the new system requires custom development, the team prepares high-level design documents. These documents include general description of the required features and a work estimate for each customization. The approach to be taken for the customizations and estimates are approved before detailed design begins during Solution Design.
During this phase, work sessions are conducted for middle managers and first-line managers who are not on the project team, to assume their role in a successful implementation. Finally, a Transition Strategy is developed for migration of the organization from the current system to the new production system.