Solution Architecture Concept Workshop

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  • 1. Solution Architecture Concept Workshop Alan McSweeney
  • 2. Agenda
    • Objectives
    • Benefits
    • Limitations and restrictions
    • Service activities
    • Preparation and delivery times
    • Workshop process
    • Intended customer audience
    • Delivery skills
    • Roles and responsibilities
    • Job titles and solution architecture concept roles
    • Location of delivery materials
  • 3. Objectives of Solution Architecture Concept
    • Provide the context for understanding the interrelationships of the business and technical components of a solution that is designed to support a company’s business
    • Agree on the fundamental purpose, value, and use of the proposed information system/initiative
    • Define the scope of the solution architecture; the essential components
    • Develop an architectural overview of the solution that will serve as a basis for timely decision making
  • 4. Benefits of Solution Architecture Concept
    • Develop a practical decision framework for a solution that addresses business, functional, technical, and implementation perspectives. The framework provides linkage information to trace decisions to driving principles.
    • Develop a solution that has a potentially longer life span because the solution is:
      • More likely to meet the true needs of the customer
      • Designed to evolve in the directions most likely to occur
    • Optimise a project in scope and effectiveness
    • Ensure the most important aspects of the project are developed and delivered early
    • Give a better understanding of the customer’s business environment and needs
  • 5. Limitations and Restrictions
    • Solution Architecture Concept does not include:
      • An in-depth analysis of the customer’s business
      • A complete blueprint of the solution architecture
      • Design or implementation of the solution architecture
  • 6. Solution Architecture Concept Service Activities
    • Part I – Introduction and Workshop Preparation
      • Evaluate Engagement and Prepare to Meet the Customer Sponsor
      • Meet with the Customer Sponsor
      • Agree on Work to be Done
      • Prepare for the Workshop Delivery
    • Part II – Architecture Concept Workshop
      • Conduct Workshop Day 1 – Business and Functional View
      • Finalise Preparations for Day 2
      • Conduct Workshop Day 2 – Technology and Implementation View
    • Part III – Documentation and Presentation of Findings
      • Prepare the Workshop Deliverables
      • Deliver Workshop Report and Presentation
      • Finalise the Project
  • 7. Solution Architecture Concept Preparation and Delivery Times
    • Estimated times are for the actual work and do not include the elapsed time between activities
    • The time to prepare for the workshop delivery is an estimate for an experienced solution architect
    101+ hours Total Estimated Time 2 hours Finalise the Project 10 2 hours Deliver Workshop Report and Presentation 9 20 hours Prepare the Workshop Deliverables 8 24 hours (8 hours x 3 days) Conduct Workshop Day 2 – Technology and Implementation View 7 4 hours Finalise Preparations for Day 2 6 24 hours (8 hours x 3 days) Conduct Workshop Day 1 – Business and Functional View 5 20+ hours (2) Prepare for the Workshop Delivery 4 2+ hours Agree on Work to be Done 3 1 hour Meet with the Customer Sponsor 2 2 hours Evaluate Engagement and Prepare to Meet the Customer Sponsor 1 Estimated Preparation and Delivery Time (1) Task Activity
  • 8. Solution Architecture Concept Workshop Process
    • Off-site to avoid interruptions
    • Team
      • Solution architect who acts as facilitator
      • One or more subject matter experts
      • Support consultant who documents the results
  • 9. Intended Audience
    • Solution Architecture Concept targeted at :
      • Are developing solutions that are part of business innovations (such as electronic commerce, data warehousing, and large-scale workflow) that affect day-to-day working operations
      • Need broad buy-in from multiple stakeholders
      • Have experienced rapid change in business complexity, business models, or technology
      • Are willing to invest some up-front effort to ensure they build the right solution
      • Need to be confident that the target user groups will accept and use the solution
      • Need to ensure that their business and functional considerations explicitly drive solutions
      • Need to track principles and requirements throughout the design and development process
  • 10. Intended Audience
    • Solution Architecture Concept is important for solutions where the customer understands the overall business scope and direction into which the solution fits
    • Solution Architecture Concept might not be needed for projects where requirements and implementations are well understood
  • 11. Intended Customer Audience
    • Customer sponsor helps to identify workshop participants and stakeholders that can be interviewed before the workshop
    • Customer sponsor and key stakeholders determine who will attend, what to discuss, and what information to provide to attendees
    • Only some of the participants attend both days of the workshop
    • Attendees on the first day are primarily concerned with business and functional aspects of the solution
    • Attendees on the second day are primarily concerned with technical and implementation aspects of the solution
  • 12. Delivery Skills
    • Solution Architect and/or Technology Consultant with skills:
      • IT Strategy and Architecture
      • General information system architecture
      • Domain-specific business and technical architecture(s), such as Internet, intranet, extranet, data warehouse, electronic commerce, and security
      • Modeling tools (UML)
    • Delivery training (Delivering the Solution Architecture Concept Service)
    • Skill in workshop facilitation, working in teams, report writing and presentation delivery
  • 13. Customer Roles and Responsibilities
    • Customer Sponsor
    • Sponsor’s Agent
    • Key Stakeholders
    • Participants
  • 14. Customer Roles and Responsibilities - Customer Sponsor
    • Customer Sponsor
      • Ideally a high-level executive, such as director group manager, on either the business or the information technology (IT) side
      • Have overall responsibility for achieving a business result in the area the solution covers
    • Responsible for:
      • Initiating the workshop and approving plans
      • Interfacing with the account manager to identify needs and communicate expectations
      • Meeting with the solution architect before the workshop to approve direction and plans
      • Approving the Letter of Engagement (LOE)
      • Identifying an agent to work
      • Meeting with the solution architect after the workshop to provide feedback
  • 15. Customer Roles and Responsibilities - Sponsor’s Agent
    • Sponsor’s Agent
    • Responsible for:
      • Representing the customer sponsor, ensuring customer needs are addressed, and handling workshop logistics
      • Providing input on the problem
      • Managing funding and support issues
      • Identifying key stakeholders and participants
      • Arranging for workshop location and supplies
      • Communicating with the customer team
      • Addressing issues that affect the success of the workshop
  • 16. Customer Roles and Responsibilities - Key Stakeholders
    • Key Stakeholders
      • People in the customer organisation who must buy into the workshop’s goals and results
      • Can help ensure the success of a workshop
      • Can undermine any agreements or initiatives resulting from the workshop if they do not buy into the workshop
    • Responsible for:
      • Providing input on the problem
      • Work to identify the business drivers, principles, models, and standards
      • Explaining customer needs and issues
      • Inform of potential problems
      • Responding to business and IT questions
  • 17. Customer Roles and Responsibilities - Participants
    • Participants
      • Attend the workshop and providing input on areas of the problem that affect them
  • 18. Job Titles and Solution Architecture Concept Workshop Roles
    • Engagement Manager
    • Solution Architect
    • Facilitator
    • Subject Matter Expert (SME)
    • Account Manager
    • Support Consultant
  • 19. Engagement Manager
    • Shares the responsibility for customer satisfaction with the solution architect
    • Sometimes the engagement manager also fills the role of facilitator
    • Responsible for:
      • Arranging and ensuring the successful and timely delivery of the Architecture Concept Service
      • Ensuring the right customer parties are engaged
      • Managing overall logistics for the service
      • Tracking the budget
  • 20. Solution Architect
    • Shares responsibility for customer satisfaction with the engagement manager
    • Fills the facilitator role additionally
    • Responsible for:
      • Delivering the Architecture Concept Service
      • Defining what to deliver
      • Designing the workshop
      • Performing the service
        • Interviewing
        • Interacting with the customers during the workshop
        • Analysing and synthesising the report
        • Creating the presentation
        • Leading the report presentation meeting-
        • Cleaning up loose ends
  • 21. Facilitator
    • Solution architect usually fills the facilitator role.
    • Engagement manager may fills the role of facilitator
      • In this case, the solution architect can sometimes fill the role of SME
      • Same person usually facilitates both days of the workshop
    • Responsible for
      • Ensuring the workshop runs smoothly
      • Following the agenda and timekeeping
      • Capturing the results on flip charts (or other media visible to workshop attendees)
      • Recognising and addressing any political, personal, or other issues that might jeopardise the ability to meet the stated workshop goals
      • Analysing, clarifying, summarising
  • 22. Subject Matter Expert (SME)
    • Providing business and/or technical expertise in one or more areas needed by the engagement
    • Solution architect can fill the SME role
      • Not recommended because it puts a heavy load on the solution architect
  • 23. Account Manager
    • Does not need to attend the workshops
    • Needs to be kept informed of the workshop results
    • Account Executive is an essential party to the final report and presentation
    • Responsible for:
      • Managing the relationship with the customer (overall or services) and selling follow-on engagements
      • Identifying the opportunity
      • Providing access to key customer contacts
      • Positioning the engagement within an overall context of the customer’s business
      • Selling the value of the result
  • 24. Support Consultant
    • Responsible for:
      • Capturing all relevant information generated during the course of the workshop
      • Performing research
      • Helping to draft documents
      • Capturing and documenting complete interview and workshop results
      • Ensuring completeness of information
      • Summarising the issues and results
  • 25. Job Titles and Solution Architecture Concept Workshop Roles
    • Y = Yes
    • ~Y = Generally yes, but verify that a specific individual with this title can fill this role
    • N = No
    • ~N = Generally no, but some individuals might have the skills to fill this role
    • M = Might have these skills (people with this job title often can fill this role)
    • * = Job title is the same as the role
    N ~Y N N N * Facilitator ~Y ~Y M N Y ~Y Business Developer ~N ~Y M N Y ~Y Program/Project Manager * M N N M M Account Executive (Sales) N Y Y √ ~Y ~Y Solution Architect N ~Y Y M M M Technology Consultant Account Executive Support Consultant Subject Matter Expert Solution Architect Engagement Manager Facilitator Job Titles Concept Workshop Engagement Roles
  • 26. Service Delivery Roadmap Introduction & Preparation  Finalise Project Revise Report, Deliver to Sponsor Presentation Workshop 2 days  Finalize Prep for Day 2  Evaluate Engagement  Agree on Work Presentation Draft Report  Prepare Workshop Deliverables  Prepare for Workshop Delivery Interview Key Stakeholders  Meet Sponsor  Run Workshop Day 2 Implementation View Technical View Principles, Models, Standards 1__________ 2__________ 3__________ 4__________  Run Workshop Day 1 Functional View Business View Principles, Models, Standards 1__________ 2__________ 3__________ 4__________ Business Drivers 1. Profit on widgets is dropping 2. Customers buy widgets expecting support Implementation Technical Functional Business Drivers and Principles:
    • ITSA
    • Business view
    • Functional view
    Agenda Day 1  Deliver Report & Presentation Next Steps
  • 27. Part I: Introduction and Workshop Preparation
    • Activity 1: Evaluate Engagement and Prepare to Meet the Customer Sponsor
      • Step 1: Review and understand the opportunity
      • Step 2: Identify the customer sponsor
      • Step 3: Prepare for the initial customer sponsor meeting
    • Activity 2: Meet with the Customer Sponsor
      • Step 1: Introduce Services and the Architecture Concept Service
      • Step 2: Understand the scope of the business opportunity
      • Step 3: Determine if the customer sponsor is ready to begin planning the workshop. (If yes, go to Activity 3; if no, continue with step 4)
      • Step 4: Review the initial customer sponsor meeting
      • Step 5: Write and deliver the Letter of Understanding (LOU)
    • Activity 3: Agree on Work to be Done
      • Step 1: Work with the customer sponsor to develop plan for the workshop
      • Step 2: Write and deliver the Consulting Services Agreement (CSA)
      • Step 3: Get CSA contract signed
    • Activity 4: Prepare for Workshop Delivery
      • Step 1: Interview stakeholders identified by the customer sponsor
      • Step 2: Finalise schedule
      • Step 3: Write and deliver briefing letter for workshop attendees
      • Step 4: Assemble and prepare team for Architecture Concept workshop
      • Step 5: Prepare for the workshop
      • Step 6: Get the team together on site
      • Step 7: Meet with the customer sponsor immediately before the workshop
  • 28. Activity 1: Evaluate Engagement and Prepare to Meet Customer Sponsor
    • Objectives
      • To determine the source and scope of the business opportunity
      • To identify the customer sponsor and prepare for initial meeting
    • Prerequisites
      • Identify the opportunity and the customer is serious about wanting to deliver the Solution Architecture Concept
    • Qualified the customer
    • Completion Criteria
      • The team has a general understanding of the business opportunity
  • 29. Activity 2: Meet with the Customer Sponsor
    • Objectives
      • To introduce the Services delivery team to the customer sponsor
      • To check the chemistry of the interaction between the team and customer representatives
      • To discuss customer needs, such as their overall goal, current status, questions, and decisions they need to make
      • To gather information from the customer sponsor on the business and technical context of the work and their technology adoption profile
      • To understand the unique requirements of the engagement and the delivery team
    • Prerequisites
      • The team has met with the Account Executive to understand commitments to the customer and any background information.
      • The team has a plan for positioning the workshop
      • The team has a value proposition for Solution Architecture and the Architecture Concept
    • Completion Criteria
      • The customer understands the service deliverables as defined in the Service Description (SD)
      • The engagement manager and solution architect have a clear understanding of the customer’s environment and expectations
      • Optional – The engagement manager has written and delivered a Letter of Understanding (LOU) to the customer
  • 30. Activity 3: Agree on Work to be Done
    • Objectives
      • To close on the definition of the service to be performed
      • To identify people to fill the customer roles: sponsor’s agent, key stakeholders, and other participants.
      • To establish a tentative schedule
      • To write, deliver, and get signoff on the Concept Consulting Services Agreement contract
    • Prerequisites
      • The engagement manager and solution architect have had an initial meeting with the customer sponsor and have a general understanding of the business opportunity
    • Completion Criteria
      • The customer has signed the Concept Consulting Services Agreement contract
  • 31. Activity 4: Prepare for the Workshop Delivery
    • Objectives
      • To interview key stakeholders
      • To finalise the schedule
      • To assemble and prepare the team for the workshop
      • To prepare for the workshop, including gathering/developing materials, planning work site, arranging for equipment, and reviewing final agenda
    • Prerequisites
      • The customer has signed the CSA
    • Completion Criteria
      • The solution architect has interviewed all key stakeholders.
      • All customer participants have received the workshop briefing letter, which describes what will be done, why, and the level of commitment expected
      • Key participants have committed to attend the workshop
      • The team is onsite and prepared to deliver the workshop
      • The solution architect or engagement manager has consulted the customer sponsor for any last-minute corrections to the workshop
  • 32. Part II: Concept Workshop
    • Activity 5: Conduct Workshop Day 1 – Business and Functional View
      • Step 1: Conduct workshop day 1
      • Step 2: Review day 1
      • Step 3: Report status back to the customer sponsor (or the sponsor’s agent)
    • Activity 6: Finalise Preparations for Day 2
      • Step 1: Complete preparations for day 2
    • Activity 7: Conduct Workshop Day 2 – Technology and Implementation View
      • Step 1: Conduct workshop day 2
      • Step 2: Review day 2
      • Step 3: Review the entire workshop with the customer sponsor
  • 33. Activity 5: Conduct Workshop Day 1 – Business and Functional View
    • Objectives
      • To conduct a well-run and productive concept workshop day 1
      • To review day 1
    • Prerequisites
      • The customer understands the objectives of this activity
      • The team has completed the pre-workshop activities in Part I
    • Completion Criteria
      • The team has completed day 1 of the concept workshop
  • 34. Activity 6: Finalise Preparations for Day 2
    • Objectives
      • To make adjustments based on day 1 and prepare for day 2
    • Prerequisites
      • The team has completed day 1 of the workshop
      • The team has captured and reviewed information from day 1
    • Completion Criteria
      • The team has completed preparations for day 2 of the Architecture Concept workshop
  • 35. Activity 7: Conduct Workshop Day 2 – Technology and Implementation View
    • Objectives
      • To conduct a well-run and productive Architecture Concept workshop day 2
      • To review the workshop, identify key points and next steps
      • To make preliminary plans for producing and delivering the summary report and presentation
    • Prerequisites
      • The customer understands the objectives of this activity
      • The team has completed the preparation activities for day 2 listed in Activity 6
    • Completion Criteria
      • The team has completed day 2 of the Architecture Concept workshop
      • The team has completed the summary of day 2 with the customer
  • 36. Part III: Documentation and Presentation of Findings
    • Activity 8: Prepare the workshop deliverables
      • Step 1: Prepare a draft workshop report that summarises the workshop
      • Step 2: Prepare the slide presentation
      • Step 3: Discuss the draft workshop report and slides with the account executive
      • Step 4: Revise the draft workshop report and slides
      • Step 5: Plan the logistics of the presentation meeting
    • Activity 9: Deliver the draft workshop report and presentation
      • Step 1: Deliver the draft workshop report and presentation to the customer sponsor
    • Activity 10: Finalise the project
      • Step 1: Revise the draft workshop report
      • Step 2: Mail or deliver the revised workshop report to the customer sponsor
      • Step 3: Close the project
  • 37. Activity 8: Prepare the Workshop Deliverables
    • Objectives
      • To review the workshop and prepare the summary report and presentation for the customer
      • To identify the next steps and possible future work
    • Prerequisites
      • The team has completed the workshop and gathered information from the customer on final reactions and key points
    • Completion Criteria
      • The team has completed the draft report and slides, including a list of actions and next steps to make progress on the solution
      • The account executive has approved the draft report and slides
  • 38. Activity 9: Deliver Workshop Report and Presentation
    • Objectives
      • To deliver the draft workshop report and presentation.
      • To get the sponsor to commit to implement the report’s recommendations or at least take the next step. The next step will often be to form a customer architect team for the solution. This team consists of a business leader, a program manager, and possibly an architect, with an architect to flesh out what needs to go into a Solution Architecture Blueprint
    • Prerequisites
      • The customer understands the objectives of this activity
      • The team has completed the draft workshop report and presentation
      • The account executive is available to address any opportunities during the presentation
    • Completion Criteria
      • The solution architect has delivered the draft workshop report and presentation
  • 39. Activity 10: Finalise the Project
    • Objectives
      • To make final changes, gather summary input, and close the project
    • Prerequisites
      • The customer understands the objectives of this activity
      • The solution architect has delivered the draft report and presentation to the customer sponsor
      • The account executive has identified any next steps and new opportunities
    • Completion Criteria
      • The engagement manager has delivered the final report to the customer and formally closed the project
      • The solution architect has prepared a project closure report that includes post-engagement analysis
      • Ideally, there is an agreement from the customer sponsor to begin a follow-on engagement
  • 40. Solution Architecture Concept Workshop Templates
    • ITSA Overview Customer Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • Requirements Methodology Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • Solution Architecture Concept Facilitator's Guide V0.1.doc
    • Solution Architecture Concept Service Delivery Guide V0.1.doc
    • A1 - Evaluate Engagement
    • A10 - Finalise Project - No Tools
    • A2 - Meet Sponsor
    • A3 - Agree on Work
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop Delivery
    • A5 - Run Workshop Day 1
    • A6 - Finalise Preparation for Day 2
    • A7 - Run Workshop Day 2 - No Tools
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop Deliverables
    • A9 - Deliver Report and Presentation - No Tools
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementITSA Overview Customer Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementLOU Engagement Plan Example V0.1.doc
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementLOU Engagement Plan V0.1.doc
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementOpportunity Assessment Worksheet V0.1.doc
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementPrevious Experience Worksheet V0.1.doc
    • A1 - Evaluate EngagementVendor Matrix Example V0.1.ppt
    • A2 - Meet SponsorAccount Profile and Data Collection Worksheet V0.1.doc
    • A2 - Meet SponsorPlanning for Successful Contracts V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryBusiness View Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryC Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryCapture Template for Drivers, Principles, and Related Information V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryConcept Agendas V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryFunctional View Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryImplementation View Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryParticipant Briefing Letter V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryPre-Workshop Customer Sponsor Meeting Planner V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryPresentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryTechnical View Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Agenda Example V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Agenda V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Content and Role Planner V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Customer Participant Planner V0.1.doc
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Introduction Presentation V0.1.ppt
    • A4 - Prepare for Workshop DeliveryWorkshop Logistics Planner V0.1.doc
    • A5 - Run Workshop Day 1Key Questions for Customers.doc
    • A5 - Run Workshop Day 1Litmus Test for Principles Checklist.doc
    • A5 - Run Workshop Day 1Vision Exercise Planner.doc
    • A6 - Finalise Preparation for Day 2Interim Summary Presentation Example.ppt
    • A6 - Finalise Preparation for Day 2Interim Summary Presentation Planner.doc
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesPresentation Preparation Checklist.doc
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesReport on Architecture Workshop Example.doc
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesReport on Architecture Workshop.doc
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesReport Outline.doc
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesSponsor Presentation Example.ppt
    • A8 - Prepare Workshop DeliverablesSponsor Presentation.ppt
  • 41. More Information
        • Alan McSweeney
        • [email_address]