Phase 1 – Project Preparation
The Project Preparation phase addresses one of the most fundamental requirements for project success—unification of the project team behind a common vision. The team must have a clear vision of what it wants to accomplish and be able to state it in terms that will motivate the entire team. By creating a high-level view of the project’s goals and constraints, it can serve as an early form of planning; it sets the stage for the more formal planning process that will take place during the Business Blueprint phase.
The primary activities accomplished during Project Preparation are the formation of the core team, and the preparation and delivery of a Project Directive. The delineation of the project objective and the identification of the project scope are distinct activities; both are required for a successful project. Vision is an unbounded view of what a solution may be. Scope identifies the part(s) of the vision can be accomplished within the project constraints.
During the Project Preparation phase, business requirements must be identified and analyzed. These are refined more rigorously during the Blueprint phase.
- Project Directives
- Project Schedule
- Project Team Structure
- Technical Requirements
Phase 2 – Business Blueprint
The Business Blueprint phase is when the bulk of the planning for the project is completed. During this phase the team prepares the functional specification, works through the design process, and prepares work plans, and schedules for the various deliverables. Early in the Business Blueprint phase, the team analyzes and documents requirements in a list. Requirements fall into four broad categories: business requirements, user requirements, operational requirements, and system requirements (those of the solution itself).
There are three levels in the design process: conceptual design, logical design, and physical design. Each level is completed and baselined in a staggered sequence. The results of the design process are documented in the functional specification(s). The functional specification describes in detail how each feature is to look and behave. It also describes the architecture and the design for all the features.
The functional specification serves multiple purposes, such as:
- Instructions to developers on what to build.
- Agreement with customer on exactly what will be built.
- Point of synchronization for the whole team.
Once the functional specifications are base-lined, detailed planning can begin. Each team lead prepares a plan or plans for the deliverables that pertain to their role and participates in team planning sessions. Examples of such plans include a deployment plan, a test plan, an operations plan, a security plan, and/or a training plan. As a group, the team reviews and identifies dependencies among the plans.
- Business Blueprint of the system
- Master project plan and master project schedule
Phase 3 – Realization
During the Realization phase the team accomplishes most of the building of solution components (documentation as well as code). The development team focuses on development, resolving and triaging (prioritizing) bugs and preparing the solution for release. The Realization phase involves more than code development and software developers. The infrastructure is also developed during this phase and all roles are active in building and testing deliverables.
Once a build has been deemed stable enough to be a release candidate, the solution is deployed to UAT environment.
- Program executables
- Installation scripts and configuration settings for deployment
- Frozen functional specification
- Performance support elements
Phase 4 – Final Preparation
The Final Preparation phase conducts testing on a solution whose features are complete. Testing during this phase emphasizes usage and operation under realistic environmental conditions.
Before User Acceptance Test (UAT) commences, Master data information are collected and clean before upload to the system. This is followed by User Training to train user on the new system.
The Final Preparation phase culminates in the system readiness milestone. This milestone is the opportunity for customers and users, operations and support personnel, and key project stakeholders to evaluate the solution and identify any remaining issues that must be addressed before the solution is ready for full deployment.
- Master Table Setup
- Training Guide
- Test specifications and test cases
- Test results and testing tools
- UAT documents
- Readiness review document
Phase 5 – Go ‘LIVE’ Support
During this phase, the team deploys the system for ‘live’ run. The system is transferred to operations and support, and obtains final customer approval for the project to go ‘live’.
The deployment complete milestone culminates the deploying phase. By this time, the deployed solution should be providing the expected business value to the customer and the project team should have effectively terminated the processes and activities it employed to reach this goal. The customer must agree that the team has met its objectives before it can declare the solution to be in production and close out the project. This requires a stable solution, as well as clearly stated success criteria. In order for the solution to be considered stable, appropriate operations and support systems must be in place.
- Operation and support information systems
- Operation Manual
- Project close-out report
- Final versions of all project documents
- Customer/user satisfaction data