Core Idea and Business Need
Here, we focus on the business problem, and the quantification and prioritization of business needs. It’s the critical first step in defining overall project direction. Fail in this step, and business objectives fail to be met.
The analytical process results in the recommended solution. This stage is only complete when any functional specifications or supporting-analysis documents defined in the Discovery Stage (see the Five Stages of Development) have been delivered.
Analysis results in a clearer understanding of the business model and solutions model. Through it, functional specifications are achieved.
In the context of Implementation, Design focuses on the potential integration of all aspects of the solution. For online solutions, it could involve the selection of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. To support-sales efforts, it could mean the production of a suite of business-development tools. Decisions made here mitigate integration risks.
This stage involves full-scale production of whatever the project, initiative or campaign requires. (It is analogous to Stage 3 of the Five Stages of Development.) Because all major decisions leading to this phase have been thoroughly reviewed, this is a period of pure tactical activity.
Our Quality Assurance (QA) work validates, through demonstration, that the solution is complete as specified during Analysis, Design and Construction. The goal: zero-defect workmanship, whether the final product is a Web site, software, sales support system or strategy plan. The QA phase starts as early as analysis when testing the prototype, and is an ongoing part of all development and production.