Process

MEPIS can help with each phase of a project: feasibility, analysis, design, development and deployment.

Feasibility Phase

Desired outcome and current situation:

  • What is the business problem or opportunity

  • Where do existing processes and systems fall short

  • What are the strengths of existing processes and systems

  • What are the expected benefits of making changes

  • What are the possible procedural improvements

  • What existing systems and processes perform similar functions or process similar data

  • What parts of existing systems must be reused

  • Relevant success factors for the company's business

  • How the proposed solution relates to these factors

Primary stakeholders:

  • Who will fund the project

  • Who will be the primary users

  • Who will be secondary users

  • Will company policies be affected by the proposed change

  • Who are the business experts who will define business rules

  • What departments and external entities will be impacted by the proposed change

  • Who will provide final technical and operational approval for implementation of the system

Responsible parties:

  • The entire project

  • Approving the scope

  • Securing the budget

  • Acting as liaison to external staff/departments

  • Providing resources as required for success

  • Defining governance for the project

Initial team members and their roles:

  • Project manager to manage the core team

  • Business experts to identify and document business requirements and rules, test criteria and training requirements

  • Business and systems architects to provide design guidance and oversight

  • QA coordinator to ensure quality throughout the project

Developers to analyze, design, and build solution software Scope of the solution, including constraints:

  • The business problem to be solved

  • Included business functions

  • Functions not included and/or deferred

  • Opportunities for re-engineering, remediation and/or modernization

  • Security requirements (per policy and/or compliance)

  • Required time-frame from start of analysis to successful deployment

  • Estimated required resources

  • Proposed budget

  • Identified risks (including obstacles)

  • Actions to mitigate risks

  • Results of a cost/benefit analysis

  • Decide feasibility in a preliminary project plan with time and resource estimates

Analysis Phase

Requirements and critical issues, including as-is and to-be:

  • Business functions

  • Data required for the business functions

  • Business rules to determine data behavior, constraints, limits, relationships, and life-cycle

  • Business functional flow

  • Related systems inside and outside the enterprise

  • Interfaces with other external and internal business systems

Other requirements and constraints:

  • Existing data that may have to be converted

  • Opportunities for re-engineering

  • A preliminary transition plan

  • Security requirements

  • IT environment and enterprise standards (includes security, network, hardware, database, desktop tools, middleware, and application software delivery issues)

  • Technical architectures that maximize opportunities for appropriate sharing of information

  • Critical factors (up-time, response time, etc.)

  • Architectural issues such as network and systems infrastructure capacity

  • Company policy and regulatory compliance affected

  • Contingency planning

Build v. buy:

  • Are COTS products available that would address the majority of the business problems

  • Are those products compatible with the enterprise technical environment, standards and future plans (includes security, network, database, desktop tools, and middleware)

  • Does either approach have a significantly better full life-cycle cost of ownership

  • Are the necessary internal resources available for building a solution

  • Are the necessary contract resources available for building a solution

  • Does either approach provide a significant time-frame advantage

Operations plans and potential related issues:

  • How will the solution be deployed

  • How will upgrades be accomplished

  • What desktop and server hardware is needed   Available now, need upgrades, buy new

  • What is the appropriate timing and strategy for backing up data

  • What is the disaster plan

  • What resources are needed to support ongoing operations

  • How will user and stakeholder communication be handled

High-level conclusions of the analysis:

  • Acceptable approaches   

  • Acceptable technologies and high level architectures

  • Opportunities for re-engineering

  • Resource needs (people, money, equipment)

  • Unacceptable approaches

  • Unacceptable technologies and architectures

  • What significant risks

  • What development methodology  (waterfall, iterative, agile)

  • Build prototype first or test proof of concept

Design Phase

Detailed business design:

  • Business flow

  • Data structures

  • Data and process interaction

  • Reports (transactional, analytical)

  • UI (layout, flow, style)

  • Prototypes

  • Data conversions

  • Interfaces to other systems

  • Preliminary training plan

  • Preliminary test plan

  • Preliminary deployment plan

  • Standards and conformance (languages, vendors, hardware)

  • Systems architecture (development, testing, training, production environments, and capacity planning)

  • Preliminary contingency plan

  • Access and authorization plan

  • Operations plan

Review business design:

  • Business experts review

  • QA review of requirements v. design

  • Systems architect review that designs are compatible and consistent with standards

Detailed solution design:

  • UI

  • Reports

  • Batch processes

  • Callable components and sub-systems

  • Data structure implementation

  • Data integrity assurance

  • Data conversions

  • Component and systems interfaces

  • Solution architecture

Finalize plans:

  • Development methodology (waterfall, iterative, agile)

  • Training

  • Testing

  • Deployment

  • Configuration management (includes version control, code migration, security, servers)

  • Contingency plan

  • Disaster recovery

  • Capacity growth

  • Access and authorization plan

  • Operations plan

Review solution design:

  • Business expert review

  • QA review to assure that requirements are met and standards followed

  • Systems architecture review to ensure no integrity or compatibility problems

Development Phase

Build and unit-test:

  • Solution architecture

  • Configuration environment

  • Software objects

  • Test data

Pre-deployment tests:

  • Systems integration

  • Performance (response, recovery, back-up, error correction, stress)

  • Initial stakeholder acceptance

  • Security compliance

Deliver training:

  • Finalize training plan

  • Begin user training

  • Ongoing training after deployment

Deployment Phase

Prepare and deploy solution:

  • Data conversions

  • Fallback and/or contingency plans and considerations

  • Systems environment

  • User environment

  • Software support

  • Emergency response

  • Help desk

  • Documentation (e.g. Overviews, User Guides, Training Manuals, Reference manuals, etc)

  • Complete cutover to new business and software processes