I have addressed this topic before however, it is so important let me add…
For the sake of this blog, let’s break a project into 4 phases: Analysis, Design, Construction & Implementation. If the world were perfect and you could do a thorough analysis [or as some people call it – discovery] the people designing the solution should be able to come up with “THE” solution. Construction would be a one-time straight forward event and implementation would be simple.
If the world actually functioned this way, these projects would be relatively quick, easy and have no changes or scope creep. However, this isn’t how the real world works.
How important is Analysis/Discovery to a project? Design, Construction & Implementation all flow from the Analysis. A haphazard Analysis will result in a haphazard design that will need many changes to the design, construction and implementation of the solution. All of these changes can [and often do] more than double the cost of a project as well as delay delivery.
Start by documenting your vision for the solution. If the world were perfect, what would that solution look like? For all practical purposes, the user interface is what software looks like. So, what is the first screen you would like your users to see after they login? What tasks do they need to perform? What information do they need to perform their tasks? What information will they be creating as a result of performing those tasks? Do this for each user.
The better job you do with analysis, the easier it is for the people doing the design, construction & implementation. It all flows downhill. If you leave something out of an analysis, it get more expensive to fix it as you move through the phases. I am not suggesting that you go for perfection, maybe you just spend a little extra time revisiting the analysis for completeness.
Contact me if you would like some help…