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Solution Architecture

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The Solution Architecture is the bridge that addresses the problem of resolving a technical solution for the meeting of functional and non-functional requirements within the constraints of a documented Enterprise or Reference Architecture and for the purpose of achieving a client’s documented Vision or Scope or Project Charter.  Even for projects that don’t have all these components in place, people contract with Web Age because they want someone to help drive clarity on how to build something - that clarity is the Solution Architecture.

The solution comprises a number of elements or components, which are partitioned into subsets for implementation. Where required, a Component Specification is subsequently prepared.  The primary audience of a Solution Architecture is IT and network architects.  The document would typically be too detailed for business clients as it instantiates the ‘solution’ to the business problem in technical terms.  The primary purpose of a solution architecture engagement is to determine and communicate the essential elements of the overall solution so that:

  1. There is a clarity on all the solution components which need to be built;
  2. The business implications of a design can be assessed and understood; and,
  3. The design activities in Design & Build Stages can proceed if the initiative is approved.

We achieve the following:

  • Provides visibility and exposure of the solution to other architects for peer review.
  • Unambiguously define the overall solution to the business requirements.
  • Partition the solution into parts that can be individually specified and allocated to appropriate providers
  • Assign responsibility for meeting functional and non-functional requirements to each part.P
  • Provides a basis for assessing the overall solution once implemented.
  • Describe how the development and deployment of the solution can be phased if this is required to meet business needs and or to meet technology constraints

Our teams are architecture experts that have worked across Financial Services, Government, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Energy and just about every industry.  This does not mean that we will pretend to be an industry expert - it means that we have the depth of expertise and methods appropriate for being successful regardless of the industry.  Further, if your project is advancing and you know it’s weak in the inputs to a solution architecture, we know how to fix it with minimal disruption to timelines.

This type of project is not done in isolation.  It is done in collaboration with the business and IT organization, with our teams being accountable for ensuring the quality of that collaboration.  

As a general project outline - that changes to fit your organization’s application development approach - our team would:

  • Coordinate and facilitate IT members in the conceptualization and description of the conceptual architecture
  • Train members of IT team in the principles of architecture development, architectural standards, artifacts, and modern architectural approaches to facilitate participation in the process and project excellence if this is needed to level-set the engagement, or if the client is using unfamiliar technology.
  • Develop a Reference Model and Reference Architecture that satisfies the cross-stakeholder functional requirements needs if an enterprise architecture or reference architecture does not yet exist
  • Brief the sponsors or steering committee as needed on the various Architectural Models and the implications of these models to their business
  • Facilitate the your technical team in making Architectural Decisions which elaborate this Reference Architecture by further articulating:
    • Design Strategies and Patterns
    • Data Management strategies to align the needs of this project with corporate, industry or application reference models.
    • Security
    • Work flow management strategy within the system
    • Technical architecture standards:  such as hardware environment, software environment, scalability, availability, and high level disaster recovery needs and the compliance of these needs to corporate, or industry needs.
  • Facilitate the driving of consensus amongst stakeholder-specific functional issues that might impact the architecture.
  • Document architecture requirements, assumptions and constraints.
  • Brief sponsors and steering Committee as needed on elaboration of Architecture, the decisions made, and the impact of these decisions on the consortium as a whole.
  • Work with State members to define strategy options for Deployment
  • Creation of functional building blocks and infrastructure blocks associated with detailed solution architecture and design.
  • Perform the detailed modelling of solution components, functional building blocks or infrastructure blocks or the use of architecture or data modelling tools such as Rational Software Architect or Sparx Enterprise Architect, or whatever other tool you want.
  • Tell you exactly what is needed to do the technical architecture and final system design.

… easy stuff.