Phase III
Software Capability Design

The nature of Software Capability Design work is the conversion of the results of envisioning – the Solution Concept – into an actionable set of high-level designs and plans for building the solution.  Its purpose is to complete the development and documentation of a Solution Realization Roadmap. These deliverables must be sufficient to scope, fund and launch an efficient final phase for assembling, deploying and adopting the solution. 

When the capability view of the conceptual architecture has been developed, the technical components of the solution can be identified. It is at this stage that technology decisions will be made and a component or service-oriented architecture defined. The organizational impact of the solution will be understood and planned for. Priorities for implementation will guide the creation of a roadmap including a solution blueprint and plans for its realization.

In summary, the Capability Design work entails:

  • Making commitments to technology decisions
  • Elaborating the capability architecture of the solution
  • Specifying evolvable solutions using component and service-oriented architectures
  • Completing a business case sufficient to support the final development of the solution
  • Creating communication and organizational change strategies
  • Building a solution realization roadmap
The phase is completed when the work of Solution Envisioning has been packaged as an actionable shared memory in the organization. [1] This means that the business goals, justification, high-level designs and plans have been clearly articulated and documented in a form directly usable in the construction phases.  The construction can be accomplished in a number of ways.  Whether the approach is to buy, build or both, the goal is to set the stage for an efficient and successful realization and adoption.  The Solution Envisioning deliverables are designed to provide a seamless connection to popular software engineering methods by providing the input they specify and require.


  1. By shared memory we mean they are documented in an accessible and understandable form.  By actionable we mean that sufficient consensus and commitment has been achieved in an organization to act.