The Activities and Workproducts of Phase III, Software Capability Design





Evaluate Technology Options and Decide Development Strategy
Make a decision on the development strategy/implementation approach. Develop a decision model for selecting technologies and vendors. Two common approaches to decision modeling are multi-criteria decision tree and the AHP (Analytical Hierarchical Process) technique. Another approach, which deals with uncertainty, is a Bayesian method using "Belief Maps."

Technology Decision Model:
A Decision Model lists criteria used to decide on technology options. Each criterion may be given a relative weight. A Decision Model can be implemented as a spreadsheet, although we believe that the decision support tools are better suited for this purpose.

Several decision models may be produced including:

  • Models for evaluating implementation strategies
  • Models for selecting vendors for a chosen implementation strategy

Input to technology options come from several workproducts of previous phases, including: Technology Strategy Outline prepared in the BCE phase; Capability Cases identification of Applicable Technologies; Solution Options Decision Model created in the SCE phase


Specify Non-functional Requirements
Identify the required quality attributes of the system and its components. This includes performance, availability, security, usability, maintainability, and extensibility. Specify ranges of values from acceptable to desired.

Non-functional Requirements
A document describing non-functional requirements as the quality attributes of the system. They are often stated as constraints on the functional requirements but also include attributes pertaining to development, deployment, and maintenance.

Each non-functional requirement is further clarified by providing a range of values as well as identifying measurements to be used to test conformance to requirements.
Produced in this phase


Select Potential Technologies and Vendors
Identify top vendors that can provide required capabilities or offer technology for building the capabilities. Evaluation should be conducted from both a tactical and strategic perspective.

Assessing the applicability of vendor products and technologies is typically a managed process that may involve issuing RFIs or RFPs. Once data has been gathered, the job of ranging and scoring alternatives is undertaken.

Vendor Shortlist
This document identifies two to three top vendor choices, their specific strengths, and a solution fit. Solution fit is determined by ranking technology choices against the decision model.

Uses as an input Applicable Technologies identified in the Capability Cases


Analyze IT Risks, Dependencies, and Technology Constraints
Identify the business and technical risks associated with different implementation options for selected capabilities. Consider technology readiness for use as well as organizational readiness to implement the candidate technologies. Document IT systems the solution may depend on, replace, or need to interface with.

IT Impact & Interface Specification
A document identifying IT systems on which the solution will have an impact. This is best accomplished through a diagram showing impacted systems together with the nature of impact.

Started in BCE as Existing IT Systems in Context and elaborated in this phase

Architectural Decisions
A document describing important decisions about aspects of the architecture including technology choices, the structure of the system, the provision and allocation of function, and adherence to standards. Each decision can be described in a free format style with headings like problem statement, resolution, alternatives, and justification.
Produced in this phase


Elaborate Capability Architecture
The Capability Model of the BCE phase is elaborated into a Capability Architecture. This identifies high-level components of the system, their dependencies, and illustrates the behavior of the intended system through diagrams that show the interactions between components for the key scenarios of use.

Capability Architecture
Capability Architecture identifies the high-level components of the system and the relationships among them. It includes a diagram that shows interactions between components including high-level descriptions of the interfaces. It can also include an identification-level use case model.

This phase. Builds on the Solution Concept Document developed during the SCE phase.


Evaluate Capability Architecture
The Capability Architecture is evaluated to assess how well the Architecture meets the goals of the stakeholders in delivering functionality and satisfying desired quality goals and measures.

Updated Workproducts:

IT Impact & Interface Specification

Architectural Decisions

Capability Architecture
Produced in this phase


Develop Business Case
Identify resources needed to implement the solution. Develop financial and return on investment (ROI) numbers. Analyze risks and identify risk mitigation activities.

Business Case
A document that substantiates the request for solution funding by establishing the:

  • Need for funding
  • Benefits to be derived
  • Corporation's ability to implement the solutions
  • Solution's ability to provide expected benefits and financial return

Builds on several workproducts from the previous phases, including: Business Capability Model and Measures developed during the BCE phase; Risk Assessment Model developed in the SCE phase


Develop Solution Realization & Adoption Plan
Develop a road-map for implementing the solution. Identify major milestones. Address organizational impacts, communication, and training needs, as well as the transition plans.

Stakeholder Collaboration Model
A document, often a table, identifying specific input, resources, and other contributions expected from the various solution stakeholders. It builds on the Stakeholder Profile and Participation Matrix developed in BCE.

Builds on the Stakeholder Profile and Participation Matrix developed in BCE

Solution Realization Roadmap
A package of deliverables that typically includes:

  • Solution Architecture (comprised of the Vendor Short List, Architectural Decisions, IT Impact and Interface Specification, and Non-Functional Requirements)
  • Business Case
  • A Presentation of the Solution Concept
  • An implementation road-map or outline plan (for example, a high-level MS Project plan)
Produced in this phase