Opportunity Options Planning Architecture Build Ready Deploy


Project Management
Options Evaluation

The primary goals of the Options evaluation phase are to identify stakeholder requirements to sufficient detail to allow 3rd parties to quote for work and to be able to investigate the possible solution options that will meet these requirements (E.g. in house bespoke development, best of breed, or 3rd party development). To do this, an initial requirements model is developed where most use cases are listed and described at a high level. This will define the scope of the project, and potentially start the development of a user interface (UI) prototypes to assess solutions. By the end of this phase a solution is chosen and the architecture agreed. Agreement is reached with stakeholders on:

  1. Scope of the project
  2. All initial requirements are identified (albeit without much detail)
  3. Risks have been identified and plans agreed for their management
  4. The technical solution has relevant architectural approval
  5. Best solution is agreed that meets the requirements
  6. Initial infrastructure design has been agreed

As a rough guide about 1%-5% of overall development estimate is spent on this stage.

Start/Entry Criteria

Phase starts when a Project Brief has been approved for inclusion in the programme plan and request has been received to start the project. The Project Brief has the agreed costs to execute the Options Evaluation and Solution Planning phases

  • to elicit all use cases required to high level (capture requirements)
  • to perform software and solution evaluations
  • to analyse solutions in terms of design features, requirements cover, implementation lead time, ease of support, and costs
  • to develop the initial infrastructure design
  • to produce an Options Evaluation
  • to recommend a solution
  • to understand the service level required

The main deliverable of the phase is the Options Evaluation

Work products that may be used during the phase include:

Exit Criteria

The phase ends when all options have been identified, evaluated and compared and sufficient evidence is available to make a choice of overall approach and a solution has been chosen for solution planning.

Where there is a choice of suppliers, although one solution is chosen, two or more suppliers may be carried through to solution planning for contract negotiations.


The following quality management activities need to be performed:

  • Peer inspection of the Options Evaluation (E.g. Fagan inspection method )
  • Financial review of chosen supplier(s)
  • Site and reference visits
  • Support team review of the Options Evaluation and SLA
  • Security review (data sensitivity and criticality)
  • Architectural approval of the recommended solution
  • Phase end checklist