Conduct the Gap solution design workshop


The solution architect facilitates the Gap solution design workshop, but the expectation is that the implementation team presents the gap solution information. Each gap solution should be assigned to an owner within the implementation team. At the beginning of the workshop, someone from the implementation team should present the overview or summary of the top gaps, including the solutions that have been proposed for each gap. This overview shouldn't take more than 10-15 percent of the overall time for the workshop. It should only be presented at a high level because each gap solution will be discussed in detail in the later topic areas.

Following the overview of the top gaps, the implementation team should present each solution gap separately and allow time for discussion among the group. After participants have discussed all gap solutions, the rest of time should be reserved for questions and answers with the architect.

An expectation should be set that, during each session, discussion about the scope and approach will occur. As part of that expectation, the solution architect might provide some guidance directly within the meeting. However, these sessions aren't intended to be design sessions but rather review sessions.

The provided feedback might alter the current plan or design, but the implementation team will carry out the detailed work in those areas after the workshop.

Gap solution design outputs

The output of the Gap solution design workshop is a findings document. This findings document is a response to information that has been provided as preparation for the workshop or during the workshop. Generally, these findings will be one of three types:

  • Assertions - These findings relate to specific aspects of the solution that the solution architect wants to call out as architecturally significant. These assertions are factors that might not represent a specific risk or issue but are foundational to the solution and should be noted because, if changed, they'll have significant impact. These assertions might relate to specific scope items, design aspects of the solution architecture, or implementation approach or technique.

  • Risks - These findings represent an aspect of the solution or implementation approach that is a risk that should be tracked on the project. These findings could relate to existing plans, approaches, or designs that have an observed potential for negative outcomes. They could also be related to areas of the solution that haven't been adequately explored yet, and as such, represent a risk that something unexpected could come up. These findings will be accompanied by a statement of what is viewed as a risk along with recommended mitigation steps.

  • Issues - These findings represent an aspect of the solution or implementation approach that is an issue that negatively impacts the implementation, or if not corrected, will have a negative impact in the future. These findings are accompanied by a statement of what the impact is or will be, along with recommended resolution steps.

The findings document will be distributed to the customer and partner organizations, and a review meeting will be held to assess the findings in detail. The document will go to the implementation leadership and executive sponsors in both organizations. Occasionally, these finding documents can be lengthy, in which case, an executive summary that highlights key and critical findings is provided for better consumption by executives.