Having a reliable solution blueprint is essential to the success of implementation. The blueprint provides a foundation for the architecture of the solution and the approach to implementing it. Without having that foundation in place, any subsequent activities are at risk of not fully supporting the goals and ultimate success of the solution. As such, we recommend that you conduct the Solution blueprint review as close to the beginning of the implementation as possible. Conducting the review early will allow you to minimize the impact of issues that are found and identify risks before they become issues.

The Solution blueprint review also forms the basis of the solution architect’s understanding of the planned solution, and it provides an overall context in which to provide guidance. Without context, it is difficult to ensure that recommendations will be effective for the overall architecture. For that reason, the Solution blueprint review is the first major activity within the Success by Design framework following the kickoff. The solution architect should not engage in other in-depth activities without first understanding the broader solution blueprint.

The following questions and answers are typically discussed during the Solution blueprint review workshop.

  • Question - How can you review a solution blueprint before implementation has completed requirements gathering and an initial design?

  • Answer - Most implementations begin with a planned timeline, or at least a target go-live date, and defined budget. These factors should be based, at a minimum, on a conceptual solution and approach. That conceptual design and approach are all that is needed for the Solution blueprint review. If deficiencies occur in these areas, the Solution blueprint review will help identify them early so that they can be addressed.

  • Question - You want the Solution blueprint review to cover the entire solutioning and you don’t want to miss the review on solution aspects that aren’t yet ready in the early project phases. Can you postpone the workshop until a later stage of the project to cover more scope?

  • Answer - If needed, the Solution blueprint review can be implemented as an iterative process. If over the course of the implementation, aspects of the solution change, you can review deltas in subsequent iterations of the workshop or through in-depth workshops. This module will later cover subsequent solution blueprint reviews. As such, the initial workshop should be delivered as early as possible in the project.