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Start the Solution Proposal

Updated: June 7, 2006

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP1

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The solution proposal describes the specific scenario and the environment within which your solution will be operating. The goal of the solution proposal is to concisely outline the selected solution, document the analysis that led up to choosing that specific scenario, give cost and schedule estimates, and achieve team and stakeholder agreement on the desired solution and the overall project direction.

The proposal should take the form of similar proposals or specifications that you developed in the past. The solution proposal addresses six main issues:

  • Vision and scope. A description of the situation, your business needs, and the approach the project team will take to meet those needs. Include the boundary of the solution as defined by the range of features and functions, what is out of scope, and the criteria by which the solution will be accepted by users and operations. If not already stated somewhere else, the business goals that are driving the project should be restated so that each decision can correlate to a goal.

  • Current State Infrastructure Assessment. An accurate description of the environment in which the solution will reside and its corresponding variables. The document provides information about all the existing systems that might affect the solution design.

  • Scenario Design. The boundary of the solution that is defined through an accurate diagram of the possible scenarios. Include an analysis of the solution for efficiency, meeting business needs, and security. Be sure to record the process and rationale for selecting the appropriate solution. Use your proof of concept to validate this high-level design.

  • Budget Considerations. Defines the solution’s estimated cost to the organization. It might provide information at multiple levels of detail: for the overall solution and for each project or subproject required to deliver the solution.

  • Schedule. A synopsis of the schedule for the project, which is presented in more detail in another document or spreadsheet.

  • Risks. An analysis of potential risks as you deploy your selected identity management solution.

The solution proposal might be modified later in the design process as more people become familiar with the scenario you have chosen and more issues arise. Maintain changes to the solution proposal so that it represents a current view of the solution. Examine changes to the solution proposal for scope, cost, and impact on schedule, and note these changes in the current version of the solution proposal.

In order to select the one solution out of many possible candidates, create a strategy to weigh the value of each solution against the vision and scope of the effort, business goals and requirements, budget considerations, schedule, potential risks, and desired system state. Selecting a single solution typically requires a thorough analysis of all the possible candidates followed by a prioritization process. It is important to document your decisions in the solution proposal because you might implement the other solutions in the future, which is possible because your design is scalable.

Because the solution proposal is the basis and direction for the dataflow design (including the metaverse and synchronization rules design), you must require signoff from all the stakeholders. Setting the signoff as a significant milestone is a recommended practice.

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