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4 July 2007

The V-Model: Verify on the way into development

This may be extending the V model beyond it’s original design, but I think it’s a worthwhile concept. During the planning, analysis and design phases of projects there is the opportunity to validate the design points along the way.

The most common method is for formal approval of milestone documents such as requirements specifications, solution design documents and so on. As each of these documents are produced they are circulated, socialised and assessed by the relevant subject matter experts.

Business analysts have a lot to contribute at this phase as they maintain a huge amount of subject matter expertise around the business requirements and further business processes. As such they are uniquely able to participate in the review and assessment work throughout the project lifecycle.

The business analyst can then liaise with stakeholders and offer recommendations for approval or rejection of design documents, and help identify or develop non-technical solutions to gaps in the solution design.

The project manager should also be plan to have full and frank discussions with the business analyst about the suitability of the solution. Are there non technical cheaper or better ways of solving the problem? After all technologists will focus on providing a technology based solution, but they are not always the best ones. For example an activity may be outsourced for a better return on investment.

At the end of the analyse and design phases the requirements and solution should have been validated by the project manager, business analyst and sponsor.

Stakeholders views should have been heard and understood in the context of the projects objectives and the project team should feel that there is a good chance of the project being ble to deliver what it is committing to.

The next post will consider the V-model on the way out of the development phase.