A solution design process is a structured way of solving problems in software development. It involves breaking down a project into smaller sections and creating milestones to evaluate progress made.
If followed correctly, a solution design process leaves clear documentation of how a particular problem was solved, which will benefit a business in the long run. In addition, it is an efficient and effective way of handling challenges and implementing solutions in an orderly manner.
Below is crucial steps for a successful Solution Design Process elaborated.
Step 1. Identify The Problem.
In this design stage, you need to make sure you understand the problem well. So, first, identify and isolate the problem that you want to address. Then, you need to set a scope of where the solution will cater to. This will make sure your end goal is measurable hence attainable. For instance, if it is a business idea that you are working on, you would identify and outline the requirement that you want your product or service to provide to in the market in this stage of the solution design process. In this stage, you should be able to answer WHAT, WHO & WHY:
- What is the problem?
- What are the main goals of this project?
- What is the pain point that this product will address?
- What is this product’s unique value proposition?
- Who has it?
- Who is the end-user of this product?
- Why should you solve it?
Answering the above questions help you to define the problem that demands a solution.
Step 2. Research
Step two of the solution design process is to carry out extensive research on the problem. Do background research in two major areas:
- Anticipated users or customers
- Existing solutions
This solution design stage will enable you to:
- Identify and avoid the mistakes that were made in the past attempts which failed the solutions.
- It will also enable you to identify similar problems in different areas and how they have been solved, giving you sufficient information to develop an effective and efficient solution to your particular problem.
Step 3. Brainstorm.
Ideas will start to form once you’ve established the foundation for your project and its specific requirements. Next, bring your team together to brainstorm and exchange ideas so you can choose the best features for your product.
It’s a good idea to gather many viewpoints on any problem since there may be more than one solution. Bring together a bunch of creative minds from all departments and levels to come up with wild or not-so-crazy ideas! If you’re successful, you should be able to come up with one or more solutions to all of the problems/objectives. Also, make sure you correctly document the session, so you have all of the important details.
Step 4. Develop a Proof of Concept
Ideation is thrilling, but without putting your concept through its paces, you may not end up with the result you expect. Is the proposal practical? Is it even possible? Is it anything that customers will genuinely want to use? What resources will be needed to build it?
A proof of concept can address all of these and other concerns.
Step 5. Develop the Solution
In this stage of the solution design, you get to develop the solution at its optimized state. This is because you have already smoothened out all the rough edges. This is where you acquire all your resources ready to implement.
Step 6. Test and Redesign
Your ultimate solution will go through several iterations and redesigns. Before settling on a final design, you’ll probably test your solution, discover new issues, make changes, and test new solutions.
Step 7. Analyze, Evaluate and Improve the Solution
This is the final stage of solution design. Here you will do most of the monitoring and evaluation work to ensure efficiency and sustainability. At this final solution design step, you have established a feedback mechanism and are doing periodic tweaks as you learn from the feedback that you get.