The Rapid Analysis subphase
In the USoft Approach, Rapid Analysis is a subphase of the PLAN phase.
Rapid Analysis takes the deliverables of Business Orientation as its starting point. During this step, a global analysis is performed so that the result of the Business Orientation is further clarified. Misunderstandings and inconsistencies must be cleaned up. Key terms must become well-defined. It must become clear which possible solution directions there are, and which of them is preferred.
Rapid Analysis is the only subphase in the PLAN phase during which the USoft toolset is put to use:
•At specification level, SBVR definitions-of-terms and business rules may be formulated and submitted for approval. Depending on the methods and techniques selected for analysis, different types of high-level diagrams may be drawn, for example, high-level BPMN diagrams sketching target process flow. Or you can use more informal techniques such as storyboards, wallcharts and sketches.
•At implementation level, working prototypes may be created in USoft and shown to stakeholders. This will create an early opportunity for feedback. It will help identify wrong expectations and technical problems at a time when it is still easy and cheap to remove them.
During Rapid Analysis, the boundary between specifications and implementations is not as clear as during the DEFINE phase. An example of this is the status of BPMN process flow diagrams. During the DEFINE phase, technically, these diagrams describe implementations. They describe the way in which the new software is embedded in its target environment: the network of actions performed by humans and by other, connected systems. During Rapid Analysis, however, a first version of such diagrams may be helpful to identify key users, agents and connected systems, to identify and name events that the software must react to, actions that must be completed or offered or consumed as services, and data that must be consulted or manipulated.
On the basis of findings from the Rapid Analysis subphase, Business Orientation deliverables may be edited and enriched. Depending on techniques used, deliverables of the Rapid Analysis subphase may also include artefacts: prototypes, diagrams, storyboards or sketches.
Deliverables made during Rapid Analysis must remain available during the DEFINE phase. The default way of working with USoft is that actual USoft software prototypes are taken to be the first or 'alpha' version of the evolving new specifications and functionality.
In a Scrum project, the Business Orientation and Rapid Analysis subphases could together result in sprint-ready user stories.