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High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks

It is unfortunately too often the case that delivered products fall short of market or client expectations, or worse, fail to provide enough differentiation to establish a real or perceived advantage over the competition. If not a worst case scenario - it is at least a bad outcome - with investment dollars and schedule likely exhausted for the current release cycle, and market opportunity squandered. The impact on future product or corporate viability is sometimes far greater.

In these cases Engineering is often found lamenting Marketing's volatile, inexact requirements, and shifting goals - as well as the technological constraints of the required functionality and performance. Marketing, in turn, is pointing to both unreasonable Management goals and constraints, and Engineering's rigidity in meeting the specific requirements of the marketplace for the product woes. Management is blaming everybody; the product developed is late and over budget. Worse still, everyone is wondering if the final product was really what was intended in the first place.

Understanding the root of such failures is critical to avoiding them. Through more successful product deliveries Symphony has put earned experience to work and developed proactive strategies for ensuring that our client partners get to market with the right product, on time and within budget.

Value driven analysis (VDA) - or value modeling - is a technique developed by Symphony to capture the critical qualities a product must attain to achieve success in the marketplace, and to ensure an accurate alignment of business vision with product strategy, and technology planning and architecture.

It is a rigorous process and language - extended and adapted from the architecture analysis methods originally developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University - that is designed to bridge the natural communication gaps between the various groups responsible for bringing a product to market. VDA illuminates the important interrelationships among providers and consumers of product value and how they vary with deployment contexts and over time.

The process captures the external forces, limiting factors, dominant complexities, and areas of volatility that need to be rigorously understood as the basis for a well-formed product strategy and architecture.

It identifies value curves that lead to more precise ROI analysis and guide technology investment planning to optimize value in a way that mere cost reduction planning later in a project cannot hope to achieve. In summary, VDA is a rigorous, low cost, short duration, high impact, up-front planning exercise to tilt competitive advantage in your favor.

Reviewing the solution for suitability to achieve the desired system behavior, providing a rationale for the recommended alternative, and conducting a conceptual integrity review to ensure the components make a workable well-integrated solution.


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