Closer Look: Validating Your New Solutions

As discussed in my previous post, the BABOK® Guide’s Solution Assessment and Validation knowledge area asks business analysts and project teams to compare their solution and its capabilities against the project’s business, stakeholder and solution requirements that were created earlier in the project life cycle. One key aspect of this activity is that you then need to document and ultimately address the problems or discrepancies that you find.

The solution you are validating may or may not be in operational use, but it needs to be constructed and functioning. According to the BABOK® Guide, you have two different tasks to do when you are validating a new solution relative to its requirements. Those tasks are: (1) investigating defective solution outputs, and (2) assessing any defects and issues.  Let’s look at each task in a bit more detail.

Investigate defective solution outputs.  Defective solution outputs occur when the outputs are below the previously defined acceptable level of quality for that output. Defective outputs require investigation and resolution as part of your solution validation activities.

Assess defects and issues.  Any defects that are identified during solution validation need to be reviewed and assessed. Some defects require immediate resolution while others may be mitigated using a workaround or accepted for the time being. There are several ways to mitigate the impact of a defect using a workaround.  Common workarounds include activities like performing additional quality control checks, creating and implementing new manual processes (at east in the short term), and removing support for exceptions and errors.

Don’t forget that key areas to consider when assessing solution defects include the severity and probability of each defect and the business impacts that the defect might have over time.

Happy solution validation!

Susan Weese

If you are considering sitting the CBAP or CCBA certification exams for business analysts, check out our new study guide that can help you prepare to pass the test, the CBAP / CCBA: Certified Business Analysis Study Guide by Susan Weese and Terri Wagner!  It’s a great place to learn more about each of the 6 knowledge areas and everything else you need to know to successfully pass the certification exam.

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