This inception agenda blueprint outlines generic stages and activities, as well as supporting tools.
We’ve used this agenda blueprint many times as a valuable starting point for successful inceptions. Of course, it will need to be tailored to fit individual initiatives, as described in the previous chapter
While the schedule may look linear, in practice, analysis and working on the solution design is best done as an incremental, evolutionary process. This way, we prioritise breadth over depth and constantly revisit and update what was previously discussed. A good schedule will allow for such ‘cyclical’ working.
The tools listed here are all the things we have found useful in the past. Please note that better tools come out all the time!
We’ve listed tools against the activities where they are most relevant and beneficial. The most valuable and important tools for an activity are also marked with *.
Tools marked with tend to accompany us along longer stretches - in some cases, throughout the inception. We’ve listed them against the activity where the tool is primarily used, but we’ll revisit and update them during many activities. The most obvious of these tools are those that allow us to track risks, assumptions, dependencies, issues, stakeholders and needs as they emerge and change throughout the inception.
This blueprint applies to nonsoftware delivery initiatives, but may need a bit of rewording: the ‘solution’ will not be a software application, but may be the future state of a team or an organisation; and architecture and infrastructure may refer to how an organisation is set up, creates value and supports its workforce.
Want more? We discuss the agenda in-depth in the Design an inception agenda: deep dive.