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Conventional wisdom suggests that a well-planned and organized launch can improve
the probability of success of new system development. The initial stages of a new
system development project are known as the "Fuzzy Front End" (FFE), as they are
the messy "getting started" period of the project. It is in the front end where the
organization formulates a concept of the system to be developed and decides
whether or not to invest resources in the further development of an idea. The FFE
begins with the initial search for new opportunities, through the formation of a germ
of an idea to the development of a precise concept. The Fuzzy Front End ends when
the organization approves and begins formal development of the system.
The Fuzzy Front End presents many challenges. Stakeholders' requirements need to
be understood and formulated. In large systems, it may often be impractical to
model entire systems due to uncertainty, sheer size and complexity. The process of
creating alternatives to the project approach is often manual, resulting in missed
alternatives that may have been better choices. Our challenge for the FFE is to
improve the way alternatives are discussed and selected, taking into account
uncertainty and complexity.
In this webinar we present our experience using a methodology and tools developed
for the early stages of a new system development project. The methodology and tools
help key stakeholders work out the details of the alternative project scenarios, based
on various ways of arranging the project elements and architecture, including scope,
team roles and dependencies. The result is a master plan that incorporates program
schedule, risks and opportunity identification and mitigation, critical actions, and
clarified key assumptions.