Strategic Technology Planning / Technology Assessment
The objective of a strategic planning engagement is to:
- Identify the optimum technology solution and optimum design approach based upon the client’s business and service system needs and objectives.
- Develop a project management plan that ensures that the selected solution will be implemented in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The strategic planning process includes an interactive procedure where EA subject-matter experts work closely with key members of the client’s staff to develop the strategic plan and identify the best solution based upon the service requirements and the particular environment of the client, including the competitive, regulatory and financial environment and the legacy architecture. We have repeatedly found that the solution that is "in vogue" is often not the best technology. This approach takes advantage of the knowledge and experience of the client's staff but recognizes that they lack the time to investigate all of the available opportunities. It also helps build support for the optimum solution and simplifies implementation. This process typically includes five critical steps, but may be modified based upon the needs of the client or project:
Requirements Definition & Documentation
This step is often ignored by many consultants and is the foundation for a successful project. During this task experienced subject-matter experts will help the staff clearly understand the opportunities and options and clearly define and document the exact services and capabilities the new systems are to deliver and support.
Identify Potential Solutions
During this task our subject-matter experts will identify all of the potential solutions and with input from the staff focus upon the highest priority solutions.
Develop and Evaluate Pro Forma Designs
During this task our consultants and engineers will develop pro forma or abbreviated designs of the selected alternatives that will be used for evaluation. We will identify the advantages and disadvantage of each pro forma design and present our recommendations to the clients staff, along with our reasons for the recommendations. Typical factors that may be included in the evaluation include reliability, capacity, expandability, competitive impact, operations cost, regulatory treatment, maintenance costs, likely obsolescence, ease of implementation and total life cycle cost.
Select Optimum Design
The EA team works with the staff to select the optimum technology solution and convince the team to support the new technology. At this stage the design is completed and documented.
Develop Detailed Project Management Plan
The EA team will develop a detailed project management plan that will describe how all of the activities and tasks necessary to establish the new technology or network will be accomplished in a timely and cost effective manner. Some typical tasks that will be in the plan include development of business plans and loan documents, detailed design, DOT permits, environmental permits, bid documents, project coordination, testing & inspection, etc.