The 5 chapter template

It might help to use the following template to understand the goals of the SIA. And assist in writing a sound one.

An SIA usually consists of only five chapters:

1. The Problem Analyse

This is a bit like a Requirements Gathering phase. Usually one has to communicate with all stakeholders (or read their inputs) to thoroughly understand and list their needs. All the requirements and desires should be listed in natural language and presented in a logical manner [1].
There is no need to select or prioritise the demands at this stage.

In many cases, the stakeholders have already expressed their input and one uses mainly other (“higher”) documents as input. Remember, however, it’s about what the stakeholders want, not about the documents themselves.
Do not “copy” all those demands. Just mention them, link to the source and summarise them such that the document is readable.

More often than not, this is a short chapter, maybe a few pages. The goal is that the PO and all stakeholders say: “Yes, that is exactly what we need” [2].

2. Solution A

It gives a highlight of the first presented (design) option, without explaining the design. Just enough so that the PO (and other stakeholders) understand it – there is no need that anybody can implement it already.

Then, the cost, risk, duration and other relevant topics (for the stakeholders) are explained.
Again, keep it simple and global. Don’t try to convince the PO; (s)he will (should) trust your analysis.

Optionally you can present some sub-options. But don’t go into details. Only sub-options that are relevant for the PO are relevant.

3. Solution B

Same as above, but (completely) different.
Sometimes a feature can be split into several functional “slices” [3].

Different solutions may come with different slices, but we can also have common ones. Then, introduce them early, and refer to them in the next solution(s). Make it explicit which slices are (partially) common and which not.
Despite that slices can be common, they may have other effects on investments (costs etc), risk or other business values Therefore, I prefer to write out those aspects in each solution. Often assisted with a phrase as “a bit more/better/… than in ..”

4. Solution C

Again, another way for the same result [4].

5. Summary/Overview

This short chapter lists the relevant differences (for the PO/stakeholders) between the solutions, often in a table.

It frequently also advice on how to select the best option. This is to guide the PO.
By example:

  • “Solution A has the shortest T2M, although it is twice as expensive”.

  • “When future extensibility is key, solution B offers the most flexibility”.

  • “Solution C has the main benefit that it has many slices, each can be realised independently in a series of sprints”.

  • “For the same reason, solution C can be implemented in 10 concurrent teams, keeping them fully loaded
    (especially as we have the risk that two teams run out of work).”

Footnotes & Links


comments powered by Disqus