What is a solution?

I love the definition of solution from old good MSF 3.0:

Solution is the coordinated delivery of the elements needed (such as technologies, documentation, training, and support) to successfully respond to a unique customer’s business problem.

There several things in this definition that appeal to me:

  • It clearly separates solution, developed with specific customer in mind, from product targeted at market, as also outlined in MSF Process Model.
  • Customer's business is in the center of attention. And if the best way to address this problem is not development  of new software, so be it - it can be as simple as re-engineering existing system and providing adequate documentation or training; or instead of throwing development effort at scaling problem, one can just add more hardware capacity. Again, in case this is the best approach.
  • There is no place for technology bells and whistles. If a mere VBScript can solve the issue, why waste precious time and resources on ultra-modern super-cool JavaFX (no offense here) development, if it does not add anything valuable for business?
  • At last, technology is not a sole focus of solution development: delivery, documentation, training, etc. are equally as important.

Be sure to deliver your customers solutions and not just software pieces. "Software installed" is not a goal here, "problem solved" is.

Microsoft Academic Days

Several days ago I returned from Microsoft Academic Days which this year were held in Yalta. It was the first time I've attended this event and I've delivered two presentations there. On the first day I presented my view on key principles and ideas behind the 4th version of Microsoft Solutions Framework. The next day I delivered an introduction to Microsoft Robotics Studio. You can download these presentations here:

BTW You can also download my other presentations.

Microsoft Academic Days'07

This was the first time I attended Microsoft Academic Days and I delivered 2 presentations there. In the first I described some of the ideas behind the Microsoft Solutions Framework version 4. I focused more on "mental" aspects of MSF, technical aspects of process support by Team Foundation Server were covered by other speakers. The next day I gave a presentation about Microsoft Robotics Studio. Both presentations are in Russian. Introduction to Microsoft Robotics Studio Presentation (PPT)

MSF Revisited Presentation (PPT)

MSF-based Process Patterns

This presentation was delivered on March 04, 2004, in the Moscow State University on the conference 'Microsoft Technologies in Computer Science and Software Engineering'. This was the first presentation of results of research aimed to "extract" process patterns from Microsoft Solutions Framework and describe them as separate entities. This allows to use them outside of MSF-based processes and facilitates process improvement by using MSF experience.

MSF-based Process Patterns (abstract, in Russian)

MSF-based Process Patterns (abstract, in Ukrainian)

MSF-based Process Patterns (PDF)