The third workshop produces a set of analyses that visually illustrates the trade-offs between the quality characteristics encapsulated by competing solution designs. This is facilitated by a software tool, implemented in Microsoft Excel and available for download here, that guides the review team through the analysis, presenting graphical results to assist their deliberation and decision-making. The workshop will also identify potential issues and mitigations associated with the competing solution designs, and by the end of the workshop the review team will have a better understanding of the relative priorities of the quality characteristics, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the competing solution designs in terms of those quality characteristics, and from the perspectives of the different stakeholders.
If details of benefits and costs have been articulated, the workshop will also be able to consider the value for money of each competing solution design using the tool’s built-in Cost Benefit Analysis.
Whether the review workshop is used to make a design decision or just a recommendation depends on the project governance in place at the responsible organisation. The review workshop typically builds consensus among the review team, who are usually in a position to recommend a preferred design by the end of the workshop. The results of this workshop are usually documented in a review report by a nominated leader (often the project leader, lead designer or workshop chair).