The vision is set. The scope should be deliverable in the agreed-to time frame with the specified resources. The conceptual solution with its various implementation approaches has been mapped out. Now it is time to take what has been envisioned and work through planning details.
The Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) Plan Track focuses on what to build, how to build it, when to build the component parts, and what supporting environments are needed to deliver a solution. Specifically, a team evolves envisioning deliverables into requirements that fully describe a solution; documents them in a functional specification; develops detailed designs and architectures; and prepares work plans, cost estimates, and schedules for the various Plan Track deliverables. A team also defines and builds the necessary supporting environments to deliver a solution.
With many areas of parallel activity in this track, efforts to properly establish collaboration, communications, and team structure will be put to a test. If planning is done effectively, it reduces risks, detects gaps in thinking, and improves quality.