Define Supporting Infrastructure

After having an idea of what use cases are going to happen in the interactive workspace, the IW planning team needs to think about how to support those use cases with proper technologies so that use cases can be executed effectively while in a cost efficient manner. The third step of the planning process is to define the infrastructure that supports the identified use cases. The IW planning team should have filled out the "Goals" and "IW Use Cases" section of the planning template by now and ready to move into the last section of the planning template (See Figure 1).

Defining the supporting infrastructure of interactive workspace is a three step process. Based on the expected use cases, the planning team needs to identify what IW capabilities are needed to enable the smooth execution of the use cases. The planning template provides a list of common capabilities of interactive workspaces. The detailed definition of the capabilities can be found here. It is recommended that the IW planning team go through each use case identified for a workshop and select the capabilities needed for that use case by putting a "X" next to it. If several use cases, for example 3 use cases, require the same capability, then 3 "X"s should be placed by the capability. This way the planning team will have a clear idea of the importance of the capabilities.

Capability of an interactive workspace is an abstraction of the features of the workspace. A capability can be realized through different combination of components. When selecting component, the planning team needs to constantly evaluate the importance of the use case supported versus the budget of the project team.  The same weighted selection process is recommended as in capability selection. For example, if a capability has two "X"s, then all its supporting components get two "X"s. "X" accumulates if multiple use cases require the same supporting component. A list of typical components and the use cases they support is documented here.

The last step is to decide if the project team will leverage an existing interactive workspace or build their own workspace. The decision should be made considering the budget of the project, the availability and quality of existing interactive workspaces, and the longer term vision of the project stakeholders, for example, whether many future projects also need to leverage interactive workspace. It is recommended that the project team starts by searching existing interactive workspaces at a convenient location that the project team can leverage. If such facility exists, the project team need to evaluate if that facility has the required capabilities to support the needs of all the workshops. If so, the project team needs to work out the logistics to leverage that facility. If the existing facility cannot meet all the requirement on interactive workspace, the project team should either decide to build their own facility, or the project team needs look back to the identified use cases and capabilities and evaluate if they can be modified to fit the constraints of the available resources.

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