This phase is a good point to try new technologies. Given that this is an experimentation phase, you perform many tests. Most of the things that you are going to code are not going to be in the final product.
The following sections describe some of the activities that you should consider in this phase.
Doing a proof of concept
You must know which technologies are best for your project. The preferred way to determine this goal is by creating a proof of concept (PoC). You might find obstacles and need to do some rollbacks, but the PoC helps you and your teammates gain experience.
If you are planning to select a commercial solution, it is likely that you are going to need your manager's approval. Do not rely solely on marketing figures and charts. Show them real working software. Take advantage of no-cost trials.
Remember to document what you learn in this phase. Make sure that you involve your stakeholder with the PoC. They can provide valuable insight to help make sure that you are going in the correct direction.
Looking for simpler projects
While you are learning and getting used to the modernization process, avoid selecting the most complex application. There should be applications that are important for the business and do not add unnecessary risks to the process.
With every success, gain more skills and confidence that enable you to modernize more critical and complex applications.
You are changing code, changing the UI, and changing the architecture. This is just testing and you are not going to deploy it to the production environment. The ideas and experiences that you gain in this activity help you work better on the new application and to understand the underlying code.
This whole experimentation process is going to broaden your thinking. Many ideas that you had are going to change. Do not be afraid to reassess your modernization approach if you think that there is a better way to do it.
Defining the measurement criteria
In this phase, you gain more knowledge about the application. Define the mechanisms that you are going to use to measure your progress. You are going to report regularly to your manager, and they need to see your progress. So, define your metrics according to the selected application and modernization approach.