Blog Posts Process Analysis

Project Requirements Process R070

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

R070 – System Vision

SIIPS Requirements Processes (R).png


SIIPS Requirements Process R70.pngAn initial vision of what the required system should be in terms of scope, objectives, processes, functionality, data, volumes, performance, boundaries / interfaces, technical goals, timescales.


An initial view of the overall conceptual design is formed jointly with the project’s sponsor and other key decision makers within the client organisation.  This addresses the nature of the required system based on the business objectives, business processing needs, constraints, technical feasibility, and existing systems.  It is based on the preceding work performed during the Requirements Segment.  This is reviewed and discussed with the Project Sponsor and other key decision makers within the client organisation.  A consensus is reached and the details are then further investigated and documented.
The deliverable is the “System Vision” which will later be published and formally agreed as part of the Definition of Requirements (DoR).  It should state clearly the “functional shape” of the system, for example its scope, boundaries, objectives, processes,  and functionality.  It may also convey technical or design information where these have been determined and fixed as a result of the identified constraints or any decisions taken concerning the preferred architecture.


This process is normal practice.


Prerequisites (Finish-Start):
  • Project launch
Prerequisites (Finish-Finish):
  • Review/Confirm ToR, Scope, Objectives (L010)
  • Foundation (R010)
  • Business Vision / Objectives / Do-Wells (R020)
  • External Business Review (R030)
  • Constraints (R040)
  • Needs for business change and priorities (R050)
  • External Technical Review (R060)
Dependent procedures (Finish-Finish):
  • Final Definition of Requirements (DoR) report (R150)


  • Project Constitution or other definition of project scope
  • Foundation
  • Business Vision / Objectives / Do-Wells
  • External Business Review
  • Constraints (financial, organisational and technical)
  • Needs for business change and priorities
  • External Technical Review


  • System Vision – part of the Definition of Requirements (DoR)


  • Examples: General Approaches Workshop Agenda
  • Guidelines: Modelling Techniques
  • (see also various fact-finding tools referred to elsewhere in the Requirements Segment)
  • Application Software Module and Sub-Module Inventory
  • Application Software Configuration Tool
  • Example Business Models
  • ARIS Toolset


This process is intended to bring together the findings of the high-level investigations completed to date concerning the client organisation’s needs and then to evaluate the options that are available to meet those needs.  It allows an overall target conceptual design to be identified and agreed before investigating the detailed requirements for those business processes and systems.
The precise approach cannot be prescribed as it will depend on the needs and structure of the client organisation.  The basic steps should be:
  • collate and present the findings from the high-level requirements tasks to date, for example
    • project scope
    • foundation – existing processes, systems and architecture
    • business vision / objectives / “do-wells”
    • external business review
    • constraints – financial, organisational, technical
    • needs for business change and priorities
    • external technical review
  • present and discuss the main implications of these findings in terms of the scope of the project, and the design of possible business solutions,
  • review the benefit model detailing the expected costs, benefits, risks and timescales for each significant option identified,
  • discuss and agree the preferred “system vision”
  • document this vision with a relevant level of detail, sufficient to define key needs relevant to the conceptual design and selection process, but without prejudging any detailed design issues unless they are fundamental to meeting the client organisation’s needs.
  • if appropriate, update the findings from the earlier processes ready for their inclusion in the Definition of Requirements (DoR),
The detail of the system vision may include:
  • overview of the required business & technical solution
  • definition of required system components,
  • scope and objectives of each system component,
  • organisational changes required,
  • design of business processes,
  • required functionality of components,
  • data requirements,
  • volumes of business transactions, records etc,
  • performance needs,  for example response times, number of users, availability,
  • boundaries / interfaces with other related systems or business processes,
  • technical goals, for example the desired architecture,  graphical user interface,
  • timescales, priorities, phasing of work.
The tools and techniques used to produce and document these analyses will depend upon the project’s chosen approach to systems analysis and design tools.  This approach will normally have been defined for the overall project to comply with the client organisation’s standard approaches.  It would be common to use techniques such as structured analysis and design methods, computer aided software engineering tools (CASE), process models,  function, data flow and data modelling techniques etc.  Where no specific approach has been defined, some appropriate techniques may be found in Guidelines: Modelling Techniques.
The conceptual solution may have been developed from generic models, for example Consultant’s example business models or detailed models within the Software Vendors’ materials.
Whichever techniques are in use, it would be normal to express the overall design concept in terms of high-level business models showing the major areas of business and system processes and their relationship with each other.  High-level models might also be used for data flows and data relationships.
The “system vision” will be published and agreed formally in the Definition of Requirements report (DoR).

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