Strategy-Driven Requirements Engineering

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Strategy-Driven Requirements Engineering
Karl Cox
In Australia as elsewhere I've seen many organisations that can and do articulate their highest strategic goals, objectives etc but then have no idea of how to execute upon that strategy in terms of implementing IT systems that really do help explicitly in achievement of say a competitive business strategy.
I find that business analysts tend to held more accountable for IT delivery that business alignment. Most of the tools BAs use were born in the IT world e.g. use cases, BPMN, object models. None of these address strategy. Yes, BPMN is an IT driven business process modeling tool that has really only been designed for workflow modeling. Where do you put goals and strategies (i.e. achievement of) on a BPMN model? You can't except as a post-it note.
Are there any tools/methods that really address strategy all the way to execution from a business perspective?

Modeling strategy with Business motivation model
Phil Webb
Karl, it seems that what you're looking for might be the Business Motivation Model, but not in isolation. The BMM allows you to model vision, goals and objectives, mission, strategies and tactics, along with the influencers which affect achievement of them. In addition you can model business processes which realize aspects of the business plan and therefore link them into BPMN. At Select, we've just (today in fact!) released v 7.1 of Select Architect which provides strategy-driven application modeling from BMM through BPMN to UML (with MDA and data modeling along the way). You might want to take a look at

Integrated Business and IT Strategy Roadmap
Richard Sanford
Hello Karl: You are right that few organizations know how to align their Business Strategies and IT Strategies/ Execution with the kind of depth that is needed. I ran into this while consulting at IBM. Therefore, I've constructed a comprehensive Business to IT Methodology that addresses many of the issues you brought up. Today it's a Conceptual and Logical tool that hasn't been put into software, but it addresses all the issues as completely as possible. I call it the "Integrated Business Strategy and IT Strategy Roadmap". It uses a Phased Approach from As-Is then To-Be.

Integrated Business and IT Strategy Roadmap
Karl Cox
Hi Richard, your road map sounds really interesting and I'd love to take a look at it. Could you send me a white paper? I agree that a phased approach is best.

Startegy driven requirements engineering
Charles Richter
Karl - I have spent the last 24 years working on this 'problem' and have developed the RIPOSE (Rapidly Integrates Patterns Of Strategic Elements) Technique which addresses both the conceptual business requirements model as well as the IT logical design models (data base and applications). The technique is supported by a software package called CASPAR (Computer Assisted Strategic Planning And Reasoning).

Acronyms in Texts
Prof. Alkis S. Magdalinos, Member
I suggest that we all use whole words and not just acronyms in our discussions. Our comments are meant to clarify issues and not complicate then with acronyms which not everybody is familiar with.

Strategy Driven Requirements
Ken Gordon MBA PMP, Premium Member
'Strategic Alignment' may be managed within an organisation using the concept of a 'Strategic Roadmap', one for each area of the company's operations feeding into a global view. These road maps highlight the path to the strategic development of the applications portfolio and underlying IT infrastructure.
Other companies are more sophisticated in the determination of their Strategic Alignment needs and make use frameworks such as Common Objectives Business and IT (COBIT), or The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), or the Zachman Framework to determine the strategic alignment needs of the organisation and to facilitate communications.
The application of the more formal methodologies will be more evident within organisations of scale where the IS/IT infrastructure is diversified and highly complex. At the business process level, would strategic alignment not be ensured through 'key-process' efficiency driven by the Key Performance Indicators, as detailed in the Business Strategy?

Strategy Driven Requirements
Alan Kennedy
I agree completely with Mr. Gordon. There are some highly developed tools for aligning IT projects with strategy. If there is any weakness in the frameworks, it seems to occur in achieving a common understanding of the "business goals", which are typically vague, ambiguous, or incomplete.
It is at this point that project managers and business analysts may assume too quickly that they understand fully the intent of the business goals when maybe they do not. And senior management compounds the confusion by waving a hand and saying "just get it done".
All the requirements identifying processes in the world cannot overcome this initial flaw in communication. The simple answer is that there needs to be far more discussion and understanding of the business goals driving the project and the implications of those goals on choices of solutions.
Then Mr. Gordon's recommended frameworks and tools work splendidly.


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