Monday, October 29, 2012

Working with requirements

by: Kees van Mansom

"In engineering, a requirement is a singular documented physical and functional need that a particular product or service must be or perform. It is most commonly used in a formal sense in systems engineering, software engineering, or enterprise engineering. It is a statement that identifies a necessary attribute, capability, characteristic, or quality of a system for it to have value and utility to a user."
Source: Wikipedia

During the Building Business Capabilities conference 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, we are going to develop a working model-driven business application, based on the input provided by the audience. And although this will be in a "lab" situation, we want to stay as close to a real life situation as possible. And then working with requirements is an essential element.

Both requirements and the Be Informed modeling artifacts (models, profiles, custom meta models) are aimed at the same goal: allowing the stakeholders of the system to describe what the system should do and capture it in a way that is understandable by the stakeholders.

Also, both requirements and Be Informed modeling artifacts share a common understanding on what good requirements respectively good modeling artifacts are.

The Be Informed method and tools provide extensive support for documenting requirements, based on our principle: “Model = Design = Application = Documentation”.

Traditional platforms/methods use several transformation steps to come from requirements to applications. Testing is used to evaluate if during these transformations everything went right.

In Be Informed the authentic source of the requirements is directly connected to the business model, making it possible to review them in the modeling environment. Testing is only used to evaluate if the transformation from authentic source to model/profile went right.

Our approach is to capture requirements as close to the model as possible. To do so we model the high level solution wide business requirements as requirement concepts. All other requirements are added to the models as content.

The requirements can be reviewed within the context of the business model:

So when you arrive at the Building Business Capabilities 2012 conference on the 30th of October, please make sure that you drop by in the Be Informed Lab at booth 102 to let us know what requirements you have. Don't hesitate to bring a Word file with you (max 1 -2 A4 due to time limitations) so we can add your requirements as content to the business model.

We are offering the unique experience to experience yourself how we enable BPM teams to become super productive and overcome the possible frictions and inefficiencies of your current way of working. Your input - consisting of requirements, products, processes, rules... - will be modeled out on the fly, resulting in a working model-driven business application within minutes.

The development of this model-driven business application can be followed in this blog and on Twitter: #BPMsuperpowers.

Hope to welcome you at the Be Informed booth 102 on the Building Business Capabilities conference. Also see blog entry How we help BPM teams develop superpowers.
The interactive demonstration can be viewed online via