The complete guide to requirements analysis for every system analyst and project team member. Thousands of software projects are doomed from the start because they're based on a faulty understanding of the business problem that must be solved. The solution is effective requirements analysis. In Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture, David C. Hay gives you a comprehensive overview of the world's best requirements analysis practices, organized coherently to help you choose and execute the best approach for every project. In addition, he guides you through the process of defining an architecture–from gaining a full understanding of what business people need to the creation of a complete enterprise architecture.
Practical solutions will help you:
Focus more clearly on the goals of requirements analysis
Represent the fundamental structures and systems environment of any enterprise more accurately
Identify key information processing gaps and discover which information technologies can best address them
Clarify the goals of your new system and reflect them more accurately in your models
Understand crucial people-related issues that impact requirements
Plan smooth transitions to new systems
Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture provides the complete process of defining an architecture–so that you can build a rock-solid foundation for your next software project.
Review By: Cathy Bell 04/27/2012
We've heard over and over about failed information technology projects, some costing millions of dollars, all because what was delivered or would have been delivered did not meet the needs of the business. Is there a better way to approach information technology projects that utilizes up-front planning? In Requirements Analysis from Business Views to Architecture, David Hay outlines a method that would allow us to do just that.
The term "architecture" conjures up a building or structure. Before construction begins, architects take into account how it will be constructed, how it will fit into the surrounding landscape, its purpose, and what will be needed to sustain it. This up-front planning prevents the construction of a new customer service center in the middle of a field with no electricity or water.
The premise of the book is that if we keep the enterprise architecture as the focal point of each project from analysis to implementation, we will have the best approach that can fit every project. Just like a building, we need to have the end system in mind. Nothing is done in a vacuum, and each segment is intertwined.
Much has been written on the topic of requirements analysis. Hay notes that he has boiled down the work of other authors into this book, gleaning the best from each. The book will not teach you details of the various methods of requirements analysis, but rather it discusses the many methods available and how you can utilize them. The material is organized and discussed around the Zachman Framework, which uses a two-dimensional matrix where the stakeholders in the process are in rows and the things to be considered for each process are in columns.
The book starts with an overview of the framework and lays out how to manage the system development lifecycle in context of the framework. From there, the book details how to use each section of the framework to put the business requirements together, always with the systems architecture in view. The author strives to get readers to look at the overall picture as they move through the system development lifecycle, rather than only looking at aspects that impact them.
This book was published more than ten years ago, but the material is still relevant. In the conclusion, Hay states that we are building more complex systems than we built twenty years ago—not because the technology is better, but because we now understand and have the ability to build systems that are not only useful but also integrated. Just like constructing a building, we can have a vision of how to do it, the blueprints and all the building materials, and the necessary labor force, but we have to be able to put that all together to achieve the goal. We have the same need for information technology projects, and this book is designed to show us how to tie it all together.