Requirements management – defining the project scope and developing use cases

Requirements management – defining the project scope and developing use cases

ICT in parliament: defining project scope and documenting system requirements

This handbook provides a structured approach for the introduction and integration of ICT in Parliament. It maintains the linkages between the rationale for ICT (vision and strategy) and the subsequent stages of business case development, project scope definition, requirements development and the system delivery, roll out and evaluation.

The handbook suggests that implementing ICT in Parliament encompasses the following levels: vision and leadership and processes and organisational challenges. It outlines the following sequences:

  • develop clear ICT vision supported by political leadership, followed by ICT strategic plan outlining specific objectives
  • develop business cases to describe the rationale, the political and economic justification for a chosen intervention (programmes or projects) which will lead to the achievement of one or more objectives mentioned in the strategic plan
  • begin project start-up phase and determine project scope, which details the stakeholders involved, the problem domain and the solution: a description of the system to be implemented and the high-level requirements
  • elicit detailed requirements from stakeholders and capture through requirements documentation methods
  • detailed requirements become input for the system delivery stage, during which the system is built and tested against the requirements and rolled-out into the organisation. Includes user training and putting user support organisation in place
  • after sufficient use, evaluate system in terms of performance, usability and other metrics
The handbook focuses on two stages: defining the project scope, and documenting and managing requirements. It notes that when an ICT system implementation project starts, project teams get into the details of requirements before they have established the project scope or have a proper understanding of the real needs for the system, the stakeholder community or the constraints under which it is to be built. To avoid these problems, the handbook suggests guidelines for project teams to consider, including:
  • establish a good understanding of the stakeholder community
  • demonstrate an understanding of the problem to be solved by the ICT intervention
  • capture the real needs of the stakeholders and the system features required to fulfil these needs
  • ensure that the views of the stakeholder community are actively and appropriately represented and communicated throughout the project
The handbook outlines approaches and working methods to guide project teams and describes how to develop requirements and align them with the interests of the project stakeholders. It also explains a valuable methodology for gathering and documenting requirements: use case modelling.
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