How to define Requirement Architecture

The define requirements architecture task is used to ensure that all the requirements support each other and meet the objectives of the organization.

All requirements used in the change require a structure, this structure is the requirements architecture. 

A requirements architecture links the individual models and specifications together to ensure that they form a single picture which would be used to support the business objectives.

The business analyst uses the requirements architecture to do the following :

  • Identify the right models for the domains, solution scope and the stakeholders.
  • Organize the requirements into designs that is relevant to each stakeholders.
  • Show how models and requirements are linked together and form the whole picture.
  • Ensure that the requirements work together to achieve the organizational objectives.
  • When considering the objectives, ensure that trade off decisions are made about the requirements.

The requirements architecture shows how the elements work together to support the business requirements and provide various viewpoints for different stakeholders.

Requirements traceability is used to represent and manage these relationships. It is also used to show how an objective has been fulfilled.

There are five elements that are used in the define requirements architecture task and they are :

1. Requirements viewpoints and views: a viewpoint is a set of standards that state how the requirements would be represented, organized and related. 

Viewpoints provide templates that are created to help address the concerns of the stakeholders.

Requirements viewpoints frequently include the following :

a. The model types used for requirements.

b. The attributes that are included and used in the different models.

c. The modeling notations that are used.

d. The analytical approaches that are used to identify and maintain relevant relationships among the models.

Each viewpoint offers some strengths and weaknesses that are missing in the other viewpoints. 

Trying to put all the requirements into a single viewpoint would make it too complex and devalue its purpose.

Examples of viewpoints include :

  • Business process models.
  • Data models and information.
  • User interactions, which include use cases and user experience.
  • Audit.
  • Security.
  • Business models.

The actual requirements and designs for a solution used in a view point is known as a view.

A collection of views makes up the requirements architecture for a specific solution. 

Various views for stakeholders are created by business analysts who align, coordinate and structure requirements into those views.

Those viewpoints tell the business analysts what information they should provide for each stakeholder group to address their concerns, while the views describe the actual requirements and designs that are produced.

2. Templates Archives: An architectural framework is a collection of viewpoints that are the standard across an industry, sector, or organization. 

A framework can be used as a predefined template to help define the requirements architecture.

3. Completeness: The audience has to be able to understand the complete set of requirements to see the full story. None of the requirements should be missing from the set, inconsistent with others, or contradictory to one another. 

Dependencies between these requirements should also be taken into consideration.

4. Relate and Verify Requirement Relationships: Requirements can be related to one another in various ways. The business analysts has to analyze the requirements and determine the relationships between them. 

These relationships can be seen in the requirements traceability task.

The business analysts has to examine each relationship to ensure that they fulfill the following criteria:

  • Defined: that there is a relationship and it is the type of the relationship described.
  • Necessary: that the relationship has to be necessary to fully understand the requirement.
  • Correct: ensure that the elements have the relationship that is described.
  • Unambiguous: that it ensures that there are no relationships that link elements in two different and conflicting ways.
  • Consistent: that the relationships are described consistently, using the same set of standard descriptions as defined in the viewpoints.

5. Business Analysis Information Architecture: The business analysis information is also an information architecture. 

Information architectures are defined in the task Plan Business Analysis Information Management.

The information architecture is a part of the requirements architecture which describes how all of the business analysis information in a change are related. 

It involves defining the relationships for all types of information including the requirements, designs, types of models, and elicitation results.