Assessment of requirements is an element of paramount importance in implementing customer projects to the customer’s satisfaction. In the short blog post below, we introduce the key elements of this process from preliminary assessment through planning documentation and the system plan to determining responsibilities and conditions. Let’s see how the process starts!
When the need to implement a new system emerges, the problem first lands on an expert’s desk. This expert is the very person who, based on the requirements defined by the customer, will compile a preliminary system concept besides identifying the system’s necessary components and their correlations, in order to aid subsequent implementation. The first step of the process is the preliminary assessment, also known as the preliminary system plan.
This step is a very important milestone, as it also determines the organisation of the work to be done. The implementation of each system competent must be the responsibility of an engineer competent in the field and challenges in question. Implementation of complex systems typically necessitates the cooperation of several experts, team work also having its added significance at this stage.
In the preliminary assessment stage, the establishment of appropriate communication structures for the cooperating engineers is very important. This team work must focus on the quality of the connections between the partial systems implemented by the engineers. The work implemented at this stage may already serve as the basis for the system concept documentation. This is a very important design step, allowing the establishment of a new, special work group, aimed at efficiently implementing the system the customer wishes to have.
The system’s preliminary design documentation allows the client to ascertain that the requirements have been clearly communicated to the developing partner. Therefore, the documentation of the preliminary assessment discussed above will be a key step in the reconciliation process between the client and the implementing organisation.
An additional prerequisite to a successful win-win project between the customer and the service provider company is the determination of the responsibilities concerning the development. If, therefore, the preliminary system plan forms part of the communication with the client, the document must cover both topics. These are described in two separate chapters: the system plan and another document, detailing responsibilities and conditions.
The first part of the documentation is the overview draft of the system concept, containing its expected operational phenomena and the technical features of the system envisioned that emanate from the initial requirements. In case of embedded systems, the specification of the system’s communication channels, the reconciliation of the digital and analogue outputs and inputs and their corresponding timing requirements, the questions of the system’s behaviour in case of faults and the formulation of the data storage requirements are required in addition to the expected operational phenomena.
Responsibilities and conditions
The second part determined the responsibilities of the implementing organisation and the client in connection with the development. It is advisable for this document to describe what pats the developing organisation will implement, what outputs will be generated and how these results will be delivered. Ideally, the document also extends to the information and technical prerequisites of the development work that concern the client.
In order to aid preparation of documents of this type, a document template is created, containing a draft of the required chapters. Naturally, the requirements may also justify discussion of topics not detailed herein, therefore it is advisable to consider the structure of the document with flexibility. The existing chapters on the other hand may serve as a checklist for the expert compiling the system concept.
Author: Áron Járó