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Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems

  • Author(s): Paul C. Clements, Len Bass
  • Publish Date:
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • SEI Identifier: CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018
  • Type: Technical Note
  • Topics: Software Architecture
  • Description: The purpose of this report is to facilitate better elicitation of high-pedigree quality attribute requirements. Toward this end, we want to be able to elicit business goals reliably and understand how those business goals influence quality attribute requirements and architectures.

Abstract

The primary purpose of the architecture for a software-reliant system is to satisfy the driving behavioral and quality attribute requirements. Quality attribute requirements tend to be poorly captured and poorly represented in requirements specifications, which focus on functionality. It is often up to the architect’s own initiative to capture the actual quality attribute requirements for a system under development. Quality attributes come about because of the business goals behind the system being developed. Business goals drive the conception, creation, and evolution of software-reliant systems. This report examines business goals from the point of view of the software architect. It presents a wide survey of business goal categories from the business literature and uses that survey to produce a classification of business goals. It introduces the concept of goal-subject (the person or entity who owns the business goal) and goal-object (the person or entity that the goal is intended to benefit). Those concepts are essential to the structure of a business goal scenario—a systematic way to elicit and express business goals. Using the concept of a business goal scenario drives the Pedigreed Attribute eLicitation Method (PALM), developed by the authors for eliciting architecturally significant business goals. The report illustrates how to use architecturally significant business goals to produce a set of derived quality attribute requirements that can then be vetted and elaborated with the appropriate goal-subject(s) and goal-object(s). This approach has been vetted in two workshops and the method piloted in an industrial setting.

Cite This Report

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SEI

Clements, Paul; & Bass, Len. Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems (CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018). Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9347

IEEE

Clements. Paul, and Bass. Len, "Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Note CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018, 2010. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9347

APA

Clements, Paul., & Bass, Len. (2010). Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems (CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018). Retrieved November 23, 2014, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9347

CHI

Paul Clements, & Len Bass. Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems (CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2010. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9347

MLA

Clements, Paul., & Bass, Len. 2010. Relating Business Goals to Architecturally Significant Requirements for Software Systems (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2010-TN-018). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=9347