Author Topic: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA  (Read 6627 times)

steen.jensen

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« on: April 24, 2020, 07:46:29 am »
We where using EA in the begining of a large RfP. We had a practical Metamodel of requirements of where they come from (stakeholders, org, systems etc) and and what function the bussiness need was. etc... ;D

There where a lot of bulding relations from highlevel requirement to lower level and so on. 8)

When the lawyer came in, the wording, sentence of each requirement was changing every day for 2 month....  :-\
The hirarki structure was lost with every new excel report that was taken from EA, as thay (the black suit people - Lawyers) only could understand spreedsheet data.  ::)
We tried to import those changed excel but didnt get that to work in a useful manner whitin the timeframe and changing rate.

So after those 2-3 month, all work in Sparx EA was crap and was useless and my brain was at least 1/4 kg loss of brain cells  :P

Im just wondering if anyone have any GOOD story of using Sparx EA for large Requirement work (> 1000 requirments)

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 7480
  • Karma: +185/-120
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 09:20:04 am »
Hi Steen,

I can't help with your request, but I'm intrigued as to the reason the lawyer was engaged.

Was it so that the requirements were couched in such a way so that WHEN (not if) the project failed, the requirements could stand up in court?

I've been in the situation where some of my work has withstood (attempts at) legal challenge.

If the lawyers were to be involved at some stage, I would have got them in first to explain what the requirements for requirements were...  That way, you avoid a lot of the rework.

Also, did they provide an ontology for the terms?  Not just a glossary, but a self-consistent glossary?

Just interested...

Paolo
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11471
  • Karma: +304/-263
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2020, 04:43:17 pm »
I don't think that the tool is the issue here. Whether you're forced to use DOOR or you work nativevly in EA (the better choice I think) you can not permit to have requirements changed without negotiations. It does not matter WHO calls for that. A requirement is settled with any offer/contract. In order to change it you need a negotiation. What kind of lawyers are you working with? Just put them against the wall or place them on the bottom of the ocean.

q.

Geert Bellekens

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 10524
  • Karma: +358/-31
  • Make EA work for YOU!
    • View Profile
    • Enterprise Architect Consultant and Value Added Reseller
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 04:59:24 pm »
I've done and witnessed quite a couple of big requirement projects in Sparx.

The ideal scenario is that you don't need an external tool to edit the requirements, and you can do it directly in EA.
With the specification view that has become a reasonable thing to expect from your analysts and their stakeholders.

I've also seen a few projects that use excel as their requirement editor.
For those projects you'll have to make sure that your export/import works perfectly.
A few of these projects didn't use requirement hierarchy (nesting of requirements) and exported requirements package per package.

Others made sure to have an import/export process that supports nesting. (often with the help of a bit of scripting in EA, or some Excel macro's)

A process that includes manual cleanup is bound to fail if it has to be repeated.

Geert

Richard Freggi

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 312
  • Karma: +11/-6
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 11:43:16 pm »
I remember a statement from one of the founders of UML (I think it was Rumbaugh) that reality is not hierarchical.  We try to impose hierarchy on things because this is how we are trained to think, but it's always a square peg in a round hole because reality is not hierarchical.  This is why structured analysis with its hierarchy of functions, requirements, information etc. scales very poorly in any reasonably large project.
The whole point of object orientation is to avoid the rabbit hole of hierarchies.  1000s of requirements structured in a hierarchy sounds like something that cannot represent a business reality... I recommend keeping requirements in an Excel sheet (flat, no hierarchy) and relating each requirement to one or many model elements (use cases, classes, components, whatever object you need).  I treat the requirement as a class and assign an object of the requirement class as a child of whatever element helps to enable that requirement.  If I need to, I can run a query on t_diagramobjects joined to t_object to keep track of which elements enable which requirements and vice versa.

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11471
  • Karma: +304/-263
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2020, 12:13:45 am »
@Richard Yes, they are more flat than hierarchical. But you have Functional and NF-R. And the NF has a sack of sub-categories (security, legal, you name it). And once you get a grip on your UCs you want the requirements be related. So there's the hierarchy again.

q.

Uffe

  • EA Practitioner
  • ***
  • Posts: 1815
  • Karma: +122/-14
  • Flutes: 1; Clarinets: 1; Saxes: 5 and counting
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2020, 02:30:41 am »
<rant>
The "reality is not hierarchical" bit is just the sort of utterly vacuous bullcrap unnecessarily sweeping generalization I would expect from someone like Rumbaugh. If you have an engineering project that involves a few hundred thousand person-hours and you don't break that down into successively smaller pieces, well... good luck. Good luck organizing the job, good luck planning it out, and good luck ever getting it done.
</rant>

Use case analysis has (massive!) problems of its own. It is not a panacea, and some problems are better suited to requirement breakdown. Happily, EA supports both.

Steen's situation sounds more like a failure of management than of technology.
One key point when working in any multi-tool situation is that you keep the structures in one tool. You also need to manage change.

Lawyers are just like other stakeholders: they're not analysts. Ultimately it's the analysts who must control the analysis, not the stakeholders.
And all stakeholders must understand the costs involved with making changes.
My theories are always correct, just apply them to the right reality.

steen.jensen

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2020, 06:56:54 am »
Halloy all out there.
Very very interesting respond to my "agany" about our requirement work in my latest project.
Yes its not an error of tool, its more lack of good & sound method & proces for Requirement gathering and analyses.
As I work in public Government the Lawyers is always there  to "Correct" and "change" stuff they dont understand and some time the meaning with each requirement is "lost in translation".

In some way I dont see how we could work with an "flat" structure of all those requriement and keep all relations and categories an so on..

Anyway I got some good ideas och hopefully gather some strength from all of you to carry on my crusade to get an workeble requirement methods for my organisation what ever tool we select in the feature. So far I stand with Sparx EA.

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 7480
  • Karma: +185/-120
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2020, 11:06:07 am »
@Richard Yes, they are more flat than hierarchical. But you have Functional and NF-R. And the NF has a sack of sub-categories (security, legal, you name it). And once you get a grip on your UCs you want the requirements to be related. So there's the hierarchy again.

q.
There are at least two types of hierarchies...  Trees (single parent only) and Lattices (possible multiple parents).  Always make sure you specify which type you mean.

Mostly when people say hierarchy they mean trees.  BUT NOT Always.

Certainly, the notion of requirements being strictly trees is almost always incorrect.  But a lattice might be feasible in many cases.

To further confound the discussion is the propensity of tools to nest items in trees when they are often related by holonomy, not nesting. (If I have a hammer, everything is a nail)

Paolo

PS: Uffe; having met Jim Rumbaugh once (I showed him around Sydney) I found that there were "feet of clay" and my (then) "guru" view was dissipated.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 11:10:23 am by Paolo F Cantoni »
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

Richard Freggi

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 312
  • Karma: +11/-6
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2020, 02:55:43 pm »
Halloy all out there.
Very very interesting respond to my "agany" about our requirement work in my latest project.
Yes its not an error of tool, its more lack of good & sound method & proces for Requirement gathering and analyses.
As I work in public Government the Lawyers is always there  to "Correct" and "change" stuff they dont understand and some time the meaning with each requirement is "lost in translation".

In some way I dont see how we could work with an "flat" structure of all those requriement and keep all relations and categories an so on..

Anyway I got some good ideas och hopefully gather some strength from all of you to carry on my crusade to get an workeble requirement methods for my organisation what ever tool we select in the feature. So far I stand with Sparx EA.

Mr. (Ms?) Jensen, TOGAF ADM does a decent job of describing a pretty good way of dealing with requirements during all design and implementation phases.  TOGAF does it in a rather wordy and roundabout way but it's understandable because it tries to describe all possible situations in dealing with requirements, but if you read it a couple of times and try it out it gradually you will see benefits.  p.s. I don't recommend using the Sparx templates for TOGAF or any other methodology not because they are not good but because the point of any methodology is that you HAVE to pick and choose what you need in any specific situation, not just blindly follow it (TOGAF says it right at the beginning, look up 'tailoring').  Good luck!

p.s. @ Paolo: yes it's best to never meet your heroes, but a person is not their ideas and vice versa.  A moron can have a brilliant idea and a genius can have stupid ideas, happens all the time. 
« Last Edit: April 25, 2020, 03:00:12 pm by Richard Freggi »

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11471
  • Karma: +304/-263
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2020, 03:18:38 pm »
There are at least two types of hierarchies...  Trees (single parent only) and Lattices (possible multiple parents).  Always make sure you specify which type you mean.

Well, no.

Quote from: New Oxford American Dictionary
hi·er·arch | ˈhī(ə)ˌrärk |
noun
a chief priest, archbishop, or other leader.

Quote from: New Oxford American Dictionary
hi·er·ar·chy | ˈhī(ə)ˌrärkē |
noun (plural hierarchies)
a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority: the initiative was with those lower down in the hierarchy | [mass noun] : the trend is to get away from hierarchy and control.

A lattice has no leader.

q.

steen.jensen

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 129
  • Karma: +3/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2020, 07:49:11 am »
Quote
yes it's best to never meet your heroes, but a person is not their ideas and vice versa.  A moron can have a brilliant idea and a genius can have stupid ideas, happens all the time.

I was an Open Group meeting in Stockholm few years back and mr Zachman was there to as one speaker.
After several young speakers that tought there agil aproach was changing the world for architectwork, I was happily amazed of the virality and humble way he was presented his "old" work in an agile time and  he got several "punches" to the young guys that havent read or understand his "framework". And yes ALL framework needs adapting in some way.

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 7480
  • Karma: +185/-120
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2020, 10:18:48 am »
There are at least two types of hierarchies...  Trees (single parent only) and Lattices (possible multiple parents).  Always make sure you specify which type you mean.

Well, no.

Quote from: New Oxford American Dictionary
hi·er·arch | ˈhī(ə)ˌrärk |
noun
a chief priest, archbishop, or other leader.

Quote from: New Oxford American Dictionary
hi·er·ar·chy | ˈhī(ə)ˌrärkē |
noun (plural hierarchies)
a system or organization in which people or groups are ranked one above the other according to status or authority: the initiative was with those lower down in the hierarchy | [mass noun] : the trend is to get away from hierarchy and control.

A lattice has no leader.

q.
A lattice might have no leader.  Many do.
According to the definitions above, requirements can not be in a hierarchy since they are not people.  The term Groups above implies "Groups of People" - when you've been dealing with language in a more formal way as I have for decades, you get to recognise "Dictionariese" - like Legalese.

In any event, I've probably made my views on dictionaries many times (probably here too).  Dictionaries have abrogated what used to be their more important role which was defining the meaning of words and now merely document their usage.

Thus there are a significant number of words (in English) where the dictionary definition holds two diametrically opposite meanings.

As you know, I talk about ontologies (a definitional architecture where the terms and their meanings should attempt to be unique and certainly self-consistent).

Paolo
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11471
  • Karma: +304/-263
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2020, 04:59:45 pm »
Basically hierarchical means: there's is one that orders many where the many may self order many. Now if you introduce a loop you find that bosses find themself in the position that they give orders to themselves. What a strange world thar would be.

If you have a lattices it's called meshed. In case of a tree it's a hierarchy.

q.

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 7480
  • Karma: +185/-120
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Requirement creation and process with tools as EA
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2020, 10:33:59 pm »
Basically hierarchical means: there's is one that orders many where the many may self-order many. Now if you introduce a loop you find that bosses find themself in the position that they give orders to themselves. What a strange world that would be.

If you have a lattice it's called meshed. In case of a tree, it's a hierarchy.

q.
I never talked about loops.  In both cases, lattice and tree are acyclic.  It may be a "lost in translation problem".
English is quite lax (as compared to German) hence these issues. As it happens, when people read and use my ontology, they sometimes comment that it feels Germanic - which I take as a compliment!

In English, hierarchies need not be trees.

Paolo
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!