Requirement Models for System Replacement Projects

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We recently received an “Ask Joy” question around what models can be helpful for a system replacement project. Below is our answer, slightly modified to give proper context for all.

System replacement projects can be a challenge, since many times the systems being replaced are old and obsolete from a technology perspective, but our business counterparts know and love their existing systems!  Thus as a start, create Process Flows to understand what the business is doing today. The focus should be on the business activities, what they are and are not doing. Once you have the process flows, annotate them with Key Performance Indicator Models (KPIM). KPIMs can help you demonstrate to the business stakeholders that even if the new system behaves differently, the business outcomes will be the same or better.  KPIMs are great to capture expectations around performance in an old/existing system – so that you can prioritize feature to maintain the most important of those.

Additional requirement models that you might consider also include:

  • Roles & Permissions Matrix – this can help you understand how to move your existing users to the new system and what role they need to have in the system and what the permissions are for the role.
  • Ecosystem Map – this will help you understand what the existing systems are, how they are connected to each other and the high level business data objects that flow between them.  This is a great model to help identify the existing integrations and what integrations you may need with the new system.
  • System Flow – similar to process flows which focus on people, this focuses on the system(s).
  • Business Data Diagram – this will help all understand the business data objects and the cardinality relationship between those data objects.
  • Data Dictionary – these are terrific to capture all of the UI fields that will be required. Be careful not to capture a field just because it is there, ensure that it is being used. You may also find that through the years existing fields have been repurposed. This is a terrific time to understand those fields and ensure they are named appropriately.
  • Report Table – to help define any existing reports that are needed in the new system.

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