Defining Your System Requirements

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System requirements definition can be the most important step in purchasing a new software system but it is often left out of the process. Defining what you want from your system allows you to investigate possible alternatives and rule out those that don’t meet your requirements. System requirements are best defined by area of business activity as they relate to the core business processes of the organization. Don’t assume that any process will be supported or take for granted that it will be supported the way you need it to be. The primary purpose of a software system is to support business processes. Follow these guidelines to develop a good definition of your system requirements.

Don’t define requirements as supporting what is – define them as supporting what will be.

To produce a comprehensive system requirements definition, list the steps in each core business process and the way it works or the way you would like it to work. Remember, the purpose of a software system is to improve the business. So don’t define requirements as supporting what is – define them as supporting what will be. The system should take you forward.

 

Consider future growth and scalability

Always consider future growth and scalability as a requirement. The future should never find you in a position in which you’ve outgrown your system. A system should enable your business to grow and as it grows the system should be able to accommodate additional transactions and users.

 

Determine your budget

Finally determine your budget. Of course this can vary depending on the circumstances. If a system will allow significant cost savings or increase in sales, a larger investment is justifiable. But a price range should always be determined before a search begins. This way you won’t waste time evaluating software that’s not within your budget.

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