FirstSTEP

The unique KPI methodology FirstSTEP enables clients to create complete and unambiguous requirements with unprecedented speed.

It is the only requirements approach that integrates The Decision Model, visualization, and techniques of the BABOK (business analyst book of knowledge) published by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA).

FirstSTEP has the following four characteristics which together deliver measurable improvements over other approaches:

  • A framework that ensures completeness of all functional and business requirements
  • The Decision Model that transforms important business thinking into tangible and manageable business requirements
  • Additional models, including process models and conceptual data models ensuring a rigorous approach
  • The visualization that simulates user scenarios eliciting missing requirements
 
“...a new approach to improve the elicitation and quality of functional requirements and corresponding test cases in the development of systems.”
-William D. Miller, Stevens Institute of Technology

Requirements Framework

 The KPI FirstSTEP requirements framework is based upon the Zachman Enterprise Framework2™, which is the basis of all modern Enterprise Architecture1.

The requirements framework is used to:

  • Test whether the project charter and scope is sufficient and complete to begin gathering business requirements
  • Support the selection of the most appropriate models for each facet of the business requirements
  • Determine the completeness of the business requirements
  • Ensure that the requirements fully conform to the Enterprise Architecture

The framework provides a reference point for each step in the methodology, ensuring the cohesiveness of the business requirements upon their delivery.


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The Decision Model

The Decision Model represents business logic (business rules) in a rigorous, atomic, and normalized structure that is clearly defined, eliminating duplicate and possibly conflicting interpretations. The Relational Model changed the way we manage data. Today, the Decision Model does the same for business decisions and rules.

Practice proves that The Decision Model significantly reduces cost and time in capturing, managing, and testing business rules. Using this approach leads to a dramatic simplification of process models, use cases, and other event models.



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Visualization

Incorporated into the methodology is the new technique of visualization – the use of high-fidelity, fully functional prototypes to replace use cases and fully explicate the business requirements. This approach enables users to explore the possibilities of proposed systems in lifelike situations and better understand their needs. Visualization is used to supplement and inform the conventional models used in the methodology, and is an integral part of the complete deliverables of the requirements project.

 

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1 The Zachman Framework, is a Copyright work of John A. Zachman of Zachman International. A detailed explanation of the Framework may be found in The Decision Model: A Business Logic Framework Linking Business and Technology, Chapter 13. (von Halle and Goldberg, Taylor & Francis, 2009)