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Effective UI by John McRee, Jonathan Anderson, EffectiveUI Team, Robb Wilson

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Chapter 5. Getting the Business Perspective

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Business planning is the first stage of planning the project, when you start to explore and define the problem that needs to be solved. In Chapter 3, you learned that effective requirements are a framework of constraining parameters that guide decision making and design. Framework requirements convey a clear understanding of the problem to be solved, but leave the details of the solution to be worked out later when the development stage begins. The business’s needs and goals will guide and constrain everything else in the project and are therefore the starting point in building the framework requirements. Though the focus of the project will eventually shift primarily onto user needs, meeting those user needs will always be a means of accomplishing the business’s goals.

The result of this stage should be a clear statement of what the business absolutely needs and expects of the project—nothing more and nothing less. Since it forms the basis of a key part of the framework requirements, business planning must be restrained to just focus on defining the problem without attempting to prematurely define the solution. The needs of the business that are explored, clarified, and documented through this stage will stand as a faithful proxy for the interests of the business and the stakeholders through the course of the project. But they shouldn’t ...

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