24 Requirements Engineering for Software and Systems
is statement is clear, compelling, and inspiring. And it is “useful”—fans of
this classic series will recall several episodes in which certain actions to be taken by
the starship crew were weighed against the mission statement.
To illustrate further, there is an apocryphal story of a multi-billion dollar-
company that manufactured cardboard boxes and other packaging. e mission
statement was something like
Our mission is to provide innovative, safe, and reliable packaging to the
At a corporate retreat the senior executives began to bog down in arguments
over new plants, corporate jets, marketing, and so on. In the back of the room, the
CEO, a direct descendent of one of the company’s founders was silently gesturing
with his hands. Finally the executives noticed the CEO’s actions, silenced, and
asked what he was doing. He said, “I am making the shape of a box—remember
what we do—we make boxes.” is reference to the mission statement brought the
other executives back on track.
So what might a mission statement for the baggage handling system look like?
To automate all aspects of baggage handling from passenger origin
For the pet store POS system, consider
To automate all aspects of customer purchase interaction and inven-
ese are not necessarily clever, or awe inspiring mission statements, but they
do convey the essence of the system. And they might be useful downstream when
we need to calibrate the expectations of those involved in its speciﬁcation. In glob-
ally distributed development in particular, the need for a system metaphor is of
Encounter with a Customer?
Suppose your wife (or substitute “husband,” “friend,” “roommate,” or whoever)
asks you to go to the store to pick up the following items because she wants to make
5 pounds ﬂour ◾
12 large eggs ◾
5 pounds sugar ◾
1 pound butter ◾