SDLC SOP 1040 - Requirements Definition

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SDLC SOP 1040 - Requirements Definition


The objective of this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to document the procedures needed to create a requirements definition for a project.


This procedure refers to the second phase in the System Development Life Cycle; to obtain commitment between the Performing Organization and the Contracting Organization to deliver the project as defined within the agreed upon scope, cost and schedule constraints..


Chief Technology Officer


Term Definition/Description
Program/Project Management The systematic execution of a System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) for a release or projects that have significant impact on an organization’s service delivery.This procedure oversees the SDLC execution; thus, it relies heavily on defined procedure activities and acceptance criteria for inputs and outputs

Note: Every unit within SDLC interacts with Program/Project Management.Every release of new and enhanced features and functionality requires the commitment and effort from all departments.

Project Manager The focal point throughout a project who ensures that the responsible party has completed with quality and comply with defined acceptance criteria.The Project Manager also acts as the conduit for communicating the progress of the project and decisions made throughout the process to the Project Sponsor Contracting Organization, and the Performing Organization
Program Management Addresses oversight for a group of projects. Program Managers shoulder the responsible for the successful completion of program objectives by supporting and developing project staff.Reporting at this level provides Executive Management with the information necessary to make informed decisions and execute actions that optimize benefits to the organization.
Program Manager The tactical manager who facilitates, monitors and communicates the progress and issues in implementing the strategic objectives of an approved program.The Program Manager works cross-functionally to develop the blueprint that integrates multiple release deliverables that enhance the program’s portfolio.
PMO The PMO is the organization that consolidates all project plans and reports the status to executive management.Impacts from individual projects can be seen from an organizational perspective and responded to rapidly. The PMO is where project and program standards, procedures, policies and reporting are established
Business Gate defined milestone in a project lifecycle when specific requirements must be met in order to make or validate business decisions relating to the project.
Lock-Down The milestone in a project schedule achieved when agreement exists between the Performing Organizations and the Contracting Organizations for the delivery of a defined project scope of work within a defined schedule at a defined cost.
Management Phase Review An event associated with selected business gates where specific decisions concerning the project are made by appropriate levels of management.Deviations in deliverables or timeframe are handled by convening the Gate 6 Review Board. This group will make any decisions concerning scope, cost, and schedule tradeoffs.These business gates are:
  • G-11: Project Strategy
  • Lock-Down G-10: Requirements Scope Lock-Down
  • G-6: Project Lock-Down
  • G-4: Begin Validation
  • G-2: Begin FOA
  • G-0: General Availability

SDLC Business Gates The foundation is Program/Project Management in the SDLC Business Gates. This Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) begins at project initiation and moves through deployment to the production environment.
Phase A collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable. The conclusion of a project phase is generally marked by a review of both key deliverables and project performance in order to determine if the project should continue into its next phase as defined or with modifications or be Terminated and to detect and correct errors cost effectively.
Program A defined set of projects containing common dependencies, and/or resources and/or objectives overseen by a Program Manager
Project A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service. A project has a defined scope of work (unique product or service), a time constraint within which the project objectives must be completed (temporary) and a cost constraint.In the context of SDLC, a project may be one of:
  • an individual feature
  • a collection of features making a release
  • a collection of product releases making up
  • a portfolio a new product development
System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) A predictable series of phases through which a new information system progresses from conception to implementation. All of the activities involved with creating and operating an information system, from the planning phase and/or the initial concept to the point at which the system is installed in a production environment. The major phases are Release Planning, Definition (Requirements and Specifications), Development, Test (Validation), and Deployment.

Process Flow Diagrams

Requirements Definition Overview


Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibility
Contracting Organization The Contracting Organization contracts with the performing organization to develop the product using a project discipline.The Contracting Organization represents two departments: Product and Technical Support.

Customer A Customer is the individual or organization who will use the project product.Note that there is a distinction for SDLC between the true customer and the Contracting Organization that acts as the customer’s representative within SDLC.
Office of the Chief Executive The Office of the Chief Executive is the executive management team at SDLC. They establish business strategy and commission projects.
Owner The Owner oversees the completion of work at a gate.They may be from the Product, Content, Technical Support, or Development areas depending on the project activities underway. The Project Sponsor assigns owners at the beginning of a project.

Each gate has an Owner who is accountable for tracking the gate requirements,maintaining the status of the gate and taking corrective action to ensure that the gate is met in a timely manner.The gate owner is also responsible for convening a meeting of the appropriate review board to approve passage of the gate. In the case of gates that have associated management phase reviews (see glossary), the gate owner convenes the review meeting and facilitates the decision making that is required at that gate In the event that an exception arises at a gate that does not have any associated management phase review, the owner is responsible for escalating the issue to the appropriate management phase review board for resolution.

Performing Organization The Performing Organization is generally the Engineering Department. The Engineering Department consists of Development (Sustaining, Advanced and Strategic), Validation/Quality Assurance, Operations (OCC, Release Engineering, Database Administration, Network, Unix, and Operations Engineering), Systems Engineering/Architecture and project management.
Program Manager The Program Manager is the individual who oversees multiple projects that are related by a type of service delivery or by feature and functionality. The Program Manager is accountable for the program and is empowered by the Office of the Chief Executive to make decisions affecting the successful outcome of the program.

The Program Manager takes an enterprise view. The Program Manager is responsible for de Term ining the schedule for deployment of company resources and achieving the objectives of a specific program.The role includes the following additional responsibilities:

  • Managing Project Managers
  • Producing milestone progress reports
  • Initiating issue and risk mediation
  • Scheduling and conducting status meetings
    • Preparing status reports
    • Ensuring the project is on time, within budget program deliverables.
Program Management Office (PMO) The Program Management Office (PMO) monitors, supports and reports on SDLC's programs and projects. Program Managers provide defined periodic updates to the PMO. The PMO consolidates the efforts of all programs and technology specific projects and delivers these reports to the OCE.

The PMO is responsible for issuing standards and guidelines for planning, tracking, and reporting, and for providing project support to individual project teams.Accountability for project delivery will remain with the individual Project Manager and Program Manager.

Project Manager

The Project Manager is accountable for the project and must be empowered to make decisions affecting the successful outcome of the project responsible for managing a project.This should not be confused with the project management function that exists within many organizations.

Project Managers are responsible for de Termining the deployment schedule for their specific project.This role includes the following additional responsibilities:

  • Reviewing progress reports
  • Taking corrective action in problem solving
  • Scheduling and conducting status meetings
  • Preparing status reports
  • Ensuring that change control procedures are being followed

Review Board

The Review Board is composed of representatives from both the Performing and Contracting Organizations, as well as the Project Sponsor, Project Manager and Program Manager.Review Boards assess the deliverables at each gate in the System Development Life Cycle to insure that requirements have been met. Also, the Review Board’s specific knowledge of the project’s goals and status allow it to make informed decisions to which they are held accountable.

Milestone/Gate reviews provide the mechanism for the management of the Performing Organization and the Contracting Organization to make decisions concerning the scope, cost and schedule of the project.At each review, the members of the Review Board are required to make decisions that are in the best interests of SDLC.These decisions may involve making tradeoffs to arrive at an optimal decision.It may be necessary to omit or remove scope in order to satisfy cost and schedule constraints.Additional cost may be approved to maintain scope and schedule commitments.A schedule delay may be agreed upon to enable required scope to be delivered within existing budgets. Each case is unique and must be considered on its specific merits.

Service Organization

The Service Organization is the unit that that provides deployment support services to the Contracting Organization for all SDLC products.Services include provision and support of deployment tools, software load support, problem resolution, phone support and deployment planning support.At SDLC the Service Organization is generally Technical Support.

Training Organization

The Training Organization is the organization that provides customer installation and operations training to the Contracting Organization for all SDLC products.This generally refers to Technical Support


Metric Description
Cycle Time The number of days or hours it takes to complete requirements for a SDLC Business Gate and/or milestone.
Defects Instances of failure to pass specific tests or quality measures or to meet

specification/acceptance criteria. These are recorded and assessed throughout a project and reported at the end of the project.

Change Agents Individuals who analyse a process and recommend ways to improve it, successful or not in its

adoption, will be reported to Engineering Department management.These individuals will receive recognition for their effort to compress cycle times and/or improve quality.

Procedure Activities

The foundation of the Requirements Definition Procedure is the SDLC Business Gates (SOP 1001 - Program/Project Management). This procedure focuses on Gates 10 through 6.Gate 10 involves approving the scope of work for which the organization will commit to develop the system requirements and Gate 6 involves “Project Lock-Down” for delivery of the defined scope within the defined timeframe.

Gate/Activity Description


Review Scope of Work (SOW) In order to pass Gate 11 into Gate 10, the Review board, which consists of the Steering Committee

and the OCE, has accepted the initial portfolio scope and the user requirements.Upon approval by the Review Board, the Scope of Work documents created in gate 10 is communicated toengineering (the performing organization) by the Project Manager.

The Development, Quality Assurance, and Operations groups review each of the SOW’s for completeness. If the SOW’s are not adequately filled out by the Contracting organization, they are sent back to the Contracting Organization to be completed. The Contracting Organization is given 5 business days to complete this task. If the SOW is not complete with the stated time period the SOW is in jeopardy of being dropped from the release. In such a case, the Project Manager would scalate the issue to the Steering Committee to obtain approval to drop the SOW.

Collect and Bundle SOW Once all the SOW’s are reviewed for completeness, they are forwarded to the Project Manager who bundles them together and presents the entire SOW release package for review by the Steering Committee.
Approve SOW The Steering Committee approves the SOW’s by reviewing and signing off on the release package. If any SOW’s were dropped, the Steering Committee will also approve the revised release scope.
Review Scope Upon approval by the Steering Committee, the Project Manager distributes the SOW release package to the Performing organization (Engineering) to develop high level estimates for each SOW. Each Performing organization (Dev., Ops, QA, MIS, etc)Reviews each SOW that impacts their group and provides an estimate back to the Project Manager. The Project Manager totals all estimates and creates an Engineering total for each SOW. The PM then totals all the SOWs estimates together to develop a total estimate for the release. The PM meets with the Engineering Department, to de Termine how many of the SOWs can be completed in the defined release timeframe based on these estimates. The prioritized list created in the Release Planning Procedure (SOP 1005)is used to develop the recommended release scope. The Engineering Department, if necessary, drops any low priority SOW’s that can not be completed in the timeframe of the next release.
Approve Scope The Project Manager presents the SOW totals, release estimates, and the recommended release scope to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee at this point either approves the recommended release scope or negotiates alternatives with the performing organizations. If the Steering Committee would like to add dropped SOWs back to the release, either the timeframe, resources/cost, or quality needs to be adjusted and agreed upon by the Steering Committee and Performing organizations
Facilitate Definition Phase Kick-Off Meeting Upon acceptance of the revised scope by the Steering Committee and Performing Organizations Project Manager facilitates a kick-off meeting for the Definition phase of the project. The Project Manager walks through at a high level all approved SOWs with the Engineering, Product Development, and Technical Support groups. The purpose of the meeting is for everyone to understand the entire set of features/enhancements that will be developed and deployed.
Develop Plan for Definition phase In order to complete the Plan for the Definition Phase, the Project Manager will request and receive materials listed below from various areas of both the Contracting and Performing Organizations. The Project Manager Contracting and Performing Organizations (CON)
  • Detailed Schedule
  • Resources/Cost Assigned
  • Capital Budget
  • Risk Plan Developed

Validation Function (QA) of the Performing Organization (CON)

  • Quality Plan

Operations Function of the Performing Organization (CON)

  • Configuration Plan

All materials contribute to the refinement of the Project Plan by the Project Manager. At this point the Project Manager ensure that all known assumptions, dependencies, constraints, and risks are reflected in the Project Plan.Each distribution of the project plan reminds recipients that each has responsibility to review and revise assumptions, dependencies, constraints, and risks, as better information is available.

Create Quality Plan The high level Quality Plan will be develop by the Quality Assurance Manager and incorporated into the Project Managers Definition Phase Plan
Create Capacity Management Plan The Operations Manager and Release Engineer will develop the high level Capacity Management Plan. This plan will also be incorporated into the Project Managers Definition Phase Plan. See Capacity Management Procedure (SOP 1002)
Create Configuration Management Plan The Operations Manager and Release Engineer will develop the high level Configuration Management Plan. This plan will also be incorporated into the Project Managers Definition Phase Plan. See Configuration Management Procedure (SOP 1003)
Create Release Plan The Operations Manager and Release Engineer will develop the high level Release Plan. This plan will also be incorporated into the Project Manager’s Definition Phase Plan. See Release Planning Procedure (SOP 1005)

Approve Plan for Definition Phase The Review Board (Program Sponsor, Program Manager, Project Manager, Contracting Organization(s), and Performing Organization(s)) reviews the Plan for the Definition Phase and the revised project scope. At this point a commitment is made to develop the requirements.


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Tools/Software/Technology Used

Form Description

MS Word

Word Processing

MS Excel



Release Planning Detailed Program Flow

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Business SDLC Gates

SDLC Business Requirements

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