Copyright 2014 Nikolas S. Boyd. Permission is granted to copy this document provided this copyright statement is retained in all copies.

Purpose

Nik Boyd

In the context of this Model, a Purpose

aligns a business Activity Improvement with its Mission and Vision, and

explains why a requested Improvement is needed, desired, or adds Value.

Discussion

A Purposeexplains why a given business activity has value, or why a measurable improvement is needed or desirable, and (perhaps) why that improvement is needed sooner rather than later. A Purpose can also explain what are the intended consequences of an improvement, and what are the consqeuences that will likely occur without the improvement.

Describing the purpose of an improvement can help substantiate the value of the improvement. Thus, it can be useful to describe why a given feature is needed or desirable in a software solution. This will usually relate the feature to a quality concern raised by some business policy, esp. one from its mission. For example, consider one of the more popular formats for a user story and an example of its use:

As a role, I want feature so that benefit.

As a depot manager, I need a depot status report, so I can verify depot safety and (thereby) ensure regulatory compliance.

Using the foregoing format for user stories allows solution features to better be traced back to their origins in policy statements, and better exposes the rationale behind the features, and their importance to solving specific business problems. The following pair of trace cards show how a feature can be linked to and aligned with a specific mission policy.

Depot Monitoring
depot manager monitors depot
depot manager wants depot status
depot governors want to ensure depot safety compliance
depot remains safe
depot buildings remain safe
depot manager requests depot status report
system reports depot status, including:
a vulnerable building count
a vulnerability indicator for each building
a drum count per hazard for each building

Safety as a Mission Theme
safety regulatory compliance
safe hazmat storage ensure safety compliance
minimize depot vulnerability
prevent depot closure
prevent litigation
accept all drums that can be safely stored
allocate drum storage space within licensed limits
allocate drum storage space to minimize vulnerability