The first step in organization system design is to define the intent or purpose of the particular system being designed. During this first step, develop a clear understanding of the purpose(s) for the system; identify the stakeholder needs, wants and desires; and identify key features, functions, and components of the system and the associated requirements.
You might start by asking the basic question, “Why do we need this organization or management system?” A clear understanding of the purpose(s) of the system will provide the design team with a solid foundation and touchstone for future discovery and design decisions. The purposes for an organization or management system can come from a variety of sources and inputs, including leaders, regulations, industry standards and so forth. Typically, the leaders will define the need for the system and its basic purpose.
With a clear purpose identified, the next step is to identify the requirements that will help fulfill that purpose. What are the main capabilities needed for this system, including the key components and requirements? The key components are often identified by existing models or standards. In addition to the components, what are the key requirements of the system? The result of the first two elements (purpose and management requirements) exercise is the first part of a formal design brief. A design brief is a formal document that captures the key project requirements and parameters. The design brief will evolve throughout the discovery process. Up to this point, the input has been primarily from management, which is a great starting point.
The last step in the purpose and requirements component is to understand the key stakeholders and their requirements. First, identify the key stakeholders for this particular system or process. The six stakeholder groups identified in Chapter 2 make a good starting point. The six stakeholder groups are the customers (internal and external), the workforce, the suppliers and partners (external and internal), the investors, the community and the natural environment. However, the six groups are often too large and general to be useful for a specific system design. Consequently, the task here is to get specific. Once the specific stakeholders are identified, use an empathy profile approach to understand their experiences with the system.
This module “sets the stage” for the subsequent design modules and activities by identifying why this system is needed, the management and technical requirements of the system, and the stakeholders of the system and their needs.
- Understand the purpose(s) of the system. Why do you need this system? What are the expected benefits?
- Identify the key system capabilities that are needed.
- Understand the multiple stakeholders’ and their requirements for the system.
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