Tree of Requirements

At a client, I felt the need for structuring “requirements” we got from user interviews.

In my opinion, the structure is already inside the topics and items. You just have to work it out (like Michelangelo said).

So, how did the tree grow? Recently I referenced Lyssa Adkins’ tree of high performance at another client. Thanx to Christian Kasparek who originally gave me the hint. I am also currently reading UZMO – thinking with the Pen. I instantly adapted the great value of visualization. Since then, I have a new hammer in my toolbox. As You can imagine, so many nails are around me, now. 😉
The last module is something I use since more than a decade – the chain of dependencies.

All together was combined magically overnight by my brain to the sparkling idea that arose next morning.


The Tree of Requirements

It consists of roots, trunk, branches, leaves and fruits.

  • Roots relate to the ground and nurture the plant. These are the data sources.
  • The trunk is the backend infrastructure
    • The connectivity between the components make the trunk stable, growing and the crown rising
    • The trunk also includes backend business logic and supporting infrastructure & concepts like EAI
  • Branches are certain functional areas or clusters that reach out to the environment to spread the plant, enlarge its surface, bear leaves and fruit
  • Leaves collect energy (sunlight) and construction material (CO2) from the environment and transport it to plant’s inside.
  • Finally, fruits are what You really aim for by planting and grooming a tree. They grow on the branches.


Using the Picture

Once You painted/introduced the picture of the tree, You can pin or stick Your requirements where You “see” them.

(Predictive) Analytics and BI are two sides of one medal – functional cluster > branch.

Data Quality is needed for that. Therefore, data verification and data validation is something, Analytics benefit of.
But also outbound marketing communications benefit by reducing addressees who’s addresses are not correctly stored or not valid anymore.
Therefore, Data Quality could be seen as part of the trunk rather than a “low hanging” fruit. You can also see it as a branch that holds the fruit. As You like and need …

On the other hand, the plant needs to reach out to the environment to collect energy and material. That’s the function of leaves.

In my understanding the “IoT-thing” is like leaves. You need chunks of data from Your environment. Therefore, You spread out thousands of sensors (leaves) to the environment. Collected data (energy and construction material) is transported via thin connections inside the plant and is aggregated and processed there. You might see that as part of a branch or a “central” component and therefore within the trunk.


In the end, You can identify Your need of components and change to them by following the path from fruit to root.
Now, You know what to do and the sequence in which You can achieve fruit – what Your Business is really there for.

Feel free to use and make life great!

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