Technical Report : Requirements Management for Net-Centric Enterprises – Phase 1

Report Number: Technical Report SERC-2011-TR-0017-1

Report Name: Requirements Management for Net-Centric Enterprises – Phase 1

Publication Date: April 28, 2011


Net-centric enterprises increasingly are found in government and industry contexts. In this research, a net-centric enterprise consists of a number of semi-autonomous organizations that collaborate within the context of a federated structure. Such collaborations may be temporary and of known duration, temporary and of unknown duration, or permanent and known to be permanent.

When such semi-autonomous organizations collaborate, they typically have information technology needs to support their collaboration. In the information technology (IT) domain, such needs are called requirements. From a business or organizational perspective, these needs are called capabilities or functions. In designing and developing IT systems to support high-level capabilities, capabilities are decomposed to functions and then to requirements. From requirements, software architectures are derived and then implemented. The fundamental problem is how to manage the process of proceeding from capabilities to systems, i.e., requirements management in the net-centric enterprise.

The preceding simple linear process description is useful, but inadequate to address the complexity of the net-centric enterprise. This complexity manifests itself in the following forms – the need to join existing IT systems belonging to the organizations involved in the collaboration to support the desired capabilities, the perhaps unknown durations of such collaborations, the presence of legacy systems, and the evolving needs and missions of the various organizations. This research uses case study analysis of business mergers and other types of IT integrations to aid in the specification of a methodology to address the requirements management problem. This report provides the results of a Phase 1 effort of this research, including case study analysis, methodology specifications and recommendations for future research.