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What is a Vision Document?

Posted by owizard

Article Rating // 76546 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA), Project Management, Elicitation (BABOK KA)


"What is a Vision Document? What are the typical sections in it? Is it different from a Business Case?"

The Vision

Let's discuss first what is considered the "Vision".  In general, the Vision represents the end user's or customer's ideas and views of the software product to be developed.  Think of the vision as the "idea".  In an entrepreneurial environment, the entrepreneur starts with an "idea" which is later turned into a tangible product, service, etc.

Same is the case with software projects; they all start with an idea or vision related to the types of needs that might be addressed by a system having certain features.

The Vision Document

Many organizations capture the Vision in a "Vision Document" which generally contains the key business needs and features of the system from the stakeholder perspective.  The Vision Document is simply a mechanism to put down on paper "the idea".

There are many different types of templates for a Vision Document depending on the methodology, organization, project size, etc.

The Business Case

Yes, the Business Case is different than the Vision.  Whereas the Vision represents the "idea", the Business Case is the "rationalization" as to why the Vision is a good idea and how the Vision will be implemented.  The Business Case begins the discussion, at the high level, on how the project might be implemented: cost, resources, timelines, etc.

The Vision Document Template

The Vision Document defined by RUP (Rational Unified Process) includes the following sections:

1. Introduction

  • 1.1 Purpose
  • 1.2 Scope
  • 1.3 Definitions, Acronyms, and Abbreviations
  • 1.4 References
  • 1.5 Overview

2. Positioning

  • 2.1 Business Opportunity
  • 2.2 Problem Statement
  • 2.3 Product Position Statement

3. Stakeholder and User Descriptions

  • 3.1 Market Demographics
  • 3.2 Stakeholder Summary
  • 3.3 User Summary
  • 3.4 User environment
  • 3.5 Stakeholder Profiles
    • 3.5.1 <Stakeholder Name>
  • 3.6 User Profiles
    • 3.6.1 <User Name>
  • 3.7 Key Stakeholder or User Needs
  • 3.8 Alternatives and Competition
    • 3.8.1 <aCompetitor>
    • 3.8.2 <anotherCompetitor>

4. Product Overview

  • 4.1 Product Perspective
  • 4.2 Summary of Capabilities
  • 4.3 Assumptions and Dependencies
  • 4.4 Cost and Pricing
  • 4.5 Licensing and Installation

5. Product Features

  • 5.1 <aFeature>
  • 5.2 <anotherFeature>

6. Constraints

7. Quality Ranges

8. Precedence and Priority

9. Other Product Requirements

  • 9.1 Applicable Standards
  • 9.2 System Requirements
  • 9.3 Performance Requirements
  • 9.4 Environmental Requirements

10. Documentation Requirements

  • 10.1 User Manual
  • 10.2 Online Help
  • 10.3 Installation Guides, Configuration, and Read Me File
  • 10.4 Labeling and Packaging

A. Feature Attributes



TJEP posted on Monday, March 4, 2013 1:32 AM
simple, straight-forward, and very valuable
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