To be able to specify the requirements for a system correctly and completely it

To be able to specify the requirements for a system

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identified. To be able to specify the requirements for a system correctly and completely, it is necessary to identify the relationships between individual material and immaterial aspects as precisely as possible. The part of reality that is relevant for the requirements of a system is called the system con- text. Context aspects in the system context Among others, the following possible aspects of reality influence the con- text of a system: People (stakeholders or groups of stakeholders) Systems in operation (other technical systems or hardware) Processes (technical or physical processes, business processes) Events (technical or physical) Documents (e.g., laws, standards, system documentation) Definition 2-1: System Context The system context is the part of the system environment that is relevant for the definition as well as the understanding of the requirements of a system to be developed.
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12 2 System and Context Boundaries Consequence of erroneous or incomplete context consideration If the system context is incorrectly or incompletely considered during requirements engineering, it may result in incomplete or erroneous requirements. This leads to the system operating on the basis of incom- plete or erroneous requirements, which is often the reason for system fail- ure during operation. Such errors often remain undetected during the val- idation procedures, which determine if the system meets the specified requirements, and occur only during operation, sometimes entailing cata- strophic consequences. System context and requirement context The origin of the system’s requirements lies within the context of the system to be developed. For example, stakeholders, pertinent standards, and legal guidelines demand particular functional properties that the sys- tem to be developed must possess at its interfaces. A requirement is there- fore defined for a specific context and can only be interpreted correctly in regard to this specific context. The better the context of a requirement is understood (e.g., why is the technical system “X” in the system context the origin of some requirement), the lower the likelihood of incorrect inter- pretation of the requirement. Therefore, a purpose-driven documentation of the system context or information about the system context is of partic- ular importance. 2.2 Defining System and Context Boundaries It is within the responsibility of the requirements engineer to define the system context properly. In order to do so, it is necessary to separate the system context from the system to be developed as well as from the parts of reality that are irrelevant for the system (see figure 2-1 ): Defining the system boundary: When defining the system boundary, a decision has to be made: Which aspects pertain to the system to be developed and which aspects belong in the system context?
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