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Analyze stakeholders and goals

n addition to the customer and the users, stakeholders are also persons or groups who can influence your project or have an interest in it. Therefore, it is important to know all relevant stakeholders and to involve them as early as possible in the project.

Before you can identify requirements, you need to understand the goals of all stakeholders and what they expect from the system. With different stakeholders, there will be goal conflicts that need to be resolved before you can derive requirements from the goals.

In addition to goals and stakeholders, the system context is another important component of requirements engineering. Apart from stakeholders and goals, the system context shows you what is relevant for development and what is not part of the system environment.

System context

The system context can include stakeholders and stakeholder groups, i.e. persons and groups – or rather actors – who interact with the planned system. But other technical systems, devices, processes, events, documents and special norms, standards and legal regulations can also be found in the system context. With the definition of the system boundary, you determine at a high level which functionalities the system itself should offer and which interfaces there are to external systems.

You can display the system context using system context diagrams.

If the system context is known, you can determine stakeholders.


Stakeholders are people who also have an influence on the project. Typical stakeholders are, for example, suppliers, customers or authorities who are categorized and evaluated with regard to their goals and influences.

In goal diagrams, you as the project manager establish the relationships between stakeholders and can graphically depict which goals the individual stakeholders have, how important the goals are for them and how the stakeholders relate to each other in the first place. The focus here is not on making it right for all stakeholders, but on becoming aware of the values, influences and interests of the individual stakeholders.

If the stakeholders are known, you can use them to determine goals.


Stakeholders pursue goals, but the overall goal is the business goal. Define the business goal or “vision” for the project and how each stakeholder will benefit. In goal diagrams, you can create and weight goals and relate them to each other. Recognize conflicting goals and take measures to counteract them.

If the goals are known, you can derive requirements from them.