Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology

In 2009, PATH received a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to develop a model enterprise architecture for low-resource settings that supports the design and development of sustainable, scalable, and affordable national health information systems no matter the health domain. PATH worked with the Public Health Informatics Institute and other informatics leaders to adapt and validate a standardized methodology for gathering and documenting the specific functions that information systems must perform. That approach is called the Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology (CRDM), which can be used across countries, cultures, and segments of the health care system to manage information. The CRDM was first applied by PATH and the Public Health Informatics Institute in the domain of supply chain. Requirements developed at the global level working with countries were then adapted and are being applied at the national level in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia to inform those countrys’ enterprise architectures.

CRDM contains five discrete yet integrated steps that engage users, subject matter experts, and stakeholders collaboratively to determine and document the system in each step.

  1. Domain – A set of functions and processes that define the work of a specific area of the larger health system, i.e., health finance, health service delivery, supply chain.
  2. Process Framework – A set of processes that define the boundaries of a domain and the relationships between them and other systems and domains.
  3. Business Process – A set of activities and tasks that logically group together to accomplish a goal or produce something of value for the benefit of the organization, stakeholder, or customer.
  4. Activity/Task Model – Visual representation of a business process in terms of tasks, sets of tasks and decision points in a logical workflow used to enhance communication and collaboration among users, stakeholders, and engineers.
  5. Requirement – A statement that describes what an information system must do to support a task, activity, or decision. These are non-technology statements that usually begin with "the system must or shall ..."

Source: JLN 2012