United States        Office of Information
  Environmental Protection  Resources Management
  Agency	Washington DC 2O46O   June 1989
   EPA SYSTEM DESIGN  &
 DEVELOPMENT  GUIDANCE:
      VOLUME  A:
         MISSION
NEEDS    ANALYSIS

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                                      Volume A
                           EXECUTIVE  SUMMARY
       This document constructs a framework around which Agency program managers and
 contracting officers can document a problem and justify the need for an information processing
 solution. The objective of this document is to provide guidance towards satisfying requirements
 specified in EPA's IRM Policy Manual for the acquisition and management of information
 technology.

       The guidelines within this document are designed to provide program managers and their
 staff with a suggested methodology for assessing and evaluating the need for information
 processing. Applying the methodology in this volume will result in two outputs:  1) a preliminary
 specification of a management requirement for information or information processing;  and the
 outputs and benefits tied to th<* user's organization mission and operation, and 2) an "Initial System
 Concept" which provides an initial depiction of the inputs, outputs, and processes.

       Completion of the steps outlined in this document will provide management with the
 information required to make a decision whether or not to proceed to the Preliminary Design and
 Options Analysis task defined in Volume B. The following  exhibit describes the complete
 software life cycle. Each process in the software life cycle is represented by a circle with its corre-
 sponding tide on the inside of the circle.  Inputs to the  Mission Needs Analysis or factors  that
influence the process are shown surrounding the circle. As indicated, influencing factors are: new
legislation, changes  to regulations, program growth and the preceding process Software
Obsolescence.

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                                                                                                                                    o
                                                           Volume A
                                                                                     Volume B
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            Increment
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EPA System Design & Development
Guidance:  Volume  A


                          TABLE OF CONTENTS


      Tide                                                        Ease

1.    INTRODUCTION                                           1-1


      1.1    Background	1-1

      1.2    Objectives of the System Design and Development
             Guidance	1-3

      1.3    Authority	1-4

      1.4    Applicability of  the Guidance	1-4

      1.5    Documentation Requirements	1-6

      1.6    Assistance  and Support  Available	1-8
2.    CONDUCTING THE  MISSION NEEDS ANALYSIS AND
      DEVELOPING THE INITIAL SYSTEM  CONCEPT           2-1
      2.1    Step 1 - Review of the Information Need Background and
             the Mission and Organizational Needs	2-3

      2.2    Step 2 - Identification and Preliminary Specification of
             Inputs, Processes and Outputs and Development of the
             "Initial System Concept"	2-5

      2.3    Step 3 - Evaluation and Testing of the Initial System Concept
             Through  User  Review	2-7

      2.4    Step 4 - Final Specification and Documentation of Results in
             the Mission Needs Statement	2-10

      2.5    Step 5 - Initiation of the Project Management Plan	2-11


3.    SUMMARY                                                 3-1


      3.1    Mission Needs Analysis Outputs	3-1

      3.2    Next Steps	3-1

Appendix A

      ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF INFORMATION                     A-1

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EPA  System  Design &  Development
Guidance: Volume A
                            LIST OF EXHIBITS

      1 -1    Guidance Audience	1-2
      1 -2    EPA System Development Life Cycle and Decision Process	1-5
      1-3    System Category/EEI Matrix	1-9
      2-1    Process Flow  of Site  Information	2-6
      2-2    Initial System Concept - Site Management System	2-8
                                       iv

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                                     Chapter One
                               INTRODUCTION
       Pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency's IRM Policy Manual, this volume is the
first of three volumes which provide guidance for Agency system design and development efforts.
This volume provides guidance for the first phase of the EPA system development process — The
Mission Needs Analysis.

       Volume A is intended for use by Agency Program and Management Officials and
responsible staff when ma long a determination regarding an information or information processing
need and whether to commit resources to identity, develop, and implement an appropriate solution
to satisfy that need. Exhibit 1-1 on the next page identifies the intended audience of this volume.

1.1     BACKGROUND
       The Environmental Protection Agency expends millions of dollars each year on the design,
development, implementation and maintenance of major environmental and administrative systems
vital to EPA's programs and administrative functioning.  Management of these resources is
becoming increasingly complex, since the rapid development of information technology in recent
years has dramatically increased computer capacity and user accessibility.  The result has been two-
fold:

       •   An increasing number of system development efforts by managers and staff at all
          organizational levels who, because of access to their own equipment, develop their own
          systems independently of Agency system's start

       •   A wide range of hardware/software options for implementation of any specific system
          concept or design.

Therefore, there hai been a proliferation of system development efforts by a broad range of users
with varying levels of sophistication in  making development decisions  and  conducting
development efforts.
                                         I.I

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EPA System Design  & Development
Guidance: Volume A
                            EXHIBIT 1-1
                    GUIDANCE AUDIENCE
                          SIRMO
                            1
                         PROJECT
                         DIRECTOR
                            1
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                         SYSTEM
                        MANAGER


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                               1-2

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KPA System  Design & Development
Guidance: Volume A

1.2    OBJECTIVES OF THE SYSTEM DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OUTDANCE

       Within EPA's Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM), the Office of
Information Resources Management (OIRM) is responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient
use of EPA's information resources  including automated system design, development and
maintenance.  OIRM's objective in this endeavor is to provide guidance, assistance, and only when
necessary, controls,  to assure that the Agency's considerable information resources are utilized
cost-effectively for the overall benefit of the Agency. To this end, OIRM has developed umbrella
policies guiding information system development and acquisition (see Information Resources
Management Policy Manual). This three-volume set of guidelines and standards for system design
and development is a part of OIRM's Software Management Series which is intended to assist EPA
in efforts to develop and manage software effectively. This series will also include future guidance
documents related to software management

             This  document is  the first  of the  three-volume set.  The volumes cover the
       following:

             Volume A - Mission Needs Analysis — is designed to provide program managers
       and staff with -a  suggested methodology  for  assessing and evaluating the need
       (requirement) for an information system. Applying the methodology in this volume will
       result in:  1) confirmation that a need (requirement) exists and, 2) provide a preliminary
       operational specification of the requirement.

             Volume B  - Preliminary Design and Options Analysis — is directed  towards
       program managers and staff.  It provides guidance and a methodology for structuring
       design options for meeting the requirement defined in Volume A and provides guidance for
       selecting the most cost-effective option.

             Volume C - System Design. Development and Implementation is intended for use
       primarily by  system developers and provides specific guidance and standards which must
       be adhered to when undertaking automated system design and development efforts.

Together these three volumes provide comprehensive guidance and standards for the orderly and
cost-effective development of automated systems. Exhibit 1-2 depicts the flow of the development
life cycle and decision process for the three volumes.
                                         1-3

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 EPA  System  Design  &  Development
 Guidance: Volume A
       In addition to the System Design and Development Guidance, OIRM is currently drafting
 the EPA Information Security Manual. As security issues are raised and addressed throughout the
 system development life cycle, the security manual should be consulted for proper Agency policy
 and guidance.

 1.3    AUTHORITY

       The EPA System Design and Development Guidance derives its authority from Chapter 4
 of the IRM Policy Manual, entitled "Software Management," which establishes the Agency
 Software Management Program.  The guidance serves as the  primary guidance for Agency system
 design and development efforts.

 1.4    APPLICABILITY OF THE GUIDANCE

       Senior Agency managers and responsible staff should read the  guidance and become
 familiar with the decision-making process involved with system design and development efforts.
 They  are responsible for ensuring adequate analysis and documentation to support all critical
 decision points.  The full documentation requirements for automated system development efforts,
 which must be followed to conform to OARM policy, are fully discussed in Volume C.

       In  general, Volumes A and B are intended  to assist program offices and/or users  in
 conducting their own initial studies of system requirements, needs, option feasibility and cost-
 effectiveness. In this context, the term "system" in Volumes A and B refers to a systematic set of
 processes and/or procedures which can be used to meet the  information needs of a user. It does
 not imply that the "system" will be an automated system.

      Volume C, however, presumes that an automated or partially automated solution has been
 selected as a result of the Volume B options analysis. Volume C provides guidance and standards
 for automated system development efforts.  If the automated system is a relatively small application
on a microcomputer targeted for use within a single office (a "user owned information system"),
 Volume C provides "implified requirements for system design,  development and implementation.
 If the  proposed system is a larger application  (mainframe or minicomputer), which is mission-
critical or involves multiple offices and organizations, Volume  C provides  the full set of guidance
and standards which  must be followed by system developers. This will assure  uniform, cost-
effective system development in accordance with EPA policies, guidelines and standards.
                                         1-4

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EPA System Design & Development
Guidance: Volume A
                           EXHIBIT 1-2
         EPA SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE
                   AND DECISION PROCESS
    DEVELOPMENT STAGE
DECISION /RESULT
        Real World
       Mission Need
             Mission Needs
                Analysis
    REQUIREMENT AND
  OPERATIONAL CONCEPT
       DEFINITION
        . Volume B..
              Preliminary Design 82,
                Options Analysis
 OPTION DESIGN, BENEFIT/
   COST ANALYSIS, AND
    OPTION SELECTION
            Volume C
                    System Design,
                    Development 82,
                    Implementation
   FULLY IMPLEMENTED
        SYSTEM
                              1-5

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EPA System  Design & Development
Guidance: Volume A

1.5    DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

       In general, the intent of the three volume System Design and Development Guidance is to
provide a consistent focus for system development efforts which will allow both EPA program
managers and OARM managers to cost-effectively develop and maintain the Agency's systems.
To  achieve  this goal, certain documentation requirements termed "Essential Elements  of
Information" (EEI) documents, must be met.  Observance of this guidance in preparing EEI's
should result in proper documentation for audits. The EEI's will also serve as a helpful reference
for conducting post-evaluations of the system decision making process. Each volume contains an
appendix which outlines the required EEI documentation.

       For certain system development efforts OIRM and office Senior Information Resources
Management Officials (SIRMOs) must be involved in a  review capacity to fulfill EPA's IRM
Policy  Manual requirements.  Systems falling into one or more of the following categories must
have OIRM/SIRMO review involvement:

          EPA mission critical

          States, local governments or other Federal agencies involved

          Interorganizational involvement  (e.g., between  Assistant Administratorships  or
          including Regional Office involvement)

       •   Costs for system development/enhancement are projected  to exceed $250,000
          (excluding costs associated with long-term system operation and maintenance)

       •   Information security issues involving the  three general security  areas:  applications
          security, installation security and personnel security.  In total, information security
          involves the precautions taken to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of
          information

       •   Privacy Act or confidential business information involved

       For system development efforts falling into any one of these categories,  OIRM and office
SIRMOs must be involved beginning with a review of EEI-1, generated at the  conclusion of the
Mission Needs Analysis, as described in this volume of the  EPA System Design  and Development

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 Guidance. OERM/SIRMO review involvement will continue through the development life cycle of
 these systems and will include all EEfdocumentation requirements for such systems. For systems
 not falling into one of the above categories, EEI's may be forwarded to OIRM/SIRMOs for
 information and review as they are developed.

       A review cycle should be developed to monitor each EEI preparation. The review cycle
 could include several stages, such as a series of status briefings for management, focus groups,
 and/or distribution of the EEI in draft form.  Throughout the review cycle, the managers and users
 involved should be informed of the process and content of the EEI. When the final document is
 completed, a consensus among management should be reached before developing the next EEI.

       It is not OIRM's intent to burden EPA managers with a host of documentation requirements
 for each system development effort.  The EEIs simply stress typical documentation requirements
 and their outlines highlight major topics that need to be considered for any system development
 effort. Managers may use their professional judgment in substituting, combining, or down-scaling
 the content of the EEIs to meet the unique requirements of their project.

      Criteria for determining the minimum EEI documentation for a specific process during the
design, development and implementation phase is based on the nature and scope of the information
process  and its importance to EPA's mission.  Three types of categories describing various
systems with differing levels of EEI documentation requirements are identified as follows:

      •   TYPE I: Major Agency /Widely Accessed Information System: An information process
          that requires special attention because of its importance to an Agency mission; its high
          development, operating, or maintenance costs or its significant impact on administration
          of Agency programs or, is widely accessed by a combination of EPA Headquarters,
          Regional Offices, state and local users aind/or Federal agencies.

      •   TYPE II: Localized Information System: An information process that is not a Major
          Agency  Information System but  significantly supports accepted program goals and
          missions and is accessed primarily by  users in  one  major area,  e.g.,  EPA
          Headquarters, a single Agency program, or a Region.

      •   TYPE HI: User Owned Information System: Unique, stand-alone process developed to
          improve the efficiency or effectiveness of operations for a single user or a small group
          of users.

                                         1-7

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 EPA  System  Design  &  Development
 Guidance: Volume A
       Documentation requirements for each of these categories are projected in Exhibit 1-3.
 Automated systems involving information security will be subject to one additional documentation
 requirement — completion of a certification form (certification of sensitive systems is an OMB
 requirement). The form, which is under development and will be issued as part of the forthcoming
 EPA Information Security Manual, will capture basic information on system sensitivity, security
 requirements, security design, reviews, test scenarios, results and safeguards.

 1.6    ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT AVAILABLE

       Agency Program Management officials embarking on a system development effort should
 be aware that there are at least two sources available to them for assistance and support during the
 system development life cycle:

       •   Within each AA/RA's office SERMOs are available for assistance, support and guidance
          relative to the EPA System Design and Development Guidance  and other OIRM
          guidance and standards

          OIRM, with its general IRM management oversight role and requirements to exercise
          procurement approval authority, has a staff organized to support EPA's administrative,
          program and research communities.

       It is appropriate to involve these support sources as  early as is feasible in the system
development life cycle for most system development efforts.

       The primary reasons for early involvement of SIRMOs and OIRM staff are:

          Fulfilling EPA's ERM policy for system development review requirements

          Providing  a value-added  service role involving consultation, assistance,  technical
          standards, guidance and interpretation of requirements

          Expediting procurement for system development efforts which proceed to the system
          design, development and implementation phase
                                          1-8

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EPA System  Design & Development
Guidance: Volume A
                         EXHIBIT 1-3
                    SYSTEM CATEGORY
                       EEI MATRIX
"*s>v>
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EPA System  Design  &  Development
Guidance: Volume  A
       •   Providing assistance in determining user needs as early as possible in the life cycle.

Achieving these objectives will strengthen EPA's system development efforts and avoid major
pitfalls that have beset system development efforts in other government agencies (e.g.,  project
stalls due to  outyear  funding shortages stemming from under-projected planning or  project
disruptions due to failure to get hardware/software acquisitions into  the procurement cycle
expeditiously  and when required).

       The remainder of Volume A provides requirements for conducting the first phase of the
system development process — the Mission Needs Analysis, including development of the Initial
System Concept

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                                    Chapter Two
       CONDUCTING  THE MISSION  NEEDS  ANALYSIS AND
           DEVELOPING THE  INITIAL SYSTEM  CONCEPT
       This chapter provides guidance for the first and most critical stage in initiating any system
 development effort -- the Mission Needs Analysis.

       The decision to initiate system development efforts should be based on a perceived or
 existing mission-based information or information processing need.  This need may be prompted
 by any number of factors such as new legislation, changes in regulations, or program growth
 which may create needs for additional data, changes in practices or additional demands on existine
 functions and resources.

       As a result of the  Mission  Needs Analysis, the manager  should have a complete
 understanding of the problem and be able to demonstrate that the problem and solution are within
 the manager's  organizational mission.  This will  provide the manager with the  necessary
 information to justify the need for the project which is then used to obtain procurement authority
 for the required resources. The manager should be aware of the fact that once the definition of the
 needs has started, adequate in-house or contractor resources must be available to complete it.

       Successful development and implementation of any process requires careful  review,
 understanding, and documentation of the  need  for information and the  functioning  of the
 information processes in the context of the user organization's mission and operational framework.
 It  is, therefore, critical that the "mission-based need" be reviewed  as the first step toward;
 establishing and defining the requirements for the system.

      The use of computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools, are becoming  increasing
prevalent within the Agency. CASE tools can automate and standardize the activities within a
system development effort possibly resulting in a quicker and more accurately built system. If
appropriate, consideration should  be given for using CASE tools early in the development life
cycle.

      Project  managers should  be aware of the  types  of activities involved in software
development efforts and  allow for slippage in schedules due  to uncertainties and unknowns.
Planning for these activities and making estimates is a difficult task for any manager that does not
do this full time.  Cost and time factors associated with implementing and managing  a software
                                        2-1

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EPA  System  Design &  Development
Guidance: Volume A
development effort are dependent on such factors as size of the project, levels of complexity and
the skill level, experience and length of time the project team has been together.

       However, it is vital that managers begin making and recording their estimates early in the
project life cycle so they can compare them with actual recorded program costs and hours. It is this
iterative effort of comparing planned versus actual performance that allows the manager to develop
more accurate estimation skills for future planning efforts.

       Information collected during the Mission Needs Analysis:

       •   Specifies  the  nature  of the program mission, problem, functions, processes and
          information flows

          Validates  the need for information or information processing in the context of the
          organizational mission

       •   Provides the basis for developing and evaluating  an "Initial System Concept" which
          will meet the need.

The  five steps required to conduct a complete Mission Needs Analysis and develop an Initial
System Concept are as follows:

       •   Step 1 - Background review of the evolution of the perceived need, a concise statement
          of the problem  and a review of the user's mission, organizational structure and
          operational processes.  The analysis focuses on the positions and functions of those
          individuals who will be the users of the completed system. The result of this review
          should be a preliminary list of potential users of the system.

       •   Step 2 - Identification and specification  of the information flow, transactions and
          output^ the system must or potentially could produce. The result of this step is  the
          development of a concise (perhaps one page) Initial System Concept

       •   Step 3 - Testing and/or evaluation of the system concept by reviewing the concept and
          preliminary output "designs" with potential users to test their usefulness and identify
          actual or potential constraints.
                                          2.2

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EPA  System  Design  &  Development
Guidance: Volume A
       •  Step 4 - Final specification-End documentation of the results of the previous steps
          through development of a Mission Needs Statement

       •  Step 5 - Initiation of the Project Management Plan as a preliminary document to
          facilitate the planning and scheduling of resources for the activities that follow the
          Mission Needs Analysis.

       The actual approach to conducting the Mission Needs Analysis involves conducting the
first four steps, and requires continual review, revision and recycling of steps as the analysis
proceeds. The suggested approaches for conducting each of these steps are presented below.

2 1    STEP 1 - REVIEW OF THE INFORMATION NEED BACKGROUND AND THE
       MISSION AND ORGANIZATIONAL NEEDS

       The Mission Needs Analysis should begin with a careful review of the organizational and
operational context from which the need evolved  and the specific users which the process or
systematic solution is intended to assist.  The first task is to determine the genesis of the initially
identified and/or defined need.  Some possibilities include:

       •   A new program or set of mission functions have been mandated by the President,
          Congress or senior officials, requiring the performance of new tasks, processes and/or
          systems

       •   A manager  has decided to perform a new function or an existing function using
          different procedures in support of the Agency's mission, goals and objectives

       •   The Agency has decided to upgrade and modernize existing hardware and software
          applications  to take advantage of new technology.

       •   An existing process or system has  been evaluated and is suspected of being inefficient,
          ineffective or obsolete.

       In each of these cases it is important to review the evolution of the information need to
determine which of these possible causes was principally responsible for the system development
effort.  Clearly identifying which  of these  causes is the basis for the system requirement is
important to future development efforts since knowing the reason for the need helps:
                                          2-3

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 I I' \  System Design  & Development
 (iimJunce:  Volume A
           Define the problem in concise terms including any quantifiable facts or conditions
           related to the problem.  For example, "The program office is unable to respond to
           Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for data due partly to a fifty percent
           increase in FOIA requests and a five percent effective reduction in force."

       •   Define the specific set of users and uses

           Establish the likely priority  accorded the effort by  senior Agency officials and
           responsible staff

           Determine whether the problem is really one requiring a system solution or has some
           other underlying cause.

       In conducting this background review, two primary data collection methods may be used:

           Interviews with key officials, managers and staff involved or potentially involved in the
           processes to be systematized and those who will be the end users of the system results.
           These user interviews should focus on what specific outputs are required of the process
           and what benefits users anticipate.  Interviews should include State and Regional users
           to fully understand their system, data and access requirements.

           Collection and review of key documents such as relevant legislation, agency policies or
           operational plans, organizational mission/function statements or previous studies of the
           function or process.

The results of the data collection efforts should be reviewed to provide those conducting the
Mission Needs Analysis with a clear picture of the operational context within which the process
will operate.

       Perhaps the critical output of this initial review is a preliminary identification of users and
potential benefits of process  outputs. A summary format for displaying this  information in a
matrix is provided below:

Potential System User/              Position/           System         User
Organization                       Function           Output         Benefit
                                           2-4

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EPA  System  Design  & Development
Guidance: Volume  A
       It is important that to the extent practical, this type of matrix be completed for all major
users to ensure adequate consideration of user needs and benefits.

2.2    STEP 2 - IDENTIFICATION  AND PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATION OF INPUTS.
       PROCESSES AND OUTPUTS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE "INITIAL SYSTEM
       CONCEPT"

       Conducting Step 1 will result in the identification of the potential users, uses, outputs and
benefits.  During this second task, the  "flow" of information and work processes of the potential
system application are developed and documented.  The purpose of this step is to develop an
overall understanding and preliminary design for  the flow of information and information
products.  At the conclusion of this step, a brief (perhaps one page) Initial System Concept is
developed. In addition, the documentation of the information flow ultimately provides the basis
for:

       •   Determining the manual processes and procedures which will become a part of the
          ultimate "system solution"  for the need or problem (any and all automated processes
          have a set of manual processes and procedures which support the automated portion of
          the "system" and distribute its output)

          Identifying and specifying jhe procedures  and functions which may be automated and
          therefore may become the "automated system" which will be designed

       The flow of information or work processes that are candidates to be systematized can be
examined through flow diagrams that depict, on a macro level, the:

       •   Organizations and key individuals involved in the information flow and information
          products

       •   The input processes and documents which  feed and support the system

          The specific output products.

       Exhibit 2-1 illustrates a format for a sample process flow diagram which can usefully depict
such information. As shown,  the diagram contains these important elements:
                                          2-5

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 EPA  System Design &  Developmeat
 Guidance:  Volume A
       •   A stub (vertical axis), containing the major organizations ami/or individuals involved in
           the process including those involved in:

              Input processes
              Information process flow
              Process operation
              Process output and use.

       •  The flow  and interrelationships of  information among  the  various  involved
          organizations including the relationships between Headquarters, States and Regions
          concerning shared data resources.

          Specifically identified outputs of the process.

       The creation of a flow diagram similar to, and at the approximate level of detail as, that
shown is highly recommended. It is a systematic methodology for identifying the specific inputs,
information flow and process outputs.  This flow  diagram can usually be constructed from a
combination of existing documentation and limited interviews with affected organizations and staff.

       Based upon the data flow diagram, a higher level (ideally one page) Initial System Concept
document should be developed as in Exhibit 2-2. The concept should illustrate:

       •   Major process input documents/sources on the left side

       •   A very brief description of key "processes" and/or data files in the center

       •   Graphic depictions of "outputs" on the right side.

In most cases it should be possible to construct the "Initial System Concept" on one page.

2.3    STEP 3 - EVALUATION AND TESTING OF THE INITIAL SYSTEM  CONCEPT
       THROUGH USER REVIEW

       Documentation of processes and functions as outlined in Steps 1 and 2 will result in a high
level Initial System Concept depicting inputs, processes and outputs. During this step, the system
                                         2-7

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EPA  System Design & Development
Guidance: Volume A
concept is evaluated in terms of output usefulness, input feasibility and possible constraints. A
methodology which should be employed for evaluating output usefulness is to review the system
concept as well as "mock-ups" of the outputs (hard copy or screens) with users or potential users.
The "mock-ups" allow potential users to visualize the output of the process with three results:

       •  The user is able to "relate" to the output and indicate the benefit (or lack of benefit) of
          the output

       •  The discussion surrounding the reports can often identify other types of needs or report
          designs which can be incorporated into the Initial System Concept

          A preliminary estimate of the benefit to the user or potential user can be made by the
          user.

       During the review of the  system concept and outputs with users, an exploration of possible
constraints to the process design should also be conducted. Constraints and/or implementation
problems may include:

          Resistance by managers or staff to changes in operations

       •   Organizational impediments

       •   Input data compilation/collection problems

       •   Lack of hardware accessible to the organizational units

       •   Lack of staff and/or funds to develop and/or operate a system

       •   Lack of readily available telecommunications equipment/capability for data sharing and
          access  requirements

       •   Information security needs and considerations based on the sensitivity of the system

       •   Limited development  time.
                                           2-9

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 EPA  System  Design  &  Development
 Guidance: Volume  A
       Also, during the system concept review, the proposed output reports can be expected to be
partially redesigned in response to suggestions and reactions to individual reports by the users.

       Finally, it is at this point that process options or process designs for achieving similar
outputs can be explored with the user.  Although the options analysis is not fully conducted until a
later phase of the system development life cycle (described in Volume B), it is  useful to begin
identifying alternatives with the user during this phase.

       Two results should emerge from this step of the Mission Needs Analysis:

          A refined Initial System Concept incorporating the results of user evaluations of both
          the concept and proposed outputs

          An initial assessment of the needs feasibility, priorities and constraints.

These and the results from the previous step provide the basis for documenting each section in the
Mission Needs Statement (EEI-1).

2.4    STEP 4 - FINAL SPECIFICATION AND DOCUMENTATION OF RESULTS IN THE
       MISSION NEEDS STATEMENT

       The next step in conducting the Mission Needs Analysis is the formal documentation of the
work performed in Steps 1 through 3  in a Mission Needs Statement. This document need not be
long.  An outline for this document is  attached in Appendix A. As shown, primary chapters in the
statement include:

       •   A background section, with a concise statement of the problem. It should also relate
          the problem and its solution to the agency organizational unit's missions and functions.

       •   An Information Flow/Initial System Concept section which contains the Initial System
          Concept and also identifies:

                 Input data source
              -   Macro information  flow and functions
              -   Outputs including "mock up"  format

       •   A discussion of potential system development constraints.

                                         2-10

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EPA System  Design  &  Development
Guidance: Volume  A
       The actual length of the Mission Needs Analysis document is dependent on various factors
such as: complexity of the problem or the organizational functions and mission, the size or scope
of the Initial System Concept, the impact of any known elements of risk, and the number and effect
of potential constraints to development and implementation.

2.5    STEP 5 - INITIATION OF THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN

       The final step in conducting the Mission Needs Analysis is to initiate a preliminary Project
Management Plan.  The format of the Project Management Plan is contained in Volume  B,
Preliminary Design and Options Analysis. It is important to start this planning effort as early as
possible in order to plan and schedule the resources required for the activities that follow.  This
preliminary document should include the following:

          Steps and tasks associated with Preliminary Design and Options Analysis

       •   Assignment of roles and  responsibilities for the purpose of accountability which is
          particularly critical when dealing with programs that cross organizational lines into the
          States and Regions

       •   Resource allocations to accomplish the Preliminary Design and Options Analysis

       «   Project costs and time  frames associated with  Preliminary Design and Options
          Analysis.

       At this stage of the system development process, there should also be little, if any, thought
given to the specific hardware or software that is  to be used to support the process.  Options in
these areas will be considered as part of the options analysis which is discussed in Volume B.
                                         2-11

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                                    Chapter Three
                                   SUMMARY
3.1    MISSION NEEDS ANALYSIS OUTPUTS

       The outputs, documents and results of the Mission Needs Analysis are as follows:

          EEI-1, Mission Needs Analysis, is a concise document that describes the problem and
          the need to perform the process or function in support of the organization's mission.

          An "Initial System Concept" indicating the flow of information required to support the
          function, as well as the preliminary input documents and output reports.

          An initial Project Management Plan that outlines the tasks, resources and deliverables of
          the next phase of the project effort

3.2    NEXT STEPS

       Once the Mission Needs Statement is complete, it should be understood that it will continue
to evolve and change as the "Initial System Concept" proceeds through the development life cycle.
Formal endorsement from management of the Mission Needs Analysis and approval to proceed to
the next step needs to be obtained.  Since staff and management may change during the design and
development phases of the project, it is important to have a record of management approval at key
decision point

       The next major step is to prepare the Preliminary Design and Option Analysis as described
in detail in Volume B. Both of these tasks are based on information collected during the Mission
Needs Analysis and embodied in the "Initial System Concept."
                                         3-1

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                                    Appendix A
              ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF INFORMATION
       This appendix provides a representative outline of documents that will be developed during
the Preliminary Design and Options Analysis phase.

A.I    INTRODUCTION

       The documentation requirements contained in this appendix apply to all  software
development or modernization projects, regardless of size, complexity or origin. At a minimum,
these standards apply to all new software development projects. Maintenance and/or enhancements
to existing information systems must comply with the requirements set out in Chapter 1, section
1.4 of Volume B, Preliminary Design and Options Analysis.

       Compliance with the standards and conventions provided in this appendix will ensure that
adequate documentation is produced for all system development projects.

       The documents defined in this appendix arc:

       EEI-2 • • Preliminary Design And Options Analysis
       EEI-3 • • Project Management Plan

       When an asterisk appears within a section number in the outlines, it represents a repetition
of the element as many times as necessary to define multiple iterations of the element

       The following milestone chart illustrates  the relative initiation and completion of each
document with respect to the software development life cycle, its major phases, and the span and
scope of Volumes A, B, and C.
                                       A.I

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Mission Needs Analysis
EEI-1
Preliminary Design/
Options Analysis
EEI-2
EEI-3
System Detailed
Requirements Analysis
EEI-4
EEI-5
EEI-6
Preliminary Design
EEI-7
EEI-8
Detailed Design
EEI-8
System Production
and Programming
EEI-9
EEI 10
EEI 11
System Integration
Testing & Evaluation
EEI 12
System Installation

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 EPA System Design &  Development
 Guidance:  Volume A
                                       EEL-1
                      MISSION NEEDS STATEMENT
 1.     BACKGROUND

             Agency and organizational mission requiring system support

                   Mission/function statement(s)
                   Organizational chart with key functions/users identified
                   Operational environment
                   Current system description, including manual procedures

             Evolution of defined need

                   New program or functions

                   Enhancement/modernization of functioning system, or

                   Current performance mode and limitations/problems

2.     INFORMATION FLOW AND INITIAL SYSTEM CONCEPT

             Description/documentation of information flow including:

                   Organizational data flow diagrams
                   Key input processes/documents
                   Primary data integration/data base functions and processes
                   Key output report types and distribution

             "Mock-ups" of key output reports and discussion of their benefits to users

             Initial System Concept (ideally one page) and related description

3.     DEVELOPMENT/OPERATIONAL CONSTRAINTS

             User commitment, priority, discipline and budgetary  limitations
             Policy or organizational constraints
             Information security needs based on system sensitivity
             Timing of need
             Interface needs
             Shared data/access constraints
             Stability/flexibility of need
                                        A-3

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