In this chapter, we've looked at the activities involved in gaining an understanding of a system at the beginning of a project. You must first determine the system's goals and then translate those goals into tangible design criteria that can be used to determine the success or failure of the project. You must also determine the system's scopethe boundaries of what will and will not be undertaken as part of the project.
These activities are a kind of step zero; they're the things you must do before you begin designing the system in earnest. In the next chapter, we'll examine the first step of the design process proper: the definition of the work processes the system will support.