In the context of the IS/IT environment, and in the context of ISV applications that work with disparate systems and other applications, the first problem to be solved has an even broader context than we described in Chapter 5. In this environment business, system, and organizational complexity abounds, and one typically needs to understand some of this complexity before even attempting to define a specific problem worth solving. This environment consists not simply of a user or two and their interface to a computer but rather of organizations, business units, departments, functions, wide area networks, the corporate intranet and extranet, customers, users, human resources, material requirement planning (MRP) systems, inventory, existing applications, and more.
In addition, even when we are focused on a specific application to be implemented, we must continually remind ourselves of the broader context in which the application operates. Perhaps this can be accomplished successfully by asking the right questions, but as with any technique, there's more that can be done in a specific context than in the more generic case.
In these contexts, it would be helpful to have a technique to determine answers to an even broader set of questions such as the following.
Fortunately, there is a technique that's well suited to addressing this particular problem, and that technique is business modeling .