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AI2.1 - High-level Design

This topic is intended to enable collaboration and sharing of information to facilitate a better understanding and approach to implementing this COBIT control objective based on the risk, value and guidance provided by its corresponding control practices.

COBIT Control Objective AI2.1 - High-level Design is contained within Process Popup Acquire and Maintain Application Software.

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High-level Design

Translate business requirements into a high-level design specification for software acquisition, taking into account the organisation’s technological direction and information architecture. Have the design specifications approved by management to ensure that the high-level design responds to the requirements. Reassess when significant technical or logical discrepancies occur during development or maintenance.

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Value Drivers

  • Reduced costs
  • Consistency between business requirements and high-level design results
  • Improved time to delivery
  Risk Drivers
  • Dependency on knowledge held by key individuals
  • Undefined development scope
  • Solutions failing to deliver business requirements
  • Solutions not aligned with strategic IT plan, information architecture and technology direction
  • High costs of fragmented solutions

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  1. Establish a high-level design specification that translates the business requirements for the software development based on the organisation’s technological direction and information architecture model.
  2. Confirm that the design approach and documentation are compliant with the organisation’s design standards.
  3. Involve appropriately qualified and experienced users in the design process to draw on their expertise and knowledge of existing systems or processes.
  4. Confirm that the design is consistent with the business plans, strategies, applicable regulations and IT plans.
  5. Ensure that the high-level design is approved and signed off on by IT stakeholders (e.g., human/computer interaction, security and other experts) to ensure that their inputs have been recognised and the design, as a whole, constitutes a solution that the organisation can deliver, operate and maintain. Establish that no project proceeds to the business approval process without appropriate review and sign-off by IT stakeholders.
  6. Submit the final high-level design after QA sign-off to the project sponsor/business process owner, and obtain approval and sign-off. Establish that no project proceeds to development without appropriate sign-off by the business.

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