The State Capitol in Columbus, Ohio
Requirements Analysis for a State Legislature’s
Bill History and Tracking System

InfoSENTRY conducted a needs assessment and requirements analysis for a legislative bill history and tracking system in 2001. The State Legislature was interested in determining if it could replace its existing mainframe system in a financially responsible manner, while at the same time gaining functional benefits from new capabilities and integration with other applications. The Legislature was interested in determining the level of effort required for a potential upgrade.

InfoSENTRY’s software requirements analysis (prepared to standards based on Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] guidelines) indicated that the existing application was significantly larger, more comprehensive, and more complex than had been previously believed. InfoSENTRY undertook a detailed effort to collect and document the hundreds of COBOL routines and data files.

In addition to documenting the existing system, InfoSENTRY conducted documentation reviews, interviews, and process walkthroughs of the existing steps to produce existing bill status tracking reports, committee agendas, Legislative Calendars, and Legislative Journals. InfoSENTRY examined recent projects to implement new legislative automation systems in other state legislatures. InfoSENTRY arranged for leading vendors of legislative information systems to come to the State Capitol to spend a day demonstrating and explaining their systems.

InfoSENTRY’s final requirements analysis contained four options for modifying the existing system. For each option, InfoSENTRY provided a detailed implementation plan, an order-of-magnitude cost estimate, pros and cons, and a detailed risk analysis matrix. The Legislature incorporated InfoSENTRY’s findings into its strategic plan for information technology.


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Version 1.0: 20041113