This activity involves identifying the level of interest each stakeholder has in each architecturally significant requirement (ASR). With up to 15 stakeholders and up to 100 ASRs, it involves up to a total of 1,500 decisions. Thankfully these decisions can usually be made very quickly, as all that is required is to decide, for a given ASR, whether a particular stakeholder has Strong Interest, Interest or No Interest in that requirement.
In some cases, where there may be a limited number of ASRs and stakeholders, it might be practical to add this activity as a final task for workshop that identified the requirements and agreed the impact levels. This has the advantage that a group of stakeholders are in the room, and can discuss and agree each decision. And if someone has managed to populate the spreadsheet tool already with the ASRs and impact levels, then the interest of each stakeholder in each ASR can be recorded directly in the spreadsheet, in columns E to S of the ‘Context’ tab.
An alternative approach, which might be useful when there are large numbers of stakeholders and requirements, involves asking the stakeholders separately to indicate their levels of interest in each ASR. This can be done, for example, by sending each one a spreadsheet that has been tailored by combining the ASR descriptions from column C of the ‘Context’ tab with the column for that stakeholder. Combining the responses back, when you get them from all the stakeholder representatives, then allows you to complete the matrix.
Although this activity is quite time consuming, it is really valuable as it prepares the ground for the subsequent trade-off analysis to consider the strengths and weaknesses of competing solutions from the differing perspectives of the stakeholders.