Define Future State


The purpose of Define Future State is to determine the set of necessary conditions to meet the business need.


All purposeful change must include a definition of success. Business analysts work to ensure that the future state of the enterprise is well defined, that it is achievable with the resources available, and that key stakeholders have a shared consensus vision of the outcome. As with current state analysis, the purpose of
future state analysis is not to create a comprehensive description of the outcome at a level of detail that will directly support implementation.

The future state will be defined at a level of detail that:

  • allows for competing strategies to achieve the future state to be identified and assessed,
  • provides a clear definition of the outcomes that will satisfy the business needs,
  • details the scope of the solution space,
  • allows for value associated with the future state to be assessed, and
  • enables consensus to be achieved among key stakeholders.

The future state description can include any context about the proposed future state. It describes the new, removed, and modified components of the enterprise. It can include changes to the boundaries of the organization itself, such as entering a new market or performing a merger or acquisition. The future state
can also be simple changes to existing components of an organization, such as changing a step in a process or removing a feature from an existing application.

Change may be needed to any component of the enterprise, including (but not limited to):

  • business processes,
  • functions,
  • lines of business,
  • organization structures,
  • staff competencies,
  • knowledge and skills,
  • training,
  • facilities,
  • desktop tools,
  • organization locations,
  • data and information,
  • application systems, and/or
  • technology infrastructure.

Descriptions may include visual models and text to clearly show the scope boundaries and details. Relevant relationships between entities are identified and described. The effort required to describe the future state varies depending on the nature of the change.

The expected outcomes from a change might include specific metrics or loosely defined results. Describing the future state allows stakeholders to understand the potential value that can be realized from a solution, which can be used as part of the decision-making process regarding the change strategy.

In environments where changes result in predictable outcomes and predictable delivery of value, and where there are a large number of possible changes that can increase value, the purpose of future state analysis is to gather sufficient information to make the best possible choices among potential options.

In cases where it is difficult to predict the value realized by a change, the future state may be defined by identification of appropriate performance measures (to produce an agreed-upon set of measures for business value), and the change strategy will support exploration of multiple options.

  • Business Requirements
  • Elements:
    • Business Goals and Objectives
    • Scope of Solution Space
    • Constraints
    • Organizational Structure and Culture
    • Capabilities and Processes
    • Technology and Infrastructure
    • Policies
    • Business Architecture
    • Internal Assets
    • Identify Assumptions
    • Potential Value
    Guidelines and Tools:
    • Current State Description
    • Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    • Organizational Strategy
  • Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Benchmarking and Market Analysis
  • Brainstorming
  • Business Capability Analysis
  • Business Cases
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Decision Analysis
  • Decision Modelling
  • Financial Analysis
  • Functional Decomposition
  • Interviews
  • Lessons Learned
  • Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Mind Mapping
  • Organizational Modelling
  • Process Modelling
  • Prototyping
  • Scope Modelling
  • Survey or Questionnaire
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Vendor Assessment
  • Workshops
  • Stakeholders:
    • Customer
    • Domain Subject Matter Expert
    • End User
    • Operational Support
    • Project Manager
    • Regulator
    • Sponsor
    • Supplier
    • Tester
  • Business Objectives
  • Future State Description
  • Potential Value
  • Knowledge Area:
  • Strategy Analysis