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RalphHodgson is co-founder of the consulting company TopQuadrant that specializes in Semantic Technology and Ontology Development. Prior to forming TopQuadrant in November 2001, I was consulting with IBM Global Services for almost 8 years in the US.

Adopting emerging technology needs new approaches to conceptualizing systems. TopQuadrant's methodoloy for addressing the "UpStream" part of the lifecyle is a capability-based approach using SolutionEnvisioning techniques. Capabilities are expressed as requirement patterns and called Capability Cases. Anchoring solution concepts within a business context, they bridge the communication gap between business strategy and solution development. As catalysts, they inspire people on what the system could be. As expressions of best and proven practices, they provide confidence to the decision process. In the same way that Use Cases facilitate discussion about “what the system should do”, a CapabilityCase supports a dialog on “what the system could be”.

My interests in Solution Envisioning followed from a progression upstream in the lifecycle - from experiencing the construction of systems, their design and architecturing to how systems are conceived. For me, the envisioning process is key to how the possibilities of applying innovative ideas and technologies can be understood, shared and then successfully realized in deployed systems.

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