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What is CATWOE?

A technique used by analysts that provides a framework for defining and analysing business stakeholder perspectives. The mnemonic stands for Customer, Actor, Transformation, Worldview, Owner, and Environment.


Why use CATWOE?

As an analyst, it’s vital to investigate the stakeholder perspectives. It is often the case that stakeholders have different viewpoints about what the problems and opportunities are and also about what needs to be done about them. The CATWOE technique allows us to investigate each stakeholder’s perspective individually and capture this information.


How to use CATWOE?

With the CATWOE technique being specific to every individual stakeholder’s perspective, it’s often best for the analyst to invite the stakeholder along to informal interview or meeting. This is important as it will allow the stakeholder to project their own thoughts and opinions on the matter without feeling like they are being watched by senior management.


Through experience, the majority of analysts would explore the elements of CATWOE in the following order:


Worldview: This summarises a stakeholder’s beliefs about the organisation or business system, which explains why it exists and what it should be doing.


Transformation: This is the main business activity of the business system, which lies at the heart of the organisations operations.


Customer: Depending on the stakeholders, their views of who the customers are can vary.


Actors: These are all the stakeholders that are involved within the transformation, and carry out the tasks and activities within it.


Owner: In the eyes of each stakeholder, who in their opinion owns the business system and who could instigate change or even closure?


Environment: All organisations and businesses operate within the constraints imposed by their environment (THINK: Business Rules - policies, procedures or constraints).


Kelly Hunkin

Senior Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 283885


Heather Adams

Business Analyst

Tel: 01506 282879


Email the Business Analysis team

What happens next?

After using the CATWOE technique, you would then take this information forward and start to design a Business Activity Model for each stakeholder perspective, which shows what the organisation should be doing.



Return to Business Analysis Framework


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