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It is the goal of our research work to elaborate on improvements to the software development methods so that quality attributes can be handled more systematically. By quality attributes we mean the large group of typically systemic properties of a software system, such as availability, security, etc., but also reusability, maintainability and many more. We define quality attributes as stakeholder-centric conditions on the behavior or structure of a system. The importance of the notion of a stakeholder cannot surprise, but the lack of a general theory on how to define and identify the relevant set of stakeholders does. Drawing from systems theory we claim that four basic, generic types of stakeholders are sufficient to be able to derive a specialized set of stakeholders for any considered system and domain of inquiry. It is only when we understand the generic concepts and principles behind quality properties of systems, that we can properly derive methods and build tools to cope with them.