Clearly defining, maintaining, and exploiting the system vision is a central prerequisite for successful system engineering. We address the question how the visions are concretized and maintained in information systems evolution. Visions are broken down into goals according to constraints imposed by context, and traded off against other goals or habits which exist in this context. Context information is organized according to four “worlds” and the context breakdown is viewed under a three-dimensional space of cognitive understanding, social agreement, and technical representation. Different uses and the evolution of goals in the system engineering process are supported by a quality and improvement oriented process model which distinguishes between product, control and improvement activities. Working with this model can be supported by a knowledge-based repository structure that is compatible with the IRDS standard.