In 2014 Intland Software conducted a survey among its clients and partners to gather feedback about requirements engineering maturity levels. Based on an analysis of responses, we give 7 tips for requirements engineers and managers on how to increase efficiency and solve the most common problems of software requirements management.
1. Integrate the evaluation of requirements quality into the management process
Most respondents confirmed that requirements' quality management should be monitored after the design and definition phases and subsequently throughout the entire lifecycle. They agreed that this is critical to achieving high product quality. It was also stated that correction in later stages is more expensive and poses the risk of delaying delivery.
2. Pre-define quality and validation criteria
It is important to define acceptance and validation criteria for your requirements. By ensuring that Quality Assurance processes are defined and adhered to throughout the process of requirements management, the risk of product quality issues can be significantly reduced.
3. Increase collaboration in the requirements design and acceptance phase
Collaboration with the clients, business analysts, product owners and the technical team critically influences the success of product development. Especially in the design phase and in the case of change requests, continuous and effective communication is of vital importance. Collaborative requirements management tools enable the tracking of changes across the entire lifecycle.
4. Ensure traceability of requirements along a properly defined workflow
Traceability is quite simply the key to success in requirements management. This is where most legacy tool environments fall short. codeBeamer's single repository architecture, workflow engine, and widespread integrations help you ensure traceability, process visibility, and change control on the RM activities of all stakeholders throughout the application development lifecycle. Versioning and baselining add further value by providing a full change history and backtracking to all previous versions.
5. Implement Agile to shorten development cycles and focus on value for the client
Responses to our survey show that users see a significant added value in using Agile methods for development. This iterative approach provides increased flexibility on changes, requires less documentation, shortens delivery time, and focuses on value for the customer. With adequate tooling, Agile is also fit for use in safety-critical development.
Related eBook: Access our Medtronic case study to understand how a department of this medical tech giant used codeBeamer ALM to manage its transition to Agile
6. Define a change management lifecycle and implement change effect analysis
According to survey results, requirements may change as much as 30% during the development lifecycle. The processes used in change management and handling are also critical for product success. It is also important to implement a change effect analysis for estimating the consequences of changes in different phases of development.
7. Consider the re-use of requirements
A majority of respondents agree that the re-use of requirements can lead to significant savings in the requirements management process. If you're managing a complex product line with multiple product variants, we highly recommend that you evaluate features supprting requirements library management and re-use when selecting a RM tool. Re-use can speed up requirements definition, and reduce the time needed to set up a new project by using previously defined and verified requirements.
In the survey, we asked respondents a few questions about the most common failures and malfunctions of requirements management that could be solved with the above mentioned measurements and tools.
The most common symptoms of inadequate requirements management were poor requirements quality, or missing requirements. Further frequent problems are failures of requirements validation, improperly managed, or poorly documented requirements. It can also be critical if changes are not well managed during a long software development cycle or if requirements are not traced or not tested.
Intland’s codeBeamer ALM has strong requirements management functionality supporting processes at all maturity levels. Implementing codeBeamer, combined with adequate workflows, helps make your requirements management more efficient and accurate, thus driving maturity in your product development. Check out our infographics with survey results and visualized insights, and learn more about the most important success factors of future-proof requirements management below. Alternatively, drop us a line with your questions, or get started with codeBeamer ALM right away!