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Why Requirements Management Tools Are Vital For Software Development

why-to-use-a-requirements-management-tool-for software-development

Ever wondered what the most frequent cause of failure is in software development projects? Of course you have, and it should be no surprise that it's the lack of mature requirements definition and change management processes.

This is what causes most of the catastrophes experienced in software development today. Most IT practitioners are aware of this, but building a well-managed requirements managementsystem and workflow is very challenging.

The main issue when it comes to requirements management is the inadequate and inefficient management of changes. The gathering and elicitation of requirements sometimes happens in informal environments, and the documentation created remains static during the development lifecycle even if the requirements themselves are actually changing. Uncontrolled changes and unchanging documentation leads to confusion, missed schedules, cost overruns, and unsatisfied users and developers.

Effective Change Management Begins with a Requirements Management Tool

The goal is to embrace and manage change, not to prevent it. Ad hoc requirements management is ineffective in any project. But in complex, mission-critical, and multi-tier distributed application development projects, managing requirements without mature processes or adequate tools can be catastrophic. These kind of projects are often executed by distributed teams under serious time pressure to get the product out to market.

In such situations, implementing efficient requirements management is not easy. But it's far from impossible. Essentially, the key to success is a combination of processes and tools: processes that drive accuracy and efficiency, and tools that support requirements analysis and change management, collaboration, and test management.

In a mature system of requirements management, t est planning and test case definition have to be based on requirements so that traceability is maintained, and adequate test coverage my be achieved. This helps ensure that the produced software fully complies with user expectations. This, again, necessitates the use of advanced requirements management software tools.

The top reasons to implement a toolset and processes for effective requirements management:

  • Having a shared, comprehensive, and continuously updated repository of requirements
  • Ensuring access to requirements for all stakeholders
  • Managing requirements attributes including the person responsible, release, status, priority, cost, risk, etc.
  • Easier propagation and management of changes upstream and downstream across the lifecycle
  • Accurate tracking, monitoring, and reporting on requirements management
  • Requirements-based testing, test coverage analysis

Using a requirements management tool greatly supports the project manager, the development team, and team members of all other disciplines. Benefits of using a mature RM platform include:

  • Inreased project management effectiveness with more accurate project controlling
  • Improved understanding of project scope and complexity for all stakeholders
  • Requirements traceability on all levels
  • Ability to create baselines
  • Product line (product variants) management and efficient re-use

To find out more about modernizing your requirements management processes with adequate tools and processes, download our eBook below, contact Intland for more info, or simply start your free trial of codeBeamer ALM.

Download our ebook:
10 Success Factors of Future-proof Requirements Management

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