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Why Do Legacy Software Tools Fall Short for Requirements Management?

Requirements Management tools started to evolve more than 30 years ago when it became evident that document-based tools like Microsoft Office lacked the skills necessary to manage and analyze requirements traceability. This led to the birth of IBM DOORS and other legacy tools. The management of requirements may have been handled by legacy solutions successfully in the past, but as technical complexity rises and the need for more user-friendly modern software grows, they are unable to keep up. 

Why Do Legacy Software Tools Fall Short for Requirements Management?

Regardless of the method or type of systems being created, the engineering community has long recognized requirements management as a crucial discipline. Usually, IBM DOORS was chosen since the options were limited. Initially, organizations invested in a requirements management platform to create a standardized practice and procedure that allowed teams to agree on a lone source of truth for requirements. However, as software becomes more prevalent in physical products and development methodologies evolve, legacy RM (Requirements Management) tools like these have struggled to keep up with the modern speed of capturing, sharing, and managing requirements. 


Why did teams originally invest in legacy software? 

In the beginning, they invested in legacy software with the goal of: 

  • Encouraging and inspiring teams to adhere to best practices for requirements
  • Creating a single source of truth for requirements would guarantee that teams were using the same data
  • Using a ready-made solution caused the least amount of disturbance to the business and allowed teams to concentrate on their main tasks
  • Incorporating requirements without affecting people’s workflows into essential business processes
  • Monitoring the creation, testing, and release of requirement 

However, a new method of working has emerged over the last few decades, teams are now expected to work more productively and cooperatively through the business and supply chain. Although legacy software works just fine as it is, these historical requirements management solutions have not kept up with the changes in product development techniques. This is especially true for companies producing highly regulated and complicated products, which frequently rely on legacy tools, like IBM DOORS. 


Learn more about modernizing your Requirements Management toolchain, by downloading our eBook: 

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So why does legacy software fall short of Requirements Management? 

Even though legacy software tools are powerful, have a solid reputation, and have complex capabilities, they don’t always align with the goals of teams who need to adapt, develop, and expand.  

Accessibility and Intuitiveness  

There may be times when you need to use legacy systems to complete a necessary task, but you are unable to do so for some reason. Finding the individual who controls your system access rights and can put you back in the loop may seem difficult.  

Since it can take a few hours to try to hack into the system, the situation might be annoying and provide serious threats to the business, and you are just wasting your time. The initial goal of gathering the data is defeated by the inability to confidently deliver timely feedback. 

The ideal requirements management platform should offer ongoing data gathering and expansion. It needs to be transparent, approachable, and intuitive to accomplish this.  

Risks are brought on by aging technology 

There aren’t any configuration experts available, and you want to modify how your team uses the outdated program to comply with a new procedure. It can be exhausting to have to work around legacy software to get your job done and it can also be expensive.  
In safety-critical industries having your team on the same page with their requirements management is a must. If you are struggling to get them on the same page, this could indicate that the product you are developing could fall short of its requirements management or have other misalignments. 

They can’t keep up 

Whether you are using a document-based process and tool ecosystem of MS Word and Excel or similar tools, or legacy toolchains such as the IBM Rational toolset, you are most likely grappling with meeting requirements and the ever-changing customer demands. More and more teams are realizing that without smart software tooling it is getting almost impossible to comply with the always evolving rules and regulations present in safety-critical industries.  

While legacy requirements management tools still support critical development processes and information that the business relies on, they are often built on outdated frameworks, which at some point will lose support.  
This is one of the reasons why IBM came out with Rational DOORS Next Generation back in 2012, their allegedly modern, collaborative, and Agile offering solution. However, the transition from the “traditional” DOORS to DOORS Next isn’t a walk in the park, to say the least.  


Why are teams hesitant to leave legacy tools behind? 

So why are teams hesitant to leave legacy tools behind if they are causing so much hassle? Since migrating your existing system comes with its challenges no matter what. However, these challenges can multiply if you are migrating from legacy software tools. Therefore, organizations are hesitant to leave legacy tools behind, but more and more teams are realizing that without smart software tooling it is getting almost impossible to comply with the ever-changing rules and regulations present in safety-critical industries. Nevertheless, if you are ready to leave DOORS behind and are looking for help in the migration process, we have excellent news for you: PTC’s Codebeamer technology does. Using our DOORS Bridge technology, you can have a smooth and painless transition process. You can do this without disrupting your relations with external suppliers by making Codebeamer your choice of a modern, customizable, and intuitive lifecycle management tool, while still maintaining DOORS as a parallel subsystem to ease the transition.  


Related eBook: 

Replacing DOORS with Next Generation ALM 

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