What is Requirement Management?
What are the requirements?
A requirement is precisely defined as a condition or a capability that a user needs to solve a problem or achieve a goal. In other words, requirements are conditions or capabilities that must be met or possessed by a system in order to satisfy a contract, standards, specifications, and other formal documentation.
What is Requirements Management? How is it different from Requirements Engineering?
According to Ian Sommerville, “Requirements management is managing changing requirements during the requirements engineering process and system development.”
In other words, requirement management is collecting, analyzing, refining, and prioritizing all the products or requirements, in the development phase.
Requirements Engineering is defined as the process of defining, documenting, and maintaining the requirements. The discipline includes all the techniques, methods, and procedures related to the definition and management of users’ needs related to the system being studied.
All-in-all, Requirements Engineering is a set of activities that are concerned with identifying and communicating the purpose of a system or software and the context in which it will be used.
Therefore, Requirements Management acts as a bridge between the real-world needs of the users, customers, and other constituencies that are affected by software or system and the capabilities and opportunities afforded by the software-intensive technologies.
What is a Requirements Management Tool?
The requirements management tool is a tool that acts as a repository for the development teams of the product. It ensures that all the teams are on the same page with the requirements as they move further and start to evaluate where they stand at a given point of time in the process.
Requirement management tools help the development teams by enhancing their speed of delivery, reducing the cost of production, and improving productivity as they capture everything from fundamental knowledge to real-time regulatory compliance standards.
Uses and Benefits of using an RM Tool:
Having a strong requirement management tool ensures the success of a project by enabling the development teams to control the scope of the project. Furthermore, it helps in directing the project development lifecycle in the desirable direction. Traditionally, the requirements were captured manually with the help of spreadsheets. But nowadays, many tools in the market will do the work for you.
The major benefits of implementing these tools include:
- Greater effectiveness in project management and adding accuracy to the project controlling.
- Increasing and maintaining traceability on all levels
- Increased efficient re-use and product-line management
- Higher ability to create baselines
- Improved knowledge of project scope to the stakeholders
Overall, the requirement management tools help in executing the plan, reducing the production cost, speeding up the market, and also improving quality control.
How to choose the right RM Tool?
In order to enhance your team’s performance, using a requirement management tool is a great idea. There are a plethora of requirements management tools in the market. Hence, it becomes tricky to choose a tool that would suit your needs the best.
There are certain things that an ideal requirement management tool must serve:
- Supports Different Methodologies – It is important for a requirement management tool to be flexible enough to support different types of software development methodologies. It should be able to adapt and change according to the method of development itself.
- Traceability – Traceability is an important aspect of any development cycle. Hence, the ability to link functional requirements to test cases and other artifacts is a very important feature of a requirement management tool.
- Collaboration – It is important for the whole team to be on the same page during the development. For this, teams need a reliable tool that ensures 100% collaboration among the members.
- Import/Export Feature – A requirement management tool must have a feature of importing and exporting the requirements from various different platforms like MS Excel, MS Word, and other RM tools. It is important as adding the requirements manually has a higher risk of mistakes.
- Version Control – Also known as version control, is a feature that allows you to manage the changes in the requirements over time. Versioning allows you to completely retrace all the versions of requirements in the project. It is an essential feature for any requirements management tool as it helps the development team keep track of all the changes that are made over time.
- Requirements Baselines – A requirement baseline is a fixed point of reference that is majorly used for comparison purposes during configuration management. The main aim of these descriptions is to provide a basis for defining the changes in the product.
- Security – It is extremely essential for a requirement tool to be safe and secure for an organization. Any sort of loophole can lead to information leaks, which would be a nightmare for any organization.
Top 5 RM Tools:
Visure is one of the most trusted requirements management platforms that specialize in requirements management for organizations of all sizes across the globe. The major partners of Visure include business-critical and safety-critical companies. The company integrates through the whole Application Lifecycle Management processes including risk management, issue and defect tracking, traceability management, change management, and various other areas like quality analysis, requirements versioning, and powerful reporting. Talking about price, it offers a free 30-day trial that can be downloaded from the website itself. Other details about pricing and demo can be found on Visure’s website.
Jama is another application for requirements management that provides a great platform for risk and test management. Jama helps you minimize the risk of delay, defects, cost outrun, and the manual efforts that have been put in by the development teams. Jama assists you in building complex products and systems, improving cycle times, enhancing the quality, reducing the rework, and minimizing the efforts used for proving compliance.
IBM DOORS is one of the oldest requirements management tools in today’s market. The best thing IBM offers is great compatibility with other tools in the field. IBM offers flexible solutions suitable for large-scale enterprises along with a high-level granularity and configurability. IBM allows you to easily create baselines, track versioning when detailed requirements are involved, and interlink the change requests directly to the initial documents.
- Jira –
Jira is a well-known ALM tool, by Atlassian, in the market. Jira is majorly used by the Agile teams to plan and track the project along with the corresponding issues. People primarily prefer using Jira for bug and issue tracking on software and applications that are being developed. Jira is highly preferred for product and project management by the organizations working with Agile, Kanban, and Scrum software development methodologies.
CodeBeamer is a tailor-made ALM tool by Intland Software for advanced products and software development. This tool comes up with pre-configured templates and compliance for Agile and DevOps-oriented organizations. CodeBeamer is known to be quite flexible and a highly configurable tool. This tool supports quality analysis, audits, and reviews and further helps in generating custom-configurable QMS reports.
The only thing that should be kept in mind is that no matter what methodology you opt for, an effective requirements management implementation is an imperative part of an industry. The main target to achieve is to minimize the cost and risk as much as possible and prepare a clear, concise, and error-free requirement report. Choosing the perfect tool is a hard task, so I strongly suggest you read the features carefully and then find the best that suits your organization.