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What is Requirements Lifecycle Coverage: Definition & Tools | Complete Guide

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What is Requirements Lifecycle Coverage: Definition & Tools | Complete Guide

When you’re building a new house, you wouldn’t start by building the roof. You need to have a foundation in place first. The same is true for software development. You can’t build a functional system without first understanding the requirements. Lifecycle coverage is a term used in the business analysis field to refer to the activities that a business analyst performs throughout the life cycle of a project’s requirements. When done correctly, Requirements Management does not finish when the solution is implemented; instead, it continues to provide value as long as the solution is in use.

What is Requirements Lifecycle Coverage?

The knowledge area of requirements life cycle management addresses the activities that a business analyst performs to manage and maintain requirements throughout the implementation process.

The life cycle of requirements is a set of activities that organizations use to manage them. It involves monitoring, planning, analyzing, controlling, and communicating organizational criteria. As a result, effectively managing the life cycle of requirements may have a significant influence on the project’s success. Managing the requirement life cycle entails keeping track of them while also identifying relationships between designs, assessing modifications, and assisting in reaching an agreement on those modifications.

Requirements life cycle management is the process of managing a project’s requirements throughout its life cycle. The goal of requirements life cycle management is to ensure that all of the analysis essential components – including the company, stakeholders, and requirements – are in sync with each other and that the solution correctly implements those demands and designs. Requirements management doesn’t finish when the solution is implemented; instead, it adds value as long as that solution is being used.

The business analysts, in requirements life cycle management, utilize all six of BABOK’s main ideas (Change, Need, Solution, Stakeholder, Value, and Context). They are in charge of assessing modifications to requirements and designs and keeping stakeholders happy by maintaining requirements. The Business Analysts track the requirements of the solution components and ensure that the solution is in line with them. They work with interested stakeholders throughout the process of determining and approving needs. The objective is to keep requirements in a manner that will provide future value, which can be achieved only by comprehending the organization’s context in which these activities occur.

Structure of Requirements Lifecycle Coverage:

Main InputsRequirements
Designs
Proposed Changes
TasksTrace Requirements
Maintain Requirements
Prioritize Requirements
Assess Requirements Changes
Approve Requirements
Main OutputsRequirements (traced, maintained, prioritized, approved)
Designs (traced, maintained, prioritized, approved)
Requirements Change Assessment
Design Change Assessment

Tasks of Requirements Lifecycle Coverage:

Trace Requirements:

Traceability records and documents the path of each requirement, including its backward traceability, forward traceability, and relationship to other requirements. Traceability is used to verify that the solution satisfies standards and to assist in scope, change, risk management, time, cost, and communication management. It’s also used to discover missing functionality or to see if any required functionality has been implemented.

There are various benefits that are provided by requirements traceability. They include:

  • It makes impact analysis easier.
  • It helps in making changes properly. Hence, improves product quality.
  • It also helps define the traceability links in a way that it records the reverse engineering knowledge as well. 
  • In case a team member with vital knowledge leaves the company, having complete information transparency helps a lot. It majorly reduces the risk of incorrect development. 
  • It confirms 100% test coverage via an appropriate verification process.

Inputs to trace requirements:

  • Requirements – these requirements may be traced to other requirements, solution components, visuals, business rules, or other work artifacts.
  • Designs – these designs may be traced to other requirements, solution components, or artifacts.

Elements of tracing requirements:

  • Level of Formality
  • Relationships
  • Traceability Repository

The major techniques used to trace requirements include:

  • Business Rules Analysis
  • Functional Decomposition
  • Process Modelling
  • Scope Modeling

Outputs after tracing requirements:

  • Traced Requirements
  • Traced Designs

Maintain Requirements:

Maintaining standards is critical for keeping requirements and designs up to date throughout the process. It also allows them to be reused if necessary. Maintenance of standards is important for ensuring that requirements are correctly represented, approved, and reviewed using standardized procedures that are simple to access and comprehend.

Inputs for maintaining requirements:

  • Requirements – includes goals, business requirements, stakeholders’ requirements, transitions, and solution requirements.
  • Designs – these designs are to be maintained throughout the product lifecycle.

The main elements of the requirements maintenance task are:

  • Maintaining Requirements
  • Maintaining Attributes
  • Reusing Requirements

The major techniques used to trace requirements include:

  • Business Rules Analysis
  • Data Flow Diagrams
  • Data Modelling
  • Document Analysis
  • Functional Decomposition
  • Process Modelling
  • Use Cases and Scenarios
  • User Stories

Outputs after tracing requirements:

  • Maintained requirements
  • Maintained designs

Prioritize Requirements:

Prioritizing and ranking requirements in terms of their importance helps business analysts assess the value, risk, and urgency of certain demands. This guarantees that the most essential needs and designs are always at the top of the list for analysis. The importance of the requirements to their stakeholders is what determines their ranking, with relevance being a major factor in determining prioritization.

Inputs for maintaining requirements:

  • Requirements – these requirements are in the form of text, matrices, or diagrams, and are ready to be prioritized.
  • Designs – these designs are in the form of text, prototypes, or diagrams, and are ready to be prioritized.

The main elements of the requirements maintenance task are:

  • Basis for Prioritisation
  • Challenges of Prioritisation
  • Continual Prioritisation

The major techniques used to trace requirements include:

  • Backlog Management
  • Business Cases
  • Decision Analysis
  • Estimation
  • Financial Analysis
  • Interviews
  • Item Tracking
  • Prioritization
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Workshops

Outputs after tracing requirements:

  • Prioritized requirements
  • Prioritized designs

Assess Requirements:

Assessing changes in needs helps you understand how they boost or cut the value of the solution, as well as identify potential actions to be taken. It also identifies possible conflicts or inconsistencies in your relationships with other requirements. Each proposed change in need needs to be evaluated for alignment with the overall strategy, potential value for stakeholders, delivery timeline impact, and effect on risks, opportunities, and constraints of the overall project.

Inputs for maintaining requirements:

  • Proposed Changes – may occur at any time and have an impact on any aspect of the business analysis process or deliverables completed to date. A proposed change might be triggered by corporate strategy modifications, stakeholders, legal obligations, or government regulations.
  • Requirements – these requirements need to be assessed to identify the impact of the proposed changes.
  • Designs – these designs are in need of assessment for the identification of the impact of a proposed change.

The main elements of the requirements maintenance task are:

  • Assessment Formality
  • Impact Analysis
  • Impact Resolution

The major techniques used to trace requirements include:

  • Business Cases
  • Business Rules Analysis
  • Decision Analysis
  • Document Analysis
  • Estimation
  • Financial Analysis
  • Interface Analysis
  • Interviews
  • Item Tracking
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Workshops

Outputs after tracing requirements:

  • Requirements Change Assessment
  • Designs Change Assessment

Approve Requirements:

During the approval of the requirements, the business analysts work closely with the stakeholders with the role in the governance process to approve and agree on certain requirements and designs. reaching the agreement and obtaining approval is crucial for the continuation of the business analysis process.

Inputs for maintaining requirements:

  • Verified Requirements – these verified requirements are to be used as a reliable body for further development.
  • Designs – these designs are considered ready to be used for further development.

The main elements of the requirements maintenance task are:

  • Understanding Stakeholders Roles
  • Conflict and Issue Management
  • Gaining Consensus
  • Tracking and Communicating Approval

The major techniques used to trace requirements include:

  • Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria
  • Decision Analysis
  • Item Tracking
  • Reviews
  • Workshops

Outputs after tracing requirements:

  • Approved Requirements
  • Approved Designs

Visure Requirements ALM Platform for Requirements Lifecycle Coverage:

Visure Requirements ALM Platform supports not only requirements but several artifacts, including tests, risks, change requests, etc. in order to be able to support the different activities in the Requirements Management process.

Requirements Gathering

Feature List

  • Use hierarchy between blocks to extend the behavior of elements: Functional requirements are also requirements, but with specific fields, properties and traceability
  • Restrict traceability based on the traces represented in the diagram: Allow users to create a use case only out of functional requirements and never out of a non-functional one
  • Use the diagram to navigate to different items or even to analyze traceability, even the indirect traces!
  • Define the custom approval process for each element you are managing based on the workflows diagram
  • Any Requirements process supported:
    • CMMI level 2 and 3
    • SPICE
    • Tender management processes (RFI, RFP, etc.)
    • Agile methodologies
    • Product validation
    • BABOK
    • Ad hoc processes….who can easily understand, follow and participate in the defined process, enforcing it.

Benefits

  • All the artifacts along with the block diagrams and workflows allow users to define and follow from very simple to highly complex Requirements processes in just one single tool.
  • All the stakeholders can easily understand, follow and participate in the defined process.
  • Administrators can enforce users to follow the process by customizing each element field and restricting traceability.
  • Generate triggers to notify users about the status change of an element following its workflow: “Your requirements have been approved”

Requirements Analysis

Feature List

  • Requirements Traceability
  • Analyze Requirement Quality
  • Assisted requirements decomposition
  • Organize the model based on different criteria
  • Classify the information as you wish to perform the analysis: word-like views (document view), excel-like views (list view), etc.

Benefits

  • Manage the project scope
  • Deliver projects in time and in budget
  • Prioritize needs
  • Identify inconsistencies or missing elements
  • Requirements Specification

Requirements Specification

Feature List

  • Create your own requirement types
  • Define mandatory attributes
  • Specify filters
  • User-defined views
  • View sharing
  • Role-based user interface
  • Graphically defined requirement process and traceability
  • Multi-dimensional structuring of requirements artifacts
  • Mix several elements types (acceptance tests, user requirements, system requirements, defects) in the same view and edit them in that very view
  • Built-in Workflows
  • Unlimited number of user-defined attributes
  • Version management and comparison
  • Roll-back to older versions
  • Report Generation

Benefits

  • Document and specify requirements appropriately for stakeholders
  • Communicate requirements through the lifecycle
  • Generate reports containing metrics, dashboards, charts, and any other piece of information extracted from the project
  • Requirements Validation

Requirements Validation

Feature List

  • Definition of acceptance tests
  • Automatic capture of acceptance tests from MS Office
  • Traceability between tests and requirements
  • Certified integration with HP Quality Center Fit-Criteria for requirements
  • Validation matrix
  • Raise change requests from the failed tests or any other artifact your process required

Benefits

  • Deliver quality products that cover the user’s expectations
  • Ensure that the collected requirements actually defined the system required by the users

Conclusion:

Requirements Lifecycle Coverage (RLC) is a process that helps ensure your requirements are complete and accurate. The 5 Phases of RLC Coverage outlined in this blog post will help you get started with improving the quality of your requirements.  In addition to the benefits of using Visure Requirements ALM Platform, such as improved traceability and collaboration, following these phases will also help you avoid costly mistakes and missed deadlines. If you’re looking for a comprehensive ALM platform that can help improve the quality of your requirements, request a free 30-day trial at Visure Requirements ALM Platform today.

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