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What is Requirements Versioning: Definition, Best Tools & Practices | Complete Guide

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What is Requirements Versioning: Definition, Best Tools & Practices | Complete Guide

Businesses need to be able to track changes made to requirements documents and ensure that they are making the most of their resources. This can be done through a variety of software applications, or if those applications aren’t available or in your budget, through a simple filing system. In this blog post, we will discuss what requirements versioning is, the best tools and practices for doing it, and how your business can benefit from it!

What is Requirements Versioning?

Requirements versioning is the process of tracking changes made to a requirements document. This can be done for a variety of reasons, but it is most often used in order to improve the efficiency of a project by ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the latest changes.

Version control is a key part of requirements versioning, as it allows businesses to track the changes that have been made to a document over time. This can be done using a variety of software applications, or if those applications are not available or in your budget, through a simple filing system.

Types of Version Controls

There are two main types of version control:

  1. Sequential Version Control – This type of version control keeps track of the changes made to a document in sequential order. This can be helpful for businesses that want to be able to see the history of a document and how it has changed over time.
  2. Parallel Version Control – This type of version control allows businesses to track changes made to different versions of a document at the same time. This can be helpful for businesses that need to make changes to multiple versions of a document simultaneously.

Benefits of Requirements Versioning

One of the greatest challenges organizations face is ensuring that everyone who is working on the project is working on the correct version of the project information. Working on out-of-date information can consume unnecessary time and effort which could so easily be avoided. Maintaining one instance and one version of the project data in a central repository that everyone in the project team can access, significantly improves the quality and consistency of the resulting project deliverables.

Historically version management has been performed at the document level rather than the individual requirement statement level, which increases the management and control of these documents and the effective recording of these changes.

Also, maintaining a record of who changed which individual requirement statement and when provides useful history and context of why changes occurred. It also allows projects to monitor and assess requirement volatility, which information held in Visure Requirements can be reported on at any time. Requirements that are subject to a lot of change over time could be the subject of other underlying issues that need to be analyzed and resolved at the source rather than perpetuated into future projects.

There are many benefits to requirements versioning, but some of the most notable include:

  • Improved Communication Between Teams & Stakeholders –  When everyone is working from the same document, it is much easier to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Eliminated Wasted Time and Effort – By working from the most up-to-date information, you can avoid wasting time on outdated information.
  • Improved Quality and Consistency of Project Deliverables – By having all stakeholders working from the same information, you can avoid errors and inconsistencies in the final product.
  • More Efficient Resource Allocation –  When everyone is working from the same document, it is easier to see where resources are needed and where they can be best used.
  • Better Traceability –  When changes are tracked, it is easier to see how those changes have affected the final product and make necessary adjustments.

Metrics and cost savings motivated by effective version management have been more difficult for organizations to assess and quantify, but various users have confirmed that the business benefits are real.

Challenges with Requirements Versioning

While there are many benefits to requirements versioning, there are also some challenges that need to be considered.

The first challenge is the issue of document control. In order to maintain a central repository for all project information, businesses need to have a system in place for managing and controlling those documents. This can be a challenge if businesses do not have the right tools or processes in place.

The second challenge is the issue of training. In order to ensure that all stakeholders are using the same version of the project information, businesses need to provide training on how to use the version control system. This can be a challenge if businesses do not have the resources or expertise necessary to provide this training.

The third challenge is the issue of change management. In order to ensure that all stakeholders are working from the same information, businesses need to have a system in place for managing and tracking changes. This can be a challenge if businesses do not have the right tools or processes in place.

The final challenge is security issues.  In order to maintain a central repository for all project information, businesses need to ensure that the information is secure. However, storing multiple versions of data increases the risk of losing or leaking information. This can be a challenge if businesses do not have the right tools or processes in place.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of requirements versioning far outweigh the challenges. By implementing a requirements versioning system, businesses can improve communication between teams, eliminate wasted time and effort, improve the quality and consistency of project deliverables, more efficiently allocate resources, and better track changes. The key is to make sure that businesses have the right tools and processes in place to make requirements versioning successful.

How to Interpret the Right Versioning Tool?

There are a few different ways that businesses can go about requirements versioning. The most common method is to use software applications, but if those applications are not available or in your budget, businesses can also use a simple filing system.

The first step is to develop a filing system to log input for requirements. Today most input is electronic to allow saving files from other resource personnel. Document input from others is a necessary step to track. The next step is to establish change control procedures. These procedures should include who can make changes, what type of changes can be made, and how those changes will be tracked. Once the procedures are in place, businesses need to provide training to all stakeholders on how to use the system. Finally, businesses need to put security measures in place to protect the information. 

By following these steps, businesses can implement a requirements versioning system that will improve communication between teams, eliminate wasted time and effort, improve the quality and consistency of project deliverables, more efficiently allocate resources, and better track changes.

Best Practices for Requirements Versioning

There are a few best practices that businesses should keep in mind when doing requirements versioning, including:

  • Always track changes made to a requirements document
  • Use version control to track the changes made to a document over time
  • Make sure all stakeholders are aware of the latest changes
  • Allocate resources efficiently
  • Reduce the risk of errors.

Visure Requirements ALM Platform

Visure is a highly trusted state-of-the-art ALM platform that specializes in requirements management for organizations of all sizes across the globe. The major partners of Visure include business-critical and safety-critical companies. Visure is a flexible and complete ALM tool that is highly capable of providing practical and sound solutions for streamlining your requirements processes. Some of our top clients include Audi, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Honda, Bosch, Airbus, and more. 

The company integrates through the whole ALM processes including risk management, issue and defect tracking, traceability management, change management, and various other areas like quality analysis, requirements versioning, and powerful reporting.

Version Control via Visure Requirements

Once the data models are configured in accordance with the way you want to trace the requirements to each separate item, including, testing, defects, and risk, Visure enables you to define the elements and components across all the projects within the tool.

Therefore, every time a new modification is made in a single element, Visure saves that modification and automatically creates a new version for it. Furthermore, each version is properly documented and saved in the version history within the tool.

Conclusion

Requirements versioning is a process that businesses use to track changes made to a requirements document. By doing this, businesses can improve communication between teams, eliminate wasted time and effort, improve the quality and consistency of project deliverables, more efficiently allocate resources, and better track changes. The key is to make sure that businesses have the right tools and processes in place to make requirements versioning successful.

Visure Requirements is a state-of-the-art ALM platform that specializes in requirements management for organizations of all sizes across the globe. The company integrates through the whole ALM processes including risk management, issue and defect tracking, traceability management, change management, and various other areas like quality analysis, requirements versioning, and powerful reporting.

If you’re looking for a tool to help with requirements versioning, Visure Requirements is a one-stop solution for your organization. With its ability to save each modification made and create new versions automatically, businesses can easily track changes and keep all stakeholders up-to-date on the latest information. Try out the free 30-day trial to know how the tool functions and how it can help you manage your requirements versioning.

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