In order to have a successful software development project, it is important to manage the requirements effectively. This involves managing both the technical and non-technical requirements of the project. There are many different tools available to help with this process, but it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your organization. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of some of the top software and IT requirements management tools in the market. We will also help you decide which tool is best for your needs!
What is Software & IT Requirements Management?
Requirements management is the process of handling these requirements throughout the software development life cycle, from initial planning through to final delivery and maintenance. This includes activities such as gathering requirements, documenting them, tracking changes, and managing communication between stakeholders.
Software requirements management (SRM) is the process of handling software requirements throughout the software development life cycle. SRM includes activities such as gathering, analyzing, documenting, and tracking requirements. The goal of SRM is to ensure that the final product meets the needs of the customer or client.
Why is Requirements Management Important?
The major purpose of requirement management is to ensure clear, concise, and error-free requirement fulfillment for the engineering team so they can detect errors in the system and potentially reduce the project cost as well as risk.
Requirements management is important because it helps to ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of what needs to be delivered. This can help to avoid scope creep and other issues that can cause problems during the software development process. In addition, effective requirements management can help to improve communication between all parties involved in the project.
Types of Software Requirements
Software requirements are broadly divided into three types:
- Functional Requirements
- Non-Functional Requirements
- Domain Requirements
Functional Requirements, as the name suggests, describe the functions of the system to be designed. It is a description of what the system will be and how it will function to satisfy user needs. They provide a clear description of how the system is supposed to respond to a particular command, the features, and what the users expect.
Non-Functional Requirements explain the limitations and constraints of the system to be designed. These requirements do not have any impact on the functionality of the application. Furthermore, there is a common practice of sub-classifying the non-functional requirements into various categories like
- User Interface
Domain requirements are specific to a particular domain or industry. They are mostly associated with the business rules and processes of an organization. The requirements that define a specific category or domain of projects are referred to as project-level constraints. The fundamental functions that a system of a particular domain must have are considered part of this kind. Accessing the list of faculty and students in each grade, for example, is a domain requirement in an academic program that keeps records of a school or college. These demands are determined by the domain model and aren’t affected by the user.
Challenges with Software & IT Requirements Management
There are a number of challenges associated with effective requirements management. One of the biggest challenges is gathering accurate and complete requirements from all stakeholders. This can be difficult, especially if there are many stakeholders involved in the project. In addition, requirements often change during the course of a project, which can make it difficult to keep track of all the changes.
The major 5 challenges with software requirements management include:
- Communication and Documentation – One of the main challenges in requirements management is to keep all stakeholders updated on the development process and ensure that everyone is aware of the current requirements. This can be difficult, especially if there are many stakeholders involved in the project.
- Changes in Requirements – Another challenge that often arises is changes in requirements during the course of a project. This can make it difficult to keep track of all the changes and ensure that everyone is aware of the latest requirements.
- Tracking Progress – It can also be challenging to track progress against specific requirements, especially if there are a large number of them. This can make it difficult to identify issues early on and take corrective action.
- Testing and Validation – Testing and validation is another area where requirements management can be challenging. It is often difficult to test all the requirements, especially if there are a large number of them. In addition, it can be difficult to get accurate feedback from users during testing.
- MS Word And Excel – Companies that use MS Word or Excel to manage their requirements have a higher risk of going off track. The biggest disadvantage of using MS Excel and Word for Requirements Management is that they were not designed for that purpose. As a result, they lack many of the features and functionality that would make Requirements Management easier and more efficient.
Top Software & IT Requirements Management Tools
There is a plethora of software and IT requirements management tools in the market today. Below is a list of top software and IT requirements management tools along with their pros and cons.
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.
- Traceability – Visure also helps you in maintaining full traceability between your system and all the software requirements, risks, tests, and other artifacts. Furthermore, Visure assists you in generating full traceability reports as well.
- Better Collaboration – Visure offers customizable user interfaces on the basis of the project you are working on. All the information is properly organized on these interfaces allowing all the individuals to work together while remaining on the same page.
- Integration – Visure supports XML-based standards, like ReqIF and XRI, that help us in exchanging requirements between various different customers and suppliers. Moreover, JIRA issues can be exported and imported into Visure ALM Platform to facilitate the visibility of these elements.
- Security – Visure ensures proper security of information and requirements. We do this through our rigorous access policy where only certain people can access the artifacts even at the elementary level.
- Quality Analysis – Visure’s Quality Analyzer allows you to perform semantic analysis of the requirements to identify the quality of the requirements. Therefore, it becomes easier to prevent the requirements from moving to the next phase in the development cycle.
- Data Models – Visure supports many development processes like Agile, V-model, etc. At Visure, we ensure to analyze the specific problems that are inherent in business models and provide a solutional data model for each specific need. These data models are customizable to relate to the client’s internal processes and can be enforced as required.
- Free Trial – Visure 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.
- If you’re currently working on a very short-term project with no cross-project impact, they you might be better off getting a lightweight tool like Jira.
- If you are currently working on an IT project with no criticality, perhaps this is not the tool you will be looking for.
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.
- Compliance – IBM helps manage full traceability across the entire product development lifecycle in accordance with various compliant standards.
- Easy Operations – IBM allows you to easily create baselines, track versioning when detailed requirements are involved, and interlink the change requests directly to the initial documents.
- Collaboration – IBM works to provide solutions for better collaboration, automation, and reporting in accordance with the needs of various standards.
- The interface is quite outdated and dull.
- Importing images, pdfs, and text files can be a pain sometimes.
- Does not offer integration outside the IBM technology ecosystem making it difficult to adapt to other tools.
- Too expensive for small or medium organizations.
Helix is a known requirement management tool in the aerospace market. Helix helps in developing quality airborne systems while ensuring complete safety and compliance with the standards.
- Test Management – Helix helps you create various test cases based on your requirements. You can also generate test runs based on the test cases.
- Fits Everywhere – Helix is a flexible tool that fits in all kinds of small as well as complex processes making it easy to use.
- Reports and Bugs – Helix captures all the test reports and bug reports in one place and also provides a time-to-time update for keeping the application up to date.
- Importing and exporting items from MS Excel or Word can be a bit clumsy.
- Test Run system is not quite adaptable for mechanical testings.
- Report creation is poor.
- Helix does not support Scrum methodology either.
Polarion is a well-known RM tool in the aerospace and defense industry. Polarion is highly admired for saving time and effort, improving quality, and ensuring safety for complex systems.
- End-To-End Traceability – Polarion guarantees end-to-end traceability between all the requirements and test cases ensuring the requirements and test cases are mapped to each other properly.
- Easy Import/Export – Polarion’s traditional features like versioning, dashboards, and an open API are what make it stand out in the crowd. The import-export of information on Polarion is pretty easy and intuitive.
- Real-time Reporting – Polarion allows you to generate real-time reports and export them in different formats like PDFs. These reports are sharable via various different mediums.
- People criticize Polarion for using unfitting interface design and icons.
- Also, Polarion does not offer any free trial or free version to try out the product before actually paying for it.
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.
- Agile People – Jira is a tool best suited for agile teams. The tool is equipped with all the features necessary for an agile team.
- Fits In All Requirements – Jira can be easily customized to fit any kind of requirements. You can add and remove fields, create custom workflows, etc. as per your need.
- Issue & Bug Tracking – Jira offers excellent issue & bug tracking features. You can track all the issues and bugs in one place and also generate reports for the same.
- Integration – Jira offers great integration capabilities. It integrates well with a lot of other tools like Bitbucket, Hipchat, etc.
- Jira can be quite overwhelming for first-time users because of its complex interface.
- Also, Jira is not a requirement management tool per se and lacks some features like impact analysis, versioning, etc. that are crucial for Requirements Management.
- Jira is not very user-friendly for non-technical people. The learning curve for Jira is quite steep.
- Jira does not offer a free trial or free version.
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.
- Flexibility – CodeBeamer is a highly flexible tool that can be adapted to any kind of development process.
- Pre-configured Templates – CodeBeamer comes with pre-configured templates for various compliance requirements like ISO 26262, DO-178C, IEC 62304, etc.
- Compliance Requirements – CodeBeamer is compliant with various requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), FDA, and GAMP.
- CodeBeamer does not have a free trial or free version.
- The tool can be quite complex and overwhelming for first-time users.
- CodeBeamer is a paid tool and can be quite expensive for small organizations.
Rational Requirements Composer is a tool by IBM for Requirements Management. This tool helps you capture, author, trace, review & manage your requirements easily and efficiently.
- Ease Of Use – Rational Requirements Composer is very easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
- Integration – Rational Requirements Composer integrates well with various other tools like IBM DOORS, Jazz, and others.
- Authoring Requirements – Rational Requirements Composer helps you capture and author requirements easily. It also has features like automatic numbering, spell checks, etc.
- Rational Requirements Composer is a paid tool and can be quite expensive for small organizations.
- The tool lacks some features like visual modeling, Requirements Lifecycle Management, etc.
- Rational Requirements Composer does not have a free trial or free version.
ReqView is an all-in-one Requirements Management tool that helps you capture, author, trace, review & manage your requirements easily and efficiently.
- Ease Of Use – ReqView is very easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
- Integration – ReqView integrates well with various other tools like Jira, confluence, etc.
- Authoring Requirements – ReqView helps you capture and author requirements easily. It also has features like automatic numbering, spell checks, etc.
- ReqView is not a free tool and can be quite expensive for small organizations.
- The tool lacks some features like Requirements Lifecycle Management, visual modeling, etc.
Jama Software is a Requirements Management tool that helps organizations accelerate product development. Jama Software helps you manage your requirements, track progress & collaborate with others easily.
- Traceability – Jama Software helps you trace requirements and track progress easily. Jama enables live traceability across all requirements, test cases, and items, making it easier to understand the impact of change, navigate upstream and downstream relationships, and filter and export product-specific views.
- Collaboration – Jama Software allows easy collaboration between different stakeholders. Jama Connect makes real-time collaboration effortless by allowing users to see not only who is directly connected but also who is indirectly connected through related items.
- Test Management – Jama Connect has full manual testing capabilities tied right into the product-development process, which enables teams to evaluate every stage from concept to test.
- Jama Software is a paid tool and can be quite expensive for small organizations.
- The tool lacks some features like Requirements Lifecycle Management, automatic numbering, etc.
- Jama Software does not have a free trial or free version.
Modern Requirements is a Requirements Management tool that helps you capture, author, trace, review & manage your requirements easily and efficiently.
- Ease Of Use – Modern Requirements is very easy to use and has a user-friendly interface.
- Integration – Modern Requirements integrates well with various other tools like Jira, confluence, etc.
- Authoring Requirements – Modern Requirements help you capture and author requirements easily. It also has features like automatic numbering, spell checks, etc.
- Modern Requirements is not a free tool and can be quite expensive for small organizations.
- The tool lacks some features like Requirements Lifecycle Management, visual modeling, etc.
Requirements management is a critical process in the software market. The importance of requirements management cannot be overstated, as it can help organizations reduce development time and costs, improve product quality, and ensure customer satisfaction. However, requirements management is not without its challenges. Organizations must carefully track changes to requirements and manage stakeholders effectively to ensure that projects stay on track. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available to help with this process. Visure Requirements ALM Platform is one such tool that can help you manage your software requirements effectively and efficiently. Request a free 30-day trial today to see how our platform can benefit your organization.