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Best Requirements Management Tools & Software for Aerospace and Defense Organizations

Best Requirements Management Tools & Software for Aerospace and Defense Organizations

Table of Contents

What is Aerospace Requirements Management?

Requirements management is the process of identifying, documenting, analyzing, prioritizing, tracing, and managing the requirements of a software or system development project. It is an essential aspect of the development process as it helps ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of the end-users, complies with relevant standards and regulations, and is delivered on time and within budget.

In the aerospace industry, requirements management is particularly important due to the safety-critical nature of the systems being developed. The development of avionics software and hardware involves complex systems with many interrelated components and subsystems, and a failure in any one of these components can have serious consequences.

Aerospace companies must comply with industry standards and regulations such as DO-178C for avionics software and DO-254 for avionics hardware. These standards require that software and hardware systems be developed in accordance with a structured and disciplined process, with a particular focus on requirements management.

To support requirements management in the aerospace industry, a range of software tools are available. These tools typically provide features such as requirements capture and analysis, traceability analysis, change management, and collaboration and reporting capabilities.

The Aerospace Requirements Management Market

The aerospace requirements management market has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by the increasing demand for more advanced and reliable aircraft and spacecraft. As a result, there has been a growing need for effective requirements management solutions to ensure that aerospace products meet the necessary safety and reliability standards.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the aerospace requirements management market is expected to grow from $623 million in 2018 to $1.283 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.5% during the forecast period. This growth is being driven by several factors, including the increasing demand for advanced aircraft and spacecraft, the need for efficient requirements management processes, and the growing adoption of cloud-based solutions.

The report also highlights that North America is expected to hold the largest market share during the forecast period, due to the presence of major aerospace companies in the region, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. However, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, due to the increasing investments in aerospace and defense by countries such as China and India.

Several key players in the aerospace requirements management market are driving this growth, including Visure Solutions, IBM, PTC, Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and Ansys. These companies are offering a range of requirements management solutions that help aerospace companies manage their development processes, ensure compliance with industry standards, and meet the safety and reliability requirements of their products.

Overall, the aerospace requirements management market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by the increasing demand for more advanced and reliable aerospace products. By adopting effective requirements management solutions, aerospace companies can ensure that they meet the necessary safety and reliability standards, and deliver products that meet the needs of their customers.

Challenges with Aerospace Requirements Management

While effective requirements management is critical in the aerospace industry, there are also several challenges that companies face in this area. Some of the key challenges include:

  1. Complexity: Aerospace systems are highly complex and consist of many interrelated components and subsystems. This makes it difficult to accurately capture and manage all of the requirements, as well as to ensure that all requirements are adequately tested and verified.
  2. Traceability: The industry standards and regulations require that all requirements be traceable to design elements and test cases. However, this can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially for large and complex systems.
  3. Change Management: Requirements often change throughout the development process, and managing these changes can be a significant challenge. Companies must have processes in place to assess the impact of changes on the overall system, as well as to update relevant documentation and notify stakeholders of any changes.
  4. Collaboration: Aerospace systems typically involve multiple stakeholders, including end-users, designers, engineers, and regulators. Ensuring effective collaboration and communication between these stakeholders can be a challenge, especially when working across different geographic locations and time zones.
  5. Compliance: Compliance with industry standards and regulations such as DO-178C and DO-254 is essential in the aerospace industry. However, achieving compliance can be challenging, especially for companies that are new to the industry or are working with new technologies.

To address these challenges, companies in the aerospace industry must have robust requirements management processes in place, as well as access to specialized software tools that can support these processes. These tools can help with requirements capture and analysis, traceability analysis, change management, and collaboration and reporting capabilities.

In addition, companies must invest in training and education to ensure that all stakeholders involved in the development process have a clear understanding of the requirements management process, as well as the industry standards and regulations that must be complied with. By addressing these challenges, companies can ensure that their software and hardware systems meet the highest standards of safety and reliability, and can achieve compliance with industry standards and regulations.

Why use Professional RM Tools instead of Word & Excel?

The use of Word and Excel for requirements management can be limiting for a few reasons. First, it can be difficult to keep track of all the different versions of a document when multiple people are working on it. Second, it can be hard to know who is responsible for each requirement, and what the status of each requirement is. Finally, if you want to trace the requirements to other parts of the project, such as design documents or test cases, it can be very difficult to do so.

If you are working on an aerospace project, it is important to consider using a professional requirements management tool. This will help you keep track of all the different versions of your documents, and ensure that each requirement is properly traceable. Additionally, using a professional requirements management tool can help you save time and money in the long run, by ensuring that your project is completed on time and within budget.

When it comes to requirements management for aerospace projects, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that you are using a tool that is specifically designed for aerospace projects. This will ensure that you are able to properly track all of the different types of requirements that are specific to aerospace projects. Additionally, you need to make sure that your tool is able to handle the traceability of your requirements. Traceability is essential in any project, but it is especially important in aerospace projects. Finally, you need to make sure that your tool is able to handle change management. Change management is a vital part of any project, but it is especially important in aerospace projects.

Choosing the right requirements management tool for your aerospace project can be a daunting task. There are a lot of different options out there, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. However, by keeping the above things in mind, you should be able to narrow down your options and choose the tool that is right for you.

What to look for in a Requirements Management Tool for Aerospace?

When selecting a requirements management tool for aerospace, it is important to consider several key factors. These factors include:

  1. Compliance with Industry Standards: The tool should be compliant with industry standards and regulations such as DO-178C and DO-254. This ensures that the tool supports the processes and workflows required for aerospace development, and helps ensure that the final product meets the necessary safety and reliability standards.
  2. Traceability: The tool should support the traceability of requirements to design elements and test cases. This is a key requirement in the aerospace industry and helps ensure that all requirements are properly tested and verified.
  3. Change Management: The tool should have robust change management capabilities, allowing users to track changes to requirements and assess their impact on the overall system. This helps ensure that changes are properly documented and communicated to all stakeholders.
  4. Collaboration: The tool should support collaboration between stakeholders, including designers, engineers, and end-users. This helps ensure that all stakeholders are able to contribute to the development process, and helps reduce the risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding.
  5. Reporting: The tool should provide robust reporting capabilities, allowing users to generate reports on requirements status, progress, and compliance. This helps ensure that stakeholders have a clear understanding of the development process and can track progress toward completion.
  6. Integration: The tool should be able to integrate with other development tools, such as design tools, testing tools, and project management tools. This helps ensure that all aspects of the development process are properly integrated and managed.
  7. User Interface: The tool should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for stakeholders to use and contribute to the development process.
  8. Scalability: The tool should be scalable and able to support large and complex aerospace projects. This helps ensure that the tool can grow and evolve with the needs of the development team.
  9. Customization: The tool should be customizable, allowing users to tailor the tool to their specific needs and workflows.

By considering these factors when selecting a requirements management tool for aerospace, companies can ensure that they choose a tool that supports their development processes, meets industry standards, and helps ensure the safety and reliability of their final products.

Best Requirements Management Tools for the Aerospace Industry

Practically, there is an abundance of great tools that helps requirements management in the market it is now difficult to choose which one is the best. So, we have brought you a list of the top 5 requirements management tools that can help you increase your efficiency and production. 

Visure Solutions – 

Visure is one of the most trusted ALM platforms that is well known for its amazing services in requirements management for the aerospace and defense market. It helps enable digital engineering for aerospace and defense organizations. Visure is trusted by some top aerospace companies like Airbus, General Electronics (GE), Palomar, and DLR. 

  • Pros: 
    • Standards and Traceability – Visure supports various standards like DO-178B/C, DO-254, ARP 4754/ED-79, DO-160G, MIL-SPEC, and more. These standards are dynamically traced throughout all the stages of development ensuring that each requirement is properly mapped to a specific test case and vice versa. 
    • 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. 
    • Multi-tier Collaboration – Visure supports XML-based standards, like ReqIF and XRI, that help us in exchanging requirements between various different customers and suppliers. 
    • 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 a 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. 
    • 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. 
  • Cons:
    • If you’re currently working on a very short-term project with no cross-project impact, then 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 – 

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 high-level granularity and configurability. 

  • Pros:
    • DO-178C – IBM supports the DO-178C standard to provide guidance to organizations developing airborne software systems in order to ensure that it performs their desired tasks successfully. 
    • 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 the standard DO-178C. 
  • Cons:
    • 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. 

Jama Software – 

Jama is an application lifecycle management solution that provides a nice platform for risk and test management. Jama assists you in building complex products and systems by improving cycle times and hence, enhancing the quality. 

  • Pros:
    • Standards – Jama follows DO-178C/ED-12C standards for commercial avionics software development and DO-254/ED-80 standards for commercial avionics hardware development. 
    • Interface – Jama offers a quite modern and intuitive interface along with features like live traceability and an effective notification system. 
    • Easy Integration – Jama can be easily integrated with other tools like Jira and Azure DevOps. It also supports various development methodologies like Agile. 
  • Cons:
    • Jama lacks visualization features that are used for understanding how the product matures over time. 
    • People also often complain about Jama not being capable of creating proper documentation and providing a good storage place. 

Siemens Polarion – 

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. 

  • Pros:
    • DO-178C – Polarion follows the DO-178C standard to help you untangle the complexities of development processes on a granular level and thus, speed up the development process.
    • 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. 
  • Cons:
    • People criticize Polarion for using an 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. 

Helix ALM – 

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. 

  • Pros:
    • Regulations – Helix complies with the DO-178C and DO-178B regulations for developing airborne systems. DO-330 is complied with for sorting the requirements for the airborne system and DO-254 is followed for design assurance. 
    • 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. 
  • Cons:
    • Importing and exporting items from MS Excel or Word can be a bit clumsy. 
    • Test Run system is not quite adaptable for mechanical testing. 
    • Report creation is poor.
    • Helix does not support Scrum methodology either. 

CodeBeamer – 

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. 

  • Pros:
    • Compliance – CodeBeamer follows compliance with various aerospace standards like RTCA DO-178C (EUROCAE ED-12C) and DO-254 along with other FAA, CAA, and DOD regulations in order to ensure the airworthiness and safety of the product. 
    • Traceability and Collaboration – CodeBeamer offers a unique workflow that helps in maintaining a collaborative work environment. The tool allows you to connect all the development tools in order to provide your team with a personalized central development hub. 
    • Risk Management – CodeBeamer integrates quality risk management and helps in identifying, analyzing, and managing the risks associated with the product and development cycle. 
  • Cons:
    • CodeBeamer does not support import/export via ReqIF format.
    • User management is not a piece of cake either.
    • It can be challenging to debug why a user is unable to execute a task given the intersection of 1) license constraints 2) project permissions 3) tracker permissions 4) field permission

ReqTest – 

ReqTest is an ALM tool that offers requirements management, test management, and bugs and issues tracking. This is a full-cloud-based solution that requires no set-up or installation or training for that matter. 

  • Pros:
    • Free Trial & Version – ReqTest offers a free trial and a free version of the tool, unlike many other tools in the market. Also, the price of availing of the tools is also not so expensive either. 
    • User Interface – The user interface of the tools is said to be quite fresh and modern. It is customizable and fits almost all the needs of a requirements management system. 
    • Quality Testing – ReqTest provides a wide standard for quality testing at a very reasonable price. The audit trail of the tool is very much liked among the customers. 
  • Cons:
    • Standards – The tool does not offer any specific compliance to the standards for the aerospace and defense industry products like DO-178 and DO-254. 
    • The reporting capabilities of the tool on the agile board can be better.
    • High cost has to be paid in case more than 10 users need to be involved. 

Spira Teams – 

Spira Teams is another ALM platform that helps you in managing your requirements, releases, tests, issues, and tasks in a single integrated environment. It also offers an incorporated dashboard with important metrics of the project.

  • Pros:
    • DO-178B/C – Spira Teams offers solid compliance with the DO-178B/C standard. Therefore, all the testing and verifications are done according to the standard itself and also ensure that the development is done in accordance with the whole certification process. 
    • Easy Integration – The tool is known to make the automation and integration process quite easy which makes it one of the most preferred RM tools in the market.
    • Traceability – Spira Teams also provides end-to-end traceability for all the requirements, test cases, defects, development work, and source code. 
  • Cons:
    • For people using Spira Teams, it is not easy to move the requirements or artifacts from one tool to another.
    • Validation against AD is said to be difficult to set up as well.
    • Spira Teams is also not quite suitable for big firms because of limitations like a single database, and difficulties in attaching bigger files. 

Tuleap – 

This is an ALM system that majorly facilitates agile methodologies, V-model, requirements management, and IT service management. This project management platform enables organizations to meet the required standards like CMMI and ITIL.

  • Pros:
    • Compliance – Tuleap provides compliance with the DO-178B standards used for guidance related to Equipment Certification and software consideration within airborne systems.
    • Traceability – Tuleap ensures end-to-end traceability from initial requirements to test campaigns and final deliveries. It connects all the requirements, test cases, and other artifacts to ensure full traceability. 
    • Easy to use – Tuleap is quite easy to use and set up, thanks to the cloud version of the tool. It allows you to create a workflow corresponding exactly to your needs. 
  • Cons:
    • The document management interface is not as good as compared to other tools.
    • Some of the user interface features like copywriting and moving documents are not intuitive.

Conclusion

Requirements management is a critical process in aerospace engineering and manufacturing. The right requirements management tool can help you streamline your process, improve communication among team members, and ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page. We’ve looked at nine of the top tools for aerospace requirements management and their pros and cons. If you’re looking for a comprehensive, cloud-based solution that can manage all your requirements needs, we recommend the Visure Requirements ALM Platform. Request a free 30-day trial today to see how it can help your business.

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