Requirements Management & Traceability with Microsoft Office Word & Excel
Word and Excel Limitations for Requirements Management
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One of the biggest disadvantages 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. For example, it can be difficult to keep track of all the requirements when they are scattered across multiple documents. And if you need to make changes to a requirement, you often have to go through each document one by one to find and update it.
Disadvantages of Using MS Word and Excel for Managing Requirements
- Scattered Information – Information in Microsoft word or excel is scattered and not organized. Hence, it firstly takes a lot of time to find exactly what you need, and secondly, makes it difficult to reuse those requirements. Also, various tasks like sorting and filtering are not possible in word or excel.
- No Traceability – Microsoft office does not allow any sort of traceability in its documentation. Hence, there is no way to get metrics, and reports, or perform impact analysis. If you must trace all the requirements in word or office, it has to be done manually which is super time and effort-consuming.
- Concurrent Access – When a user opens a document, it is entirely blocked. There is no way for another user to modify the document while another has it open. There are no different access rights on requirements/attributes/etc. Hence, it is not possible for multiple users to access the same document at the same time.
- Lack of Control & Audit Trials – In Microsoft Office, documents can have multiple versions only when managed manually, but not the information inside those documents. Also, there is no record of the changes that are made in the requirements. Hence, with no history of changes, performing activities like change control or version control is not possible.
In contrast, a Requirements Management platform is designed specifically for managing software requirements. This means that it includes all the features and functionality you need to make Requirements Management easier and more efficient. For example, most Requirements Management platforms include a central repository where all the requirements are stored. This makes it easy to keep track of all the requirements and make changes when necessary. In addition, most Requirements Management platforms are very collaborative. This means that different team members can work on different parts of the requirement at the same time without causing confusion or making mistakes.
Overall, there are many disadvantages to using MS Excel and Word for Requirements Management. These general-purpose tools were not designed for that purpose and lack many of the features and functionality that would make Requirements Management easier and more efficient. In contrast, a Requirements Management platform is designed specifically for managing software requirements and includes all the features and functionality you need to make Requirements Management easier and more efficient. As a result, most companies that make the transition to a Requirements Management platform quickly realize the benefits it brings.
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