Regardless of errors made during Software Development, the final failure of an entire project is a Requirements Management failure. Failure is a either a final product that does not meet expectations (does not meet clients requirements – a failure of requirements management) or the cancellation of a project due to escalating costs, usually the direct result of defects caught too late and are therefore too costly to fix. Since poor requirements management results in, product defects, – no matter how you look at it, a software development project management failure is a failure of Requirements Management.
What is Requirements Management?
A project’s requirements are the requirements of the client, the purpose and the functionality of the final product. Therefore the management of requirements is the analysis, tracing and prioritizing of requirements, leading to the final agreement of product requirements. The agreed product requirements may change frequently and this is where the problems frequently start, – with poor requirements documentation.
How changing requirements is documented and communicated should be a key area of concern for any development team and any organization embarking on a software development project. It is not enough for requirements to be stored electronically (some enterprises still use paper!). Effective Requirements Management is the key to project success. According to the Standish CHAOS report with 68% of software development projects do not meeting performance targets and with 30% of project failures a result of a) 16% lack of executive sponsorship b) 12% poorly defined goals and objectives. Requirements Management importance cannot be understated.
Requirements Management is built upon the following:
- Demand Management – Elicitation of end users for product functionality.
- Collaboration – Demand prioritization and the transformation of demand into requirements. The review and feedback processes are essential for gaining stakeholder commitment.
- Change Management – Where changing customer requirements and business objectives bring changing product requirements.
- Transparency and Traceability.
Requirements Management of codeBeamer ALM software solution enables software development teams to define and elaborate requirements as well as manage requirements through the entire development and testing phases. Check out our videos on how exactly codeBeamer facilitates requirements management.