In 2014 Intland Software executed a survey among its clients and partners to collect feedback regarding Maturity levels of Requirements Engineering. Based on an analysis of responses, Intland gives 7 tips for requirements engineers and managers on how to increase efficiency and solve the most common problems of software requirements management.
1. Integrate the evaluation of requirements quality into the management process
Most of the respondents confirmed that the quality management of requirements should be monitored after the design and definition phase and subsequently throughout the entire lifecycle, and is critical to achieve high product quality. It was also stated that correction failures in later stages are more expensive and pose the risk of delaying deliveries.
2. Pre-define quality and validation criteria
It is important to define acceptance and validation criteria of requirements. By ensuring that quality assurance processes are defined and adhered to throughout the requirements management process, the risk of adverse product quality issues can be significantly reduced.
3. Increase collaboration in the requirements design and acceptance phase
Collaboration with the clients, business analysts, product owners and the technical team critically influences the success of product development. Especially in the design phase and in the case of change requests, regular communication is of great importance. Collaborative requirements management tools enable the tracking of changes across the entire lifecycle.
4. Ensure traceability for requirements along a properly defined workflow
Traceability is simply the key to success in requirements management. codeBeamer’s workflow engine supports SDLC systems and enables users to define the workflow while helping to follow up on all activities of all team members during the application development lifecycle. Systems that support versioning and base lining can add further value to the requirements management process by ensuring full change history and backtracking to all statuses.
5. Implement Agile Management development to shorten development cycle and focus on value for the client
Most of the responses show that users see a significant added value of using Agile methods for development. This iterative approach provides increased flexibility on changes, requires less documentation, shortens delivery time and focuses on value for the customer.
6. Define change management lifecycle and implement change effect analysis
According to the survey results requirements may change as much as 30% during the development lifecycle. The processes used in change management and handling are also critical for product success. It is also important to implement a change effect analysis for estimating the consequences of changes in different phases of development.
7. Consider the re-use of requirements
A majority of respondents agree that the re-use of well defined requirements can lead to significant savings in the requirements management process. When selecting a Requirements Management tool, it is highly recommended to evaluate features that support the re-use of requirements and library management of requirements. Re-use can speed up requirements definition, and reduce the time needed to set up a new project by using previously defined and verified requirements.
In the survey, we asked respondents a few questions about the most common failures and malfunctions of requirements management that could be solved with the above mentioned measurements and tools.
The most common symptoms of requirements management failures are the poor quality of requirements definition and missing requirements. The second most frequent problem is the failure of requirements validation, improperly managed and poorly documented requirements. It can also be critical if changes are not well managed during a long software development cycle or if requirements are not traced or not tested.
Intland’s ALM tool codeBeamer has a strong requirements management functionality supporting processes at all maturity levels. Implementing codeBeamer combined with proper measurements can result in more efficient and successful requirements management and product development. Check out our infographics with survey results and visualized insights, along with several videos showcasing codeBeamer’s requirements management features.