What is the most frequent cause of failures in software development? It’s the lack of definition and change management of requirements. This is what causes most of the catastrophes experienced in software development. Most IT practitioners are aware of this, but achieving a well-managed system of requirements is difficult. The most common cause of requirements management failures is the inadequate and inefficient management of changes. Requirements collection sometimes happens in informal environments, and the documentation created remains static during the development lifecycle, even if requirements are actually changing. Uncontrolled changes and static documentation leads to confusion, missed schedules, cost overruns and unsatisfied users and developers.
Effective Change Management Begins with a Requirements Management Tool
The goal is to embrace and manage change, not to prevent it. Ad hoc requirements management is ineffective especially in complex, mission critical multi-tier distributed application development projects. These kinds of projects are often executed by distributed teams under serious time to market pressure – further complicating project management. The solution for this challenge is finding the right requirements management tool that covers processes from the requirements analysis and change management through collaboration and test management. Test planning and test cases’ definitions have to be based on requirements in order to ensure that the software fully complies with user expectations.
The top reasons to implement effective Requirements Management:
- Having a coherent, updated requirements’ repository
- Manage requirements’ attributes by defining person responsible, release number, status, priority, cost, risk etc.
- Follow up and communicate changes across workflows
- Ensure team members’ access to requirements
- Tracking the status of requirements
- Define test cases according to requirements
The values that can be introduced with a requirements management tool are of great assistance to the project manager, development team and other users. These benefits include:
- Inreased effectiveness of project management with more accurate project controlling
- Improved understanding of project scope and complexity by stakeholders, users and developers alike
- Enables requirements traceability on all levels, providing vital project status information
- Allows the team to create a baseline; a defined set of requirements that have been agreed upon
codeBeamer ALM has Requirements Management, Software Development and Test Management modules in order to support the whole software development lifecycle by ensuring all of the above mentioned values.
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