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What are the best practices for requirements management?

Industry research shows 47 percent of projects fail due to poor requirements management. Identifying user needs, collaborating and establishing a shared understanding of constraints throughout the lifecycle helps reduce redundancy and ambiguity.

Requirements traceability

Link individual artifacts to test cases for full visibility of changes in engineering requirements as they happen. Capture all annotations, maintain them and make them easily accessible.

Variant management

Digitally manage the entire version and variant process while monitoring the progression of the system through a shared dashboard. Store data in a central location and present it in document format.

Engineering compliance

Incorporate industry standards and regulations into your requirements to achieve compliance early on. Building compliance into the end-to-end engineering lifecycle makes achieving compliance less complex.

Agile management

Streamline engineering processes to enable global collaboration and the reality of a single source of truth. Build confidence in the teams doing the work by showing them the value of their efforts in real time.


Requirements management with Watson AI

Enhance engineering requirements management with Watson AI

IBM announces a new feature within its Engineering Requirements Management solution, called Requirements Quality Assistant, which uses Watson AI to improving engineering requirements quality.

Facilitate dynamic traceability of requirements

When you cannot trace a change in a requirement tied to a test case, you can be exposed to safety-critical errors. Verification matrixes, compliance matrixes and traceability matrixes must be maintained separately unless integrated in a single platform. Better requirements help those in regulated industries achieve higher standards of compliance more easily, with more traceability and visibility into requirements tied to test cases and designs.

Manage versions and variants in one place

Today’s systems of systems require a configuration management mechanism that allows you to create versions and variants of products, systems and subsystems while maintaining relationships between the original and its versions and variants. 

Accelerate time to market

Build compliance into your end-to-end engineering processes

By developing on a platform that integrates stages of a project for complete traceability, achieving compliance becomes less complicated. All activity and changes in requirements can be viewed at any time, showing relationships throughout a project. The documentation is built-in to help teams conduct reviews and audits more easily. 

Enable global collaboration with agile workflow tools

Build a smarter engineering ecosystem using agile tools that promote access, visibility and transparency of your projects. Improve time to market, reduce errors and elevate the quality of the end product by streamlining your engineering processes. 

Products behind this solution

IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next

Deliver the connected products that the marketplace demands with a scalable solution to capture, trace, analyze and manage changes to requirements 

IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Family

Optimize communication and collaboration across development ecosystems and reduce costs for interconnected and intelligent products

IBM Engineering Requirements Quality Assistant

Improve the quality of requirements as you write them with a cloud-based, AI assistant, so you can reduce defects and get to market faster

We've changed product names to better represent the value they bring to you

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Get answers to frequently asked questions about requirements management

What is a requirements management plan and what is its purpose?

Before you build a product, you must know what the requirements are for that product. These requirements can include how the product looks, what features it has, what functions it performs and more. A requirements management plan acts as a repository for the product design, representing the “single source of truth” for what the product will be. It is also the foundation the engineering team will use to build system models and implement comprehensive testing.

Why is requirements management important and how can using tools help improve my requirements?

Requirements management is important because it establishes the parameters for the design of a product. Without a robust requirements management process, engineering teams could easily misinterpret specifications, develop products that do not address customer needs, constrict productivity with constant rework, and negatively affect quality and customer satisfaction. Instead of managing your requirements with spreadsheets, documents or emails, using an effective requirements management product will provide a fit-for-purpose solution to optimize the requirements process.

What are requirements management tools?

Requirements management tools are software products that act as an intelligent repository for product requirements. This repository should be the “single source of truth” for a product’s design. It can and should be used throughout the entire development process and will provide the most up-to-date view of the design. In an end-to-end solution, requirements management will interact with other development management tools to help optimize productivity, improve quality and lower costs.

Who is responsible for requirements management?

The product manager is typically responsible for curating and defining requirements. However, requirements can be generated by any stakeholder, including customers, partners, sales, support, management, engineering, operations and product team members. Constant communication is necessary to ensure the engineering team understands changing priorities.

What are best practices for requirements management?

Since requirements should be driving product development through the entire engineering lifecycle, they must be clearly defined, organized and prioritized. Using a tool that provides a single comprehensive platform for managing and tracking requirements will help to centralize communication so that project teams can work more effectively across disciplines, time zones and supply chains. When requirements are being properly curated and managed, there is clear and consistent communication between the product team and engineering members, and any needed changes are broadly shared with all stakeholders.

How can AI be leveraged to support your requirements management strategy

Through the use of AI, engineering teams can more easily flag poorly written, incomplete and ambiguous requirements while receiving real-time coaching on how to improve them. Watson AI scores requirements based on quality indicators and will present suggestions that can make them more clear, consistent and complete. By adding AI to your requirements management strategy, you can strengthen the quality of your requirements while reducing errors and costs.

What is DOORS software?

IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next is IBM's requirements management product and is part of the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management solution. DOORS is recognized as an industry leading tool providing a robust requirements management environment across multiple industries that do hardware and software development.

How can requirements management tools improve traceability?

Enabling a “single source of truth” provides a foundation for traceability. Your development process starts with requirements and the management of those requirements throughout the development process provides the unique ability to trace progress from requirement definition to system modeling of the requirements and testing against those same requirements. This foundation ensures everyone is working from the same set of data.

How can requirements management tools lower cost?

By establishing a strong foundation for product development, you ensure nobody is working on the wrong data, which can negatively impact productivity; reduce or eliminate rework caused by misunderstanding requirements; and lower the need for rework or late-in-development product modifications, which improves product quality. All these benefits directly affect development cost and time.

How can I speak to a requirements management expert?