The purpose of requirements management is to ensure product development goals are successfully met. It is a set of techniques for documenting, analyzing, prioritizing, and agreeing on requirements so that engineering teams always have current and approved requirements. Requirements management provides a way to avoid errors by keeping track of changes in requirements and fostering communication with stakeholders from the start of a project throughout the engineering lifecycle.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing not only the way products work, but their design and development. Products are continuously becoming more complex with more lines of code and additional software — some of which allow for even greater connectivity. With requirements management, you can overcome the complexity and interdependencies that exist in today’s engineering lifecycles to streamline product development and accelerate deployment.
Issues in requirements management are often cited as major causes of project failures.
Having inadequately defined requirements can result in scope creep, project delays, cost overruns, and poor product quality that does not meet customer needs and safety requirements.
Having a requirements management plan is critical to the success of a project because it enables engineering teams to control the scope and direct the product development lifecycle. Requirements management software provides the tools for you to execute that plan, helping to reduce costs, accelerate time to market and improve quality control.
Requirements management plan (RMP)
A requirements management plan (RMP) helps explain how you will receive, analyze, document and manage all of the requirements within a project. The plan usually covers everything from initial information gathering of the high-level project to more detailed product requirements that could be gathered throughout the lifecycle of a project. Key items to define in a requirements management plan are the project overview, requirements gathering process, roles and responsibilities, tools, and traceability.
Requirements management process
When looking for requirements management tools, there are a few key features to look for.
A typical requirements management process complements the systems engineering V model through these steps:
By following these steps, engineering teams are able to harness the complexity inherent in developing smart connected products. Using a requirements management solution helps to streamline the process so you can optimize your speed to market and expand your opportunities while improving quality.
Digital requirements management
Digital requirements management is a beneficial way to capture, trace, analyze and manage requirements changes. Digital management ensures changes are tracked in a secure, central location, and it allows for strengthened collaboration between team members. Increased transparency minimizes duplicate work and enhances agility while helping to ensure requirements adhere to standards and compliance.
In order to be considered a “good” requirement, a requirement should have certain characteristics, which include being:
Sets of requirements should also be evaluated and should be consistent and nonredundant.
Some of the benefits of requirements management include:
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.
Engineering requirements management software enables you to capture, trace, analyze and manage changes to requirements in a secure, central and accessible location. This strengthens collaboration, increases transparency and traceability, minimizes rework, and expands usability. A digital solution also enhances project agility while making it easier to adhere to standards and maintain regulation compliance.
There are several benefits to using digital requirements management:
Your products are only as good as the requirements that drive them. For systems engineers to manage the growing complexity of connected products, they need better visibility into changes, deeper insight into data and shared tools for global collaboration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For systems engineers to manage the growing complexity of connected products, they need better visibility into changes, deeper insight into data and shared tools for global collaboration.
IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next provides a scalable solution to optimize communication and collaboration among teams and stakeholders for the verification of requirements.
IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Family is a requirements management application for optimizing requirements communication, collaboration and verification throughout your organization and supply chain.
Use the power of Watson AI to improve the quality of project requirements as you write them. Now bundled with IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS® Next SaaS version.
IBM is bringing the power of Watson™ artificial intelligence to help address the need for getting requirements right the first time.
Detecting errors in requirements early in a project can help avoid costly rework and delays. By infusing AI into the requirements development phase, teams can spot quality issues right away and correct them before it’s too late.
To help address productivity challenges that engineering and product development teams face, IBM is responding with a new solution: IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next with Quality Assistant, a SaaS solution. (link resides outside of ibm.com)
As products become increasingly complex, the tools needed to design and develop them also become more complex. By integrating stages of the engineering lifecycle, from requirements to modeling and testing, teams can improve product quality and time to market.
IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS® and IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next are requirements management products with many similar capabilities. However, the products offer different implementations and strategic opportunities for requirements analysts and design, development and test teams.