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What is requirements management software?
Requirements management software allows organizations to map out (identify, measure, and assign) all requirements for ongoing and planned projects. These requirements include the hardware, software, functional, operational, and security needs of projects throughout their entire lifecycle.
The benefits of requirements management software
- Reduce repetitive work to increase productivity: Requirements management software lets users create, store, and share requirements across teams. Organizations can reuse requirements across projects, saving time and increasing overall productivity. Often, requirements can be categorized (e.g., environmental requirements, temperature-related requirements) to facilitate discovery and save even more time.
- Reduce costs: Accurate requirements assessment is a preliminary and crucial step of any project; errors at early stages can balloon as projects progress and exponentially increase final costs. These systems help reduce such errors by properly defining and structuring requirements and associated costs.
- Reduce time-to-market: By automating processes/tasks in the requirements-planning process and providing a central documentation repository, requirements management tools reduce common errors found in spreadsheets or physical documents.
Typical features of requirements management software
- Collaboration: Allow teams/users to collaborate, converse, and share information when identifying project requirements.
- Stakeholder-defined attributes: Define requirements of all stakeholders in the requirements assessment process.
- Traceability: Maintain a record of requirements as a product moves through the production and distribution system.
- Budgeting: Allocate project expenses.
- Change management: Track and monitor efficient handling of all project changes/transitions.
- Document management: Collect, upload, and store all documents in a central location, making it easier for everyone involved to access required information.
- Prioritization: Arrange activities and tasks based on their importance.
Considerations when purchasing requirements management software
- Adaptability to current processes/workflows: Because investing in requirements management software should streamline your processes, determine how your existing processes/workflows can be adapted to a new system before making a purchase. If it’s difficult to align your processes with the tool you’re evaluating, consider finding another solution before buying.
- Ease of use: After implementation, your requirements management tool will be used by technical and non-technical personnel alike. You won’t derive as much value if all users can’t seamlessly learn and easily use the system.
Relevant requirements management trend
- Requirements modeling will help reduce inconsistencies in defining requirements: Requirements modeling tests applications under development to create a relationship between tests and actual requirements. It provides an overall picture of the system (internal as well as external), which helps in clearly defining requirements and reducing gaps/inconsistencies.