Top 5 Reasons for Maintaining Requirements in a Tool

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There was a time when Requirements used to get managed in documents and project stakeholders of different organizations used to maintain their own copies of Requirements documents separately. All stakeholders had their own versions of the same document, and it was a matter of months if not days, that the versions were not in sync with each other. However, the transition from using documents to tools for Requirements Management began soon after.

True, that there are firms and organizations which still proclaim themselves as ‘Excel or Word Firms’, but the number surely is decreasing at a rapid rate. If you are one of those still wondering whether to invest or not in a tool for managing Requirements, listed below are the five reasons why you should make a move now.

1. Collaboration: Executing a project successfully would always require a teamwork. What better way it could be to promote teamwork other than collaboration? Managing Requirements in a web-based tool ensures that collaboration is attained to the best extent possible. It keeps every project stakeholder on the same page of information and updates them about the current status of any requirement. The capability to add Comments and Attachments pertaining to every Requirement provides the tool an extra edge over traditional methods.

2. Review Functionality: Reviewing Requirements is perhaps the most important prerequisite of a good Requirements Management – RM tool. The reason being, before acting on a Requirement, the biggest decision one has to make is whether the Requirement is feasible or not. In an organization, it is often seen that the review activity is performed by more than one person. It is in such cases, that reviewing a Requirement in document format becomes unthinkable. An RM tool with collaborative review feature and the capability to notify, comment, vote and subscribe makes the review process accurate, efficient and cost effective.

3. Traceability:  Did you ever wish to have a little more insights into a Requirement for which you were about to prepare a test case? It happens so often, isn’t it? The same can be said about the other stakeholders from the diverse domains of the ALM lifecycle. Visibility has always been a primary concern while managing a project. This is exactly where an RM tool would step in and provide you an end-to-end traceability from Requirements to Defects. The Traceability feature goes a long way in achieving the desired efficiency levels that an organization desires.

4. Reports & Analytics: It is often said that reporting and analytics are all that are needed to change a project from ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’. Managing Requirements in documents prevents you from getting valuable project metrics. A top end RM tool can ensure on this. If the relevant stakeholders have an access to appropriate metrics that helps them in foreseeing future of the project. Taking decisions ahead of time can save organizations from inflicting losses and help them stay ahead of the competition.

5. Integrated ALM: Last but definitely not the least is the need to maintain an Integrated ALM setup for your teams throughout a project lifecycle. It often happens that you use Word files for Requirement Management, but specialized tools for Test Management and other domains of ALM. Switching to an RM tool opens up the doors for implementing an Integrated ALM strategy. The benefits of having an Integrated ALM ecosystem are far reaching. Cross tool traceability, reports & metrics, seamless data flow, and business logic configurability are some of the numerous benefits that organizations can attain by implementing Integrated ALM.

If you are yet to decide on the ROI of an RM tool, reading this case study will give you a better insight. You may also download this product literature to learn the essentials of a good Requirements Management tool.

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Sayak Roy is the Senior Software Engineer at Kovair Software, specializing in corporate solutions and services. Configuring customized solutions to satisfy customers' ALM use cases is his core competency. He also takes keen interest in writing blogs.

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