September 4, 2018 | Written by: Stephen Hollis
Poor requirements management is among the significant contributing factors in the failure of a project. Improper requirements management can lead to disconnected teams, wasted time, out-of-control costs and unsatisfied customers. If you use documents, spreadsheets, emails, wikis and other conventional office and productivity tools to keep track of your business, customer or product requirements, you could be putting your project at risk.
What did we think our solution should do again? Where did we capture our product requirements? Can you find them? I thought this version had that feature for that customer, regulation or to beat competition?! These are just a few of the questions surfaced in the face of poor requirements creation, management and verification. In addition to the high-level factors attributed to proper requirements process such as better time to market, reduced cost and better quality another factor is safety there are many secondary benefits.
Top product development challenges revealed
In a recent Aberdeen Group survey, thirty-nine percent of all survey respondents said collaboration was one of their top two challenges in the development process. Closely following collaboration, 30% of respondents said disconnected processes / siloed departments was at the top of their list of product development challenges. (Source: Aberdeen Research Report: Product development in the era of IoT)
Figure 1: Top product development challenges revealed, Aberdeen Research Report
Using proper requirements management solutions like DOORS and DOORS NG, IBM clients have reduced development costs by up to 57%, accelerated time to market by up to 20%, and lowered cost of quality by up to 69%. (Source: IBM White Paper, Ditch the documents and spreadsheets, Manage requirements efficiently and more accurately with IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation)
Coping with complexity, compliance and regulation issues
As continued regulations and compliance issues continue to become increasing complex, it is imperative that a system be in place to ensure the necessary functionality is in the solution to enable and comply with those regulatory issues. Many requirements have direct safety implications and without proper requirement creation, management and tracking may lead to liability on the part of the product and the company.
In one example, the safety requirements for a pool heater was not carried over from one model to the next. The proper venting requirements were missed, causing improper installation and venting of carbon monoxide and death to four hotel guests who were in rooms above the pool heater.
Not only do the requirements have to be define correctly you also have to know where to find them and leverage-link them across the entire solution implementation. In addition, the requirements must be accessible at all times to all members of the team in order to get the sharing that is required to have a cohesive and coherent product.
“Agile methodologies allow Best-in-Class software developers to adapt to changing requirements, hit market targets and design products with 10% higher profit margins.” – Product Development in the Era of IoT, Aberdeen Research Report, 2017
Word processor or spreadsheet users can benefit from having all their requirements available from a secure, central and accessible location. They can understand what changes have been made and who made them, when they were made and what they affect. They can organize, trace and link priorities and requirements across the development lifecycle; or view history, reviews and discussion comments within the context of the document. Create multiple views with a different perspective of data.
IBM and the IBM® Rational® DOORS® solution is the industry leader for requirements management system across all industries and dimensions. Built on the Jazz platform, DOORS Next Generation uses Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration or OSLC as the integration framework. This provides the ability to build a set of user defined integrations in requirements, tests, architecture, design as well as change in configuration etc.
“In a 24-hour turnaround cycle, we were able to close 200 defects. We did that a few days in a row, and all of a sudden, we had a stable product. That was a big impact for us.” —John Penoyer, Group Manager of Tools, Panasonic Automotive Systems
Watch the video to learn how Panasonic Automotive improves quality with our cloud- based requirements management solution, DOORS NG.
Unlocking the cloud for requirements management
The pressure to improve product development takes on a new meaning when designing products for the IoT. By their nature, IoT-based products are more complex – and the development process must accommodate more product functionality and higher reliability, without compromising power, form, factor, or overall performance.
Figure 2: Top pressures to improve product development, Aberdeen Research Report
Demands to accelerate time-to-market (outpacing the competition), the need for continuous product innovation (ensuring ensure customers enjoy the latest updates to features and capabilities), while expanding market opportunities (the need to keep up with disruptive forces) are forcing organizations to stay on the cutting-edge of the development process.
What’s crucial to product and solution development?
#1 Reduction in development cost
- DOORS NG enables increased collaboration with its cloud implementation with ubiquitous access. Using a consistent tool, drives consistency reducing interpretation of requirements that may led to subjective implementation.
#2 Improving time to market
- Providing a holistic view of the system enables access to the latest requirements and requirement history reduces the need to verify the information you are creating and referencing.
#3 Multi user simultaneous support
- A built-in scheme for supporting multiple users with locking capability down to the paragraph level enables reduction in duplicate copies and older versions replacing more current. Like any good requirements management solution DOORS Next Generation supports the annotation of requirements with additional information called attributes. These attributes can store comments, priorities and mixed costs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process being applied.
Supporting audit requests in three ways
#1 DOORS Next Generation allows enter and traceability. This allows an organization to show how they have applied a systematic engineering process from concept to components
#2 Secondly, DOORS Next Generation supports history for all artifacts, recording who changes what and when by using attributes or linking work when requirements change
#3 DOORS Next Generation can link to related work items and test plans for not only showing how requirements have been met, but also what to be validated and verified.
Assessing the impact of changes before the change happens
Using traceability as a guide makes it possible to follow the data linked to impact analysis enabling you to see the effects of any proposed change before it’s been made.
Requirements management solution users can manage change across the product lifecycle for faster impact assessment and better quality. They can explore information with more granularity with individually managed information and artifacts. You can assess the impact of changes more quickly by linking change requests to requirements. Drag-and-drop traceability is also supported. This software allows you to utilize proven models and templates for certification and compliance.
Safety for your data and its use leveraging over 20 years of experience
IBM Continuous Engineering Requirement Management solutions have been consistently rated highly by market leaders and industry analysts. The DOORS family of products has been in the market for more than 20 years – incorporating the collective learning and user experience from decades of leadership into the cloud-based version.
“IBM is helping us gear up to meet the challenges of an auto industry undergoing tremendous change. By putting us in complete control of our software and systems development process, we can continue to deliver rapid innovation for the next generation of safe, efficient, connected automobiles.” —Kishore LM, Senior Lead Engineer, Mahindra & Mahindra
Purchasing and training at your figure tips
DOORS Next Generation is available with authorized and floating user licenses with perpetual and term-based licenses. Customers can also take advantage of token-based licensing for additional flexibility. DOORS Next Generation is relatively simple to get up and running. Explore the vibrant user community on Jazz.net. With an active forum, library, blog, and more, support is always at your fingertips.
Learn more about requirements management and cloud
- To learn more, please download our white paper or preview DOORS Next Generation.
- For our experiential learners (aren’t we all), we recommend you take DOORS Next Generation for a test drive.
- Explore the vibrant user community. With an active forum, library, blog, and more, support is always at your fingertips.