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Introduction to Requirements Management September 13, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Business Analysis.
  • Requirements management involves establishing and maintaining agreement between customer and developer on both technical and non-technical requirements.
  • This agreement forms the basis for estimating, planning, performing, and tracking project activities throughout the project and for maintaining and enhancing developed software
  • Key activities include:
  • Planning the requirements phase
  • Establishing the requirements process
  • Controlling requirements changes
  • Minimizing the addition of new requirements (scope creep)
  • Tracking progress
  • Resolving issues with customers and developers
  • Holding requirements reviews

Requirements Management Plan

  • A requirements management plan is a component of the project management plan.
  • Generally, the purpose of RM is to ensure customer and developer have a common understanding of what the requirements for an undertaking are
  • Depending on your project standards, a variety of sections might be included in your RM plan. Some examples are:
  1. introduction to RM and document overview
  2. document scope
  3. issues affecting implementation of the plan, such as training on the RM tool
  4. applicable documents, such as policies and standards
  5. terms and definitions used in the plan
  6. methods and tools that will be used for the RM process (or the requirements for selecting a tool if one is not selected)
  7. the RM process, including any diagrams of the process
  8. authorities and responsiblities of participants
  9. strategy for achieving requirement quality, including traceability and change control
  10. appendices usually contain a discussion of quality factors, as well as references, any forms to be used in the process, and additional details not included in the main body of the plan, such as report examples

Requirements Management Metrics

  • Requirements management can provide vital information.
  • For example, by associating costs with requirements and using the data to estimate similar work, improvements in cost estimates are possible.

Requirements Traceability Matrix

  • The purpose of the RTM is to help ensure the object of the requirements conforms to the requirements by associating each requirement with the object via the traceability matrix
  • A traceability matrix is used to verify that all stated and derived requirements are allocated to system components and other deliverables (forward trace).
  • The matrix is also used to determine the source of requirements (backward trace). Requirements traceability includes tracing to things other than software that satisfy the requirements such as capabilities, design elements, manual operations, tests, etc.
  • The traceability matrix is also used to ensure all requirements are met and to locate affected system components when there is a requirements change
  • The ability to locate affected components allows the impact of requirements changes on the system to be determined, facilitating cost, benefit, and schedule determinations.

Traceability Strategy

  • The traceability strategy is devised by graphing relationships between work products
  • Software is developed in stages, each with work products that can be associated with work products of the previous stage, creating the ability to trace from the requirements through the work products and from the work products back to the requirements
  • The need (requirement) for a new system or modification to the current system is identified. The need is analyzed to further define the requirement.
  • A feasibility study should be performed to answer questions in more detail such as: what needs to be done, what is the value of doing it, what business goals are supported, how can it be done, what are the alternatives, and what are the risks. The results are documented in a business case. Requirements at this stage are insufficiently detailed to build or modify a system
  • A project may then be initiated based on the selected alternative from the business case. Ideally, the requirements traceability matrix (RTM) is started now. The high level requirements are linked to the business goals. As work products are created throughout development, the RTM will be updated to provide full traceability.
  • An Operations Concept document may be created to convey uses of the system and to set the system and project boundaries. A top-level architecture document may also be developed
  • System functional requirements are documented in three phases: identification, analysis, and baseline establishment.
  • During the identification phase, the developer/maintainer reviews the documents provided by the customer to identify the specific system functional and performance groups into which the requirements fall. The requirements may be further categorized into subgroups. Interviews, prototyping, and a variety of techniques may be used to identify requirements.
  • The requirements are analyzed to ensure they are complete, consistent, testable, and feasible within budget and technical constraints. The requirements are also reviewed to eliminate redundancy. Acceptance criteria for each requirement are developed. A draft system specification is produced.
  • After approval, the requirements and associated documentation are formalized as the functional baseline.
  • Design, code, test, manuals, and other work products are developed in accordance with the requirements.
  • As they are developed, work products in the functional baseline may be updated or modified in accordance with the organization’s configuration management process.
  • Traceability is used throughout to verify that goals and requirements are being met





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