Software requirements management is a step within the ALM (Application Development Cycle) or SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). It is the process of:
- First of all, collecting requirements
- And finally, planning for their delivery
A requirement defines what the task and result which software should perform. In the Agile context, requirements will include user stories and epics. These can be traced and related to project artifacts.
This process sits at the front of the IT development, and it doesn’t matter the methodology used: Waterfall or Agile. The process involves communication between the different team members and stakeholders. Teams are often formed by business product owners and development teams.
The purpose of this process is to ensure alignment of business and IT stakeholders. Therefore, the objective is that software deliverables meet the needs of their customers.What are the key elements to take into account for software requirements management?
Software requirements management must provide at least the following features:
- Traceability, for compliance and change management reasons
- Cross-collaboration tools, to enable users’ communications using natural language and interact in real time
- History tracking or version control, to ensure that every action performed by any user is logged and accounted
- Prioritization capabilities, to ensure business stakeholders and IT teams are aligned in what is most important and urgent to develop dynamically and keeping track on change management
- Review and approval workflow process, to ensure accountability and alignment
- Use of diagrams and natural language for requirements definition
- Reporting, to oversee team results and project advancement
- Planning, to organize work efficiently
- And last, profiling of users, not all users have the same profiles. Tools must adapt to the user profile to ease their job.
This applies to large corporations, as much as to small and medium-sized enterprises.
In conclusion, Software Requirements Management is probably the most important step for any software development project. In conclusion, the difference between an effective or an ineffective Software Requirements Management process can have a huge influence on the likelihood of success for any given project and its profitability.
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