Imagine if you could have nearly 10% of your budget back, just by improving requirements management. Extra budget is always a good thing, but what should you consider to make the right improvements?
Why Managing Requirements Is More than Defining Requirements
Requirements establish the foundation for the design. Much work goes into just defining the requirements, and increasing product complexity doesn’t make it any easier. Many companies look for the quickest and easiest way to capture and define requirements. Consequently, the most common requirements definition tools tend to be Word and Excel. They are simple to use, and most everyone has access to them. However, as the results from PMI demonstrate, we do not live in a static world, and things will change. For your projects to be successful, you need a requirements management tool that will allow you to quickly adapt to change. While Word and Excel provide an easy way to define requirements, they lack the intelligence to understand the interdependencies between requirements. Consequently, managing requirements becomes a very manual process. It can be nearly impossible to identify all the impacts of a change across a long list of complex requirements. Missing anything leads to inaccuracies and outdated status. When design work is based on outdated information, time is often wasted on errors, rework, and miscommunication. No wonder 10% of the budget is wasted.
While manual processes to manage requirements create numerous challenges for engineers, management is also impacted. If information is outdated, how will management get an accurate view of where the project stands? If priorities change, management needs access to an accurate project status to understand the impact to improve decisions about how to adapt to the change.
Traceability Is a Critical Part of the Solution
A solution that goes beyond just defining requirements, but also manages them can be a significant help. This means having traceability across requirements so that you can quickly identify what’s impacted by a change or the effect of a test failure on a requirement.
Usability Is Also Important
Usability is another critical consideration. Just looking at a list of requirements can make a person’s eyes glaze over. Rather than wasting time filtering through a long list of requirements, it should be as easy as possible for design engineers to identify the relevant requirements so that they can continue their design work.
Please Join Me for a Webinar on February 6
There is so much to consider when managing requirements, we can only scratch the surface here, but the right solution will offer many benefits. To learn more about how to improve requirements management, please join Anshuman Prakash, Technical Marketing Manager at Siemens, and me on Wednesday, February 6 at 10:00 am GMT or 1:00 pm EDT for a webinar titled, Better Requirements Management to Save Your Bottom Line. During this webinar, we will discuss topics like:
How to address common challenges that lead to missed requirements
How to easily assess the impact of proposed design changes
What strategies can keep budgets in check when requirements change
How to manage requirements across mechanical and electrical domains