If you receive errors when attempting to view this white paper, please install the latest version of
"Jama Contour is powerful requirements management software that
empowers product development teams to capture the right requirements, connect product intelligence
together, control change and collaborate fluidly with everyone throughout the process."
Source : Jama Software
The Top 3 Myths about Requirements Management—and Real-world Advice for How to Dispel Them
is also known as :
Requirements Management Application
Requirements Management Best Practices
Requirements Management Database
Requirements Management Definition
Requirements Management Document
Requirements Management Framework,
Requirements Management Market,
Requirements Management Methodology,
Requirements Management Metrics,
Requirements Management Plan,
Requirements Management Plan Example,
Requirements Management Plan Sample,
Requirements Management Process,
Requirements Management Review,
Requirements Management Software,
Requirements Management Solution,
Requirements Management Strategy,
Requirements Management System,
Requirements Management Tool,
Requirements Management Traceability,
Requirements Management Training,
Requirements Management Tutorial,
Requirements Management Using,
Requirements Management Web,
Requirements Risk Management,
Requirements Project Management,
Applying Requirements Management,
Based Requirements Management,
Best Requirements Management,
Business Management Requirement,
Center Requirements Management,
Configuration Management Requirements,
Core Requirements Management,
Effective Requirements Management,
Enough Requirements Management,
Free Requirements Management.
If you’re OK with the status quo, you can stop reading this paper.
We’re serious. If you’re someone who is fine with the fact that 60-80% of all projects continue
to fail, and believe it’s just the nature of the beast, then save yourself the time – no hard
feelings, but you’re not the audience for this paper.
This paper is written for the professionals who work on the front lines of product development
and project management efforts for their respective
companies and have grown tired of seeing the same
project failure statistics and clichéd cartoons about
product requirements mishaps over and over again.
This paper is for the people who aren’t happy with the
status quo – and more importantly, are ready to do
something about it.
The reality is that requirements management (RM) has
evolved significantly, but the same old myths still exist.
We’d like to change that.
Take 10 minutes to learn more about the 3 most common myths associated with
requirements management, and how to dispel them once and for all.
A requirements document = requirements management.
There is no question that “writing a requirements document” is a valuable and necessary step
within the requirements management process. However, requirements management is much
more than that. Consequently, when companies take the approach that the requirements
document is THE place for managing requirements, they can be setting themselves up for
failure when complexity exists. Documents are not the best tools for managing requirements
across the lifecycle of a project.
As a rule of thumb, if your project includes one or more of these characteristics, then you have
too much complexity for a document-centric approach.
Project complexity checklist :
- Over 100 features or requirements within the project or product being delivered
- Dynamic customer needs that create frequent changes to requirements
- Multiple team members working virtual from a different location
The #1 point of failure in a purely document-centric approach is change management, as this
all-too-familiar scenario of status emails illustrates:
Tuesday morning, 10:30 am: Status notification from the project lead.
“Hello team, please review the attached updated requirements specification document
(filename: Project_Wishful_Thinking_v259.doc). Requirement 1.45 changed, see page
512 in red (ignore the blue and green revision marks from last week and be sure to read
the embedded comments I’ve retyped from my conversation with our customer).
Sorry for the earlier confusion to the Testing team – you’ll need to rewrite your test
cases, as I attached the wrong version last week. Please make sure you are writing
your test cases from this document, not the previous version. Thanks. - Barry”
10 minutes later: “Me again, Craig found an error and fixed it, see the revised
15 minutes later: “People are asking what changed, sorry I wasn’t more specific – see
page 45, the blue section with my comments.”
2 hours later: “Team, we need to stop all work on the interface with the front-end
customer system and change to interface with the back-end system. I need to figure
out the impact by the end of the day (no pun intended), so if you know anything about
this – let me know. Updated requirements doc is attached.
4 hours later: “The steering committee met, and needs a report with all the
requirements being delivered in Phase I for a meeting tomorrow with Executive Staff.
Can one of the analysts compile a list, get status from the developers and get this to
me ASAP. Actually, double ASAP. Thanks.”
We can all laugh, but this is the classic communication and traceability nightmare that often
happens when you prescribe to the myth that a requirements document is “good enough”.
What happens inevitably is a series of unfortunate events:
- Inboxes get flooded.
- Changes get lost.
- Team members get frustrated.
- Assumptions get made.
- Requirements errors occur.
- Errors create expensive rework and delays.
- Projects fail.
- Customers not happy. Boss not happy. Your team really not happy.
There's a better way:
Get your team out of the document-centric process and shift to a more collaborative
requirements management process that:
- Stores all the requirements and related artifacts in one central web-based repository
that people trust and will actually use.
- Is easily accessible to the entire team, anytime, anywhere for real-time status updates.
- Automates the tracking of changes in requirements and assesses the impact between
related requirements and the people who are working on them.
- Instantly notifies team members of just the changes of that relate to them – nothing
more, nothing less – avoiding information overload and email noise.
MYTH #2 We already started the project, it’s too late for RM.
We talk to teams every day who are ready to get started with RM, but want to wait for just the
right time. The perfect moment when you’ve just launched the latest product, haven’t started
any new projects yet and everyone has plenty of time to focus on implementing a new business
process. Right…and when is that moment exactly?
The reality is that too often that time never comes because your work environment is just too
busy. So, you risk never reaping any of the benefits that a collaborative requirements
management system can provide.
Even with your current project underway, there are some tangible advantages to implementing
a requirements management solution now versus later:
- Get everyone on the same page and gain immediate productivity improvements and
less confusion about which specification to use.
- Spot redundancy because team members are able to see what each other is working
on – this can lead to significant cost savings from eliminating duplicated efforts.
- Reduce frustration and time lost searching for the latest changes – it’s well
documented that many people stop looking after just a few minutes and make
assumptions instead, which leads to errors and expensive rework.
- Rein in any "scope creep" because you’ll be able to baseline your requirements and
start tracking changes and impact on the project budget, timeline and deliverables.
- Capture future requirements and ideas in the same central repository which will make
the planning process for the next version of the product that much easier.
A requirements tool = requirements management.
Wait a minute – a requirements management tool provider suggesting that RM isn’t just about
picking their tool and everything will be right in the world - are they crazy?
No, not crazy, just honest. The reality is that a successful requirements management solution
requires more than just technology – it’s a key ingredient, but there’s more to the recipe for
success. Requirements management also requires:
- Commitment to a process – it doesn’t matter which process you choose, whether
Waterfall, Iterative, Agile, Scrum, Crystal Clear, etc. – select one and stick to it for that
project so the entire team is in sync. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be married to
that process forever. Many traditional RM tools lock you into a single process. Today’s
more progressive tools are process-agnostic, so you have the flexibility to adapt and the
tool adjusts to you, instead of you adjusting to the tool’s process.
- Accountability by all team members to the management of the requirements and
related artifacts. RM isn’t just the responsibility of the Business Analyst or the Project
Manager – when the entire team is plugged into the tool, collaboration increases and
- Discipline within the team to capture every idea, requirement, artifact and change
request no matter how big or small within the centralized repository, so there’s visibility
to all elements related to the project. The tool will only be as good as the information
you feed it.
BONUS MYTH #4
4 out of 5 dentists agree: requirements management is lame.
What do dentists have to do with requirements management? Read on and you’ll see where
we’re going with this.
People have characterized requirements management as boring, lame, painful, a necessary evil
– take your pick. Our favorite analogy is that requirements management is like flossing –
everyone knows they should do it, but very few actually do because it’s far from something to
get excited about. We don’t blame you for having this previous point of view. In fact, based on
our own experience with the traditional, antiquated tools and their processes, we’d historically
describe RM the same way. It’s precisely why projects don’t succeed and the #1 reason points
back to requirements management issues.
We believe it’s time for a fresh approach to requirements management, if not for the success of
your projects and your company’s benefit, at least for your own personal well being.
Let’s take the flossing analogy even further. Did you know you can add a year or more to your
life if you floss every day? (You never know what you’ll learn in a whitepaper). It’s true.
Now, more relevant to RM, imagine how many years you could add to your life and to the
overall quality of your work experience if you eliminated the stress and frustration resulting from
requirements management issues? Well, we actually did the math, and we estimate you could
add five years to your life. Now, that’s something to think about tonight – you know, when
Note: No dentists were harmed in the development of this whitepaper.
Thanks for regarding. We hope you enjoyed it and find the information valuable within your
company. Let us know what you think. We welcome your feedback.
WELCOME TO JAMA. PEOPLE AGAINST PROJECT FAILURE.
This free guide was written by Jama Software, a team of seasoned project management and
product development professionals who believe in taking a collaborative approach to
requirements management. We are dedicated to building professional-grade, web-based
applications that help companies ensure their projects and new products will be successful –
delivered on time, on budget and meet customer needs.
The result is a product called Jama Contour. To learn more about Contour and to help shape
the future direction of requirements management, join us in the Jama Backstage, an online
collaborative forum of professionals who care about improving the success of their projects
and product innovation efforts.