The complete lifecycle of a product from initiation to disposition is referred to as software sevelopment lifecycle (SDLC). SDLC details the whole process that the product undergoes while being developed. The different phases of SDLC are initiation, system concept development, planning, requirements management, design, development, integration testing, implementation, operations maintenance and disposition. Each phase has its own significance as it plays an important role in software development. Let look at the phase of requirements gathering / requirements management / requirements analysis in detail.
Requirements management is the process of documenting, analyzing, tracing, prioritizing and agreeing on requirements. Forrester defines requirements management as the storage of requirements, the tracking of relationships among requirements, and the control of changes to individual requirements and groups of requirements. The advantages of good requirements management are enhanced customer satisfaction, better estimates, reduced cost, and a shorter duration.
Requirements management / requirements analysis involves three main activities namely
* Requirements gathering
It is the process of identifying and gathering requirements from various sources such as interviewing stakeholders, reviewing product documents, building prototypes and so on.
* Requirements specification
It is the process of documenting the requirements in the form of use cases, process specifications, written requirements document, interactive user interface prototype, and project storyboards.
* Requirements analysis
It is the process of analyzing the requirements and breaking it down into essential characteristics.
Requirements management is the most critical part of any software project since the success of any project depends upon how well the project team has grasped the requirements and objectives of the project. However, the fact of the matter is inspite of its vital importance in software development; requirements management is an area that rarely gets full attention. Requirements are something that is constantly evolving and therefore it is highly important to manage effectively the continuously evolving baseline of requirement needs.
Mostly organizations rely on general-purpose tools when gathering and managing requirements, Lack of dedicated requirements management tools leads to poor requirements gathering resulting in project failure.
Today the advancements in technology have contributed in the development and use of new requirements management software tools in the software development process. These tools provide rich and configurable, global platform for capturing set of requirements, collaborating on their development, and tracing implementation back to specs. Moreover, it ensures that all developers are working from the same playbook, no matter where they are located, and that there are no costly last minute surprises. The following are some of the advantages of these new tools.
* Evaluates and prioritizes requirements for releases
* Increases productivity
* Improves quality
* Enhances team collaboration and communication
* Manages regulatory compliance automatically
* Integrates with other tools
Requirements management, being an important phase in software development process, enterprises must invest in effective requirements management tools to develop products that conform to user requirements.
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