Modern Requirements Tools: Advantages & Applications

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Modern requirements management (RM) tools open up new opportunities for mastering requirements in software and systems development. Requirements for large and complex development efforts can be managed best with tool support, and also small and medium-sized projects can leverage their requirements management with the help of the latest RM tool generation.

This presentation introduces characteristic features of modern RM tools. It shows how organizations can use these tools, for instance, in order to manage requirements in distributed organizations, to generate specification documents, to support requirements-based testing, and to set up real-time status reports and project monitoring.

It is important that tool support is integrated well with requirements practices and processes. If this is provided, then tool-based RM will be able to significantly improve productivity and to ensure product quality.

Presentation contents:
- Advantages and benefits of tool-based RM
- Features of modern requirements tools
- Integrating tool with process
- Case studies and experiences from tool-based RM

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  • Explain requirement types in more detail
    Functional, non functional, personas, use cases, user stories, even tasks

    Interesting to note, that this structure is very flexible. E.g. On the same data elements we might impose a backlog structure, or component view or project view.
  • Evtl die verschiedenen RE Repräsentationsformate hier oder als separate Folie ergänzen.
  • Stefan

    Vorschlag: Nachfolgende Folie weglassen (zu viele Details); die wichtigsten Punkte davon mündlich hier erwähnen

    Punkte der nachfolgenden Folie (jetzt entfernt):

    Key Characteristics (2/2)

    RE integrated closely with other disciplines & tools across the application lifecycle

    Catalog-based requirements reuse1 for every new R&D project

    Large and ever growing number of projects, product variants & versions

    Dedicated RE team supports projects & network of other RE roles across the business unit

    1: Catalog-based reuse: A new project selects its relevant requirements from the catalog of existing requirements (esp. those from similar previous projects) and adds new ones. This project‘s new and updated requirements become part of the catalog, too, for reuse by future projects.



  • Stefan


    Vorschlag zur Überleitung (urspr. folgende Folie inzwischen gelöscht):

    Vorschlag: Die folgenden Punkte als Interview

    Andreas: 2 – 3 Fragen stellen entsprechend der Folieninhalte (tbd.)

    Stefan: Antworten (tbd.)

    Andreas: Überleitung zu IT; IT hat die Projektleitung inne

    Alex: Antwort / erstes Statement; danach Übernahme der Präsentation


    Folieninhalte der urspr. folgenden Folie, für Interviewgestaltung:

    Situation & Issues
    Vendor has stopped development of previous tool
    RM practices and data volume exceed limits of previous tool capabilities, which causes several incidents for RE operations

    Decisions & Actions
    Move to new tool generation; evaluate candidate tool
    Use tool change as opportunity for further advancing RE practices
    Change RE practices as requested from corporate alignment initiative
  • Alex
  • Modern Requirements Tools: Advantages & Applications

    1. 1. Modern Requirements Tools Advantages & Applications Dr. Andreas Birk, Software.Process.Management June 3, 2014, Erlangen, ASQF Regionalgruppe „Requirements-Engineering“ Franken Handout version including notes and comments
    2. 2. Agenda Why tool-based requirements management (RM)? What is a RM tool? Advantages of tool-based RM  Do requirements “right”  Improve RM practices & beyond How to introduce & use RM tools? Experience & case studies June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 2
    3. 3. Why Tool-Based Requirements Management (RM)? Shortcomings of traditional document-based RM Document-based RM using word processors, Wikis, or spread sheet applications as the only tool support usually becomes very inefficient and defect-prone Especially for large, distributed, or long-running development endeavours, document-based RM can become particularly cumbersome:  Where is the latest document version? Is somebody else editing it?  Is a requirements’ identifier still up to date?  How can I express relationships between requirements?  How can I find out which requirements in the document are stable? Also for agile projects, suitable RM tool support can be essential June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 3
    4. 4. Why Tool-Based Requirements Management (RM)? Objectives of good RM tool support Good RM tool support can, among others, bring the following benefits:  Always have the latest requirements version at hand, even if a colleague finished editing just one minute ago  Don’t bother with requirements IDs; focus on requirements contents, instead  Work with and decide on each individual requirement, while always being able to generate a complete specification document in an instant  Master requirements structures across different levels, tracing from requirements to code and tests, and enabling efficient requirements reuse  Monitor and manage projects based on requirements status and regarding contribution to customer value June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 4
    5. 5. Why Tool-Based Requirements Management (RM)? „... a bicycle for our minds“ „What a computer is to me is it‘s the most remarkable tool that we‘ve ever come up with, and it‘s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.“ Steve Jobs What Steve Jobs has demanded from computers: Requirements Managers can demand it from modern RM tools, too June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 5
    6. 6. What Is A RM Tool? June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 6
    7. 7. Requirements Management Tools Surveys INCOSE – http://www.incose.org/productspubs/products/rmsurvey.aspx Volere – http://volere.co.uk/tools.htm Ian Alexander – http://www.scenarioplus.org.uk/vendors.htm Making of Software – http://makingofsoftware.com/resources/list-of-rm-tools  Currently the most comprehensive & most up to date list  Actively researched & edited by the authors Source & additional information: http://makingofsoftware.com/2014/lists-of-requirements-tools June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 7
    8. 8. http://makingofsoftware.com/resources/list-of-rm-tools Example RM Tools Blueprint Requirements Center, Blueprint Software Systems, Inc. CaliberRM, Borland (Micro Focus) codeBeamer Requirements Management, Intland Software GmbH HP Quality Center, ALM, Hewlett-Packard IBM Rational DOORS, IBM IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Innovator for Business Analysts, MID GmbH inteGREAT, eDev Technologies Jama, Jama Software Kovair ALM Studio, Kovair Software, Inc. Polarion Requirements, Polarion Software PTC Integrity, PTC Integrity Serena Requirements Manager, Serena Software TestTrack RM, Seapine Software, Inc. Visure Requirements, Visure June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 8 These tools belong to the list of selected RM tools at the website MakingOfSoftware.com The complete list contains links to more than 100 RM tools
    9. 9. Features of Modern RM Tools Design requirements structures Manage requirements structures Reuse & manage requirements across projects Collaborate on requirements Visualize & explore requirements information Integrate requirements across the application lifecycle June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 9 Among the various features of today’s RM tools, these might be the most relevant ones, providing highest value to requirement management
    10. 10. Examples of RM Tool Functionality June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 10 The following slides show examples of modern RM tool functionality using selected tools The presented tools are good examples but usually by far not the only ones providing such functionality
    11. 11. Design Requirements Structures (Jama) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 11 Jama allows for defining nested folder structures of requirements and other requirements-related items Requirements-internal information is structured using attribute/value pairs
    12. 12. Design Requirements Structure (HP ALM) HP ALM structural concepts  Folders, Groups  Requirements Types a June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 12 HP ALM also offers nested requirements folders and requirements groups that can contain requirements items As in most RM tools, arbitrary requirements types can be defined by tool administrators – examples are business requirements, use cases, and functional requirements
    13. 13. Design Requirements Structures (HP ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 13 Requirements relationships connect requirements with other requirements or with other item types This example of HP ALM shows creation of requirements relationships
    14. 14. Design Requirements Structures (HP ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 14 Structural requirements information can also be included into rich-text description fields at each requirements item This example shows definition of persona information using tables, paragraph and font layout, and multi- media objects
    15. 15. Reuse Requirements (Jama) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 15 Some tools, in this case Jama, offer specific support for requirements reuse, which includes well-controlled copying of existing requirements collections, and support for later two- way synchronization of requirements between source and destination
    16. 16. Manage Reused Requirements (Jama) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 16 This screenshot shows one of Jama’s dialogs using which requirements managers can analyze and manage deviations between reuse source and destination
    17. 17. Collaborate on Requirements (Polarion ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 17 Modern RM tools also offer various support for collaboration on requirements This example shows the Comments menu entry of Polarion ALM
    18. 18. Collaborate on Requirements (Jama) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 18 Jama offers discussion threads for commenting and discussing requirements Contributions can be marked as decision requests, decisions etc.
    19. 19. Visualize & Explore Requirements Information (HP ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 19 RM tools visualize requirements information using dashboards Information can often be explored further by clicking on interactive graphs (drilldown functionality) HP ALM offers conditional color coding when data exceeds user- defined threshold values
    20. 20. Visualize & Explore Requirements Information (Jama) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 20 Jama provides a list view that can be enriched by color coding of picklist values Users can directly edit requirements data within this view
    21. 21. Visualize & Explore Requirements Information (HP ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 21 Visualization of trace relationships supports impact analysis: If we change a requirement, what other requirements might be affected?
    22. 22. Integrate Requirements across the Application Lifecycle (HP ALM) June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 22 Visualization also supports development management across the entire application lifecycle: What is the test status of the requirements?
    23. 23. Advantages of Tool-Based RM June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 23
    24. 24. Do Requirements “Right” Focus on individual requirements items Establish clear requirements ownership Determine requirements status & quality June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 24 These principles help ensuring quality of requirements management RM tools can significantly ease implementation and practice of these principles
    25. 25. Fit Criterion: Link RM with Testing Fit Criterion: A measurement of the requirement such that it is possible to test if the solution matches the original requirement June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 25 Fit criteria establish testable requirements They should be part of every individual requirements definition This example is from the Volere method S.RobertsonandJ.Robertson:Masteringtherequirements process(2ndEd.),Addison-Wesley,2006.
    26. 26. Requirements Definition in HP Quality Center June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 26 Testability attributes document review & acceptance of fit criteria Here, the fit criteria is a section of a requirements definition template It could as well be a separate requirements attribute
    27. 27. Improve RM Practices & Beyond Make RM more effective & efficient Increase involvement & interaction among RM actors & stakeholders Integrate activities across the entire development lifecycle, starting with RM June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 27 Modern RM tools can be an excellent vehicle for improving RM practices
    28. 28. Case Studies June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 28 The following case studies illustrate possible implementations and benefit of RM tool support Check out the original reports to learn more about them
    29. 29. Intel Mobile Communications: RM Tool Migration & Improvement Migrate long-established tool-based RM practices to new tool generation Continuously improve & align RM practices Further advance large-scale catalog-based reuse Case study report from REConf 2014 can be requested via info@swpm.de June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 29
    30. 30. Requirements Practices at Intel Mobile Communications since 2004 System Requirements Marketing Requirements Component Requirements RE Team & Network Various other user roles working with requirements Key Characteristics  Tool-based RM  Central repository with several 10K requirements and for several hundreds of users  Multi-stage requirements hierarchy from marketing requirements via system to component requirements  Requirements traces from product management to component development and testing June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 30
    31. 31. Usage Context of RE-Tool RE Tool Requirements Engineer Marketing & Product Management Project & Program Management approx. 5 user roles with different RE activity profiles Product Planning Artifacts Company- External Stakeholder Requirements- Related Documents ArchitectSpecification Documents e.g., customers, telecommunication operators, standardization bodies Verification Engineer June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 31
    32. 32. Overview of Evaluation Phase Evaluation OperationMigration & Rollout Analyze Obstacles Scenario-Based Detailed Evaluation Propose Future Solution (Process & Tool) Load & Performance Testing Align IT & Prepare Migration in Business Unit Plan & Prepare Migration Address & Involve Stakeholders BusinessIT IT Project Lead RE Team Lead IT Operations Team RE Team RE Experts Process & Tool Evaluation, Migration & Rollout: Set-Up of Core Team Success Factors • Early and continuous involvement of key stakeholders • Customization of tool to match work practices • Assessment of usability with selected key users • Systematic load & performance test June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 32 IT and business collaborated closely to master the ambitious evaluation and migration projects
    33. 33. Advantest: Establish New Agile RM Practices Introduce new tool platform for request management, task management & requirements management (Jira & Jira Agile) Introduce agile practices Further integrate planning change for products & requirements Case study report from Scrum Day 2013 can be requested via info@swpm.de June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 33
    34. 34. Requirements Structures & Workflow Page 34 ProgramPlanningTeamPlanning Funnel Backlog Priority Backlog Next PSI ✔ Limit: 1- 2 PSI Just enough detail to plan for the next milestone (PSI) and to coordinate the different projects Limit: Next Release Just enough detail to make a milestone plan and to align the different projects No Limit Not clear if implemented at all Pool of great ideas Team Planning Board Dispatching to Teams Build in Scrum Teams H Done ✔ Next 1-2 SprintsNext 1-2 PSI Sprint Board Ready for Acc. Work in Progress Planned Done ✔ June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 34 RM tool effectively supports large- scale development activities across the entire product lifecycle
    35. 35. Establish Dependency Management Integrate dependency management into the value chain model  Identify & manage dependencies across projects  Mark blocked & blocking items in the backlog  Generate & visualize dependency trees Quote of a product owner: “Dependency management is still one of our most challenging areas, but we could not make it without our tool support.” June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 35 Dependency management could only be implemented with RM tool support
    36. 36. Key Achievements & Contributors Key Achievements … Due to ... Transparency & focus across the entire organisation  Requirement abstraction model  Core contributions  PSI planning  Cadence & synchronisation Effective & easy coordination  User stories  Acceptance tests  Backlog grooming  Using the Scaled Agile Framework Successful planning & management of dependencies  Synchronization of sprints  Program and Scrum team planning  Early tool support June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 36 Most key achievements have only been possible with RM tool support
    37. 37. It‘s All about People Let the system grow Using agile principles that conform with existing culture Start at the pain points Keep activities focused on impediments Try out new ideas & learn June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 37 Although modern RM tools can be an excellent support, primarily it is people who count RM tool support shall be designed so that it helps people achieving their best job results When introducing RM tool support, start with simple solutions that can easily be used Remove impediments fasts If needed, extend the solutions Image Source: Microsoft Clip Art, j0427683.jpg
    38. 38. Summary June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 38
    39. 39. Success Factors of Tool-Based RM Introduce & establish tool-based RM using concrete usage scenarios Select application areas on current needs & capabilities Ensure to integrate process & tool well with each other Build people-centred support infrastructure & commitment Improve continuously & grow gradually June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 39
    40. 40. Contact Dr. Andreas Birk Software.Process.Management info@swpm.de http://www.swpm.de Blog & Resources http://MakingOfSoftware.com June 3, 2014 Copyright © 2014, Software.Process.Management 40

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