What’s the link between requirements management and product innovation? Where are companies getting their next great product ideas? What are the real challenges and barriers to success? Agile, Waterfall, Iterative – which processes are teams really using?
These are a few of the questions we explored in a recent survey with product managers, project managers, business analysts, development directors and executives responsible for the planning and development of new software products and systems at their respective companies.
Download the full report, “The 2008 State of Requirements Management Report” and discover the latest trends in software product development.
A snapshot of the findings:
- Challenges: There’s no substitute for fundamentals. The top 3 challenges to innovation were: gaining a clear understanding of customer needs, documenting all the requirements and ensuring what’s being built is what was planned.
- Metrics: Which success metric is most important? Revenue? Buzz? Time to market? Customer satisfaction is #1 to business analysts and project managers; revenue was most important to product managers and executives. Team alignment to same goals and metrics is key.
- Risks: Beware of scope creep. Scope creep tops the list as the #1 cause for project failure. Followed closely by “missed or poorly defined requirements” and “unrealistic schedules and expectations”.
- Processes: There’s a lot of mojo around Agile processes, in fact we use a modified Agile process ourselves, but only 6% of organizations have shifted to being a pure Agile shop. Most organizations are using a mix of processes, so it’s important that the tools you use be flexible to work for different processes.
- Tools: Over 80% of professionals still manually use MS Office to capture and communicate requirements using basic documents and spreadsheets. When you think about it, those are the same tools our kids use to do their homework. However, when asked which tools they plan to use or would like to use this year, Requirements Collaboration and Management tools top the list.
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Let us know what you think. Are the survey results surprising in anyway? Does the report validate things you already knew? How do these trends map to what you’re doing at your company?