Requirements Best Practices

Teamwork: Right Way to Connect Engineering and Business

Melissa Tatham | March 29, 2017

Companies that build products are familiar with this challenge: engineering and business teams not working together because they often approach problems differently. Engineers recognize that they need to change hypotheses and try again often and fast to build successful products. They quickly improve the product based on what they are facing at the moment. Business teams, on the other hand, focus on planning, predictability and reducing risk. They like a complete roadmap with everything detailed out.

While there are many strategies and solutions to overcome these differences, they generally all rely on one key fundamental: requirements management, which documents, analyzes, traces and prioritizes all the requirements for building a product.

Many companies try to track these requirements with existing, separate systems, such as Microsoft Excel and Word documents that someone must update, hoping the important information is seen by the right people. But when specifications, test cases, conversations, changes and decisions are separate, you must manage them separately. This makes it hard to keep the data flowing between the upstream and downstream work groups. Teams can waste hours waiting for clarifications, responses and decisions. They can end up struggling to understand what they are building and what they are supposed to be building because they can’t hold to a common vision. Frustration only grows as the product and the organization complexity increase.

The right requirements management solution can alleviate this frustration and struggle by tightly connecting the engineering and business groups. When it’s configurable (because companies are not all the same) and keeps valuable product data in one secure, accessible location, a good solution can ensure that development cycles increase by at least 50 percent and quality by 100 percent or more within the first six months.

One global entertainment company even realized a 42:1 benefit-to-cost ratio with the Jama™ solution. Read our white paper, Connecting Engineering and Business Teams for Better Products and discover how.