- 1. Requirements Management
- 1 What is Requirements Management?
- 2 Why do you need Requirements Management?
- 3 Four Fundamentals of Requirements Management
- 4 Adopting an Agile Approach to Requirements Management
- 5 Conquering the 5 Biggest Challenges of Requirements Management
- 6 Three Reasons You Need a Requirements Management Solution
- 2. Writing Requirements
- 1 Functional requirements examples and templates
- 2 Product requirements document template and examples
- 3 How to write system requirement specification (SRS) documents
- 4 Adopting the EARS Notation to Improve Requirements Engineering
- 5 Jama Software Requirements Advisor
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions about the EARS Notation and Jama Connect Requirements Advisor
- 7 How to Write an Effective Product Requirements Document
- 8 Functional vs. Non-functional requirements
- 9 What Are Non-Functional Requirements and How Do They Impact Product Development?
- 10 Characteristics of Effective Software Requirements and Software Requirements Specifications (SRS)
- 11 8 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Requirements
- 3. Requirements Gathering and Management Processes
- 4. Requirements Traceability
- 1 What is Requirements Traceability and Why Does It Matter for Product Teams?
- 2 How to Create and Use a Requirements Traceability Matrix
- 3 Live Traceability vs. After-the-Fact Traceability
- 4 How to Overcome Organizational Barriers to Live Requirements Traceability
- 5 Requirements Traceability, What Are You Missing?
- 6 Four Best Practices for Requirements Traceability
- 8 What Are the Benefits of End-to-End Traceability During Product Development?
- 5. Requirements Management Tools and Software
- 6. Requirements Validation and Verification
- 7. Meeting Regulatory Compliance and Industry Standards
- 8. Project Management
- 9. Measuring Requirements
- 10. Systems Engineering
Why Investing in Requirements Management Software Makes Business Sense During an Economic Downturn
In this subchapter, we examine why even in an economic downturn, investing in requirements management software can help you save significant money and get to market faster by improving efficiency and reducing costly rework.
Regardless of the state of the economy, organizations building complex products, systems, and software can always benefit from improved efficiency across the end-to-end development process. Making strategic changes that optimize processes and team productivity will undoubtedly save your organization significant time and money.
And, while it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in new technology during an economic downturn (dare we say the word recession), a modern requirements management tool like Jama Connect®, can provide a dramatic ROI in short order — making it a smart-sense move to invest in new product development software right now.
During economic downturns, spending capital on the right tools now will well-position your organization to save time and money, improve product quality, and increase productivity over the long term. But regardless of what happens with the economy, it is never going to be wasted effort to optimize your product development processes or begin to think about how to weather the impact of an impending economic storm.
Invest Now to Save In Both the Short and Long Term
Many of our clients come to Jama Software to help optimize their product development process after experiencing some of the following core frustrations:
- Using cumbersome legacy requirements management solutions that have non-intuitive challenging UI/UX
- Engineers spending valuable hours of tedious manual documentation across disparate documents and tools
- Engineers wasting time on in-efficient workflows that can be streamlined to save upwards of 80%
- Insufficient, ineffective cross-team collaboration across various stages of the systems development process starting from requirements, design, development to testing and validation
- Inefficient and cumbersome review cycles
- Difficulty in easily producing the necessary documentation to prove compliance
- Siloed tools and processes that misalign teams and workflows, and leave visibility gaps
- Lack of Live Traceability™ which results in finding errors late in the development process which can cost upwards of 100x or more to resolve than if they had been found earlier in the development process
Think about the corresponding monetary burden these outdated solutions and misaligned processes place on the organization’s shoulders.
Making an investment in a modern requirements management platform isn’t simply about the time and money that will be saved or improving productivity and efficiency for just a few months — it’s about the savings and reduced re-work that will be realized from the moment the application launches and for years beyond. Depending on the organization’s goals, they either save costs with the gained efficiencies or they use it to be competitive, win new contracts, and bring products to market faster and more cost effectively. You may be thinking that now is the time to pause on spending, not invest. To the contrary, we’d like to share how investing in a modern requirements management solution now is the right decision to help your organization protect itself from an economic downturn and increase your ROI.
For Startups: Build Your House on Bricks, Not Sticks
For startups, investing in a modern requirements management solution, like Jama Connect, is a smart idea irrespective of the state of the economy.
While long established large organizations may be able to withstand a period of lowered sales and slow development, startups may not have that option. A startup’s ability to get to market fast – and first – often is a great indicator of success, and on the flip side, failure.
Doing things right the first time is crucial.
While startups might be hesitant to invest in software initially, a great number are investing in Jama Connect in order to reduce rework, speed development, meeting regulatory compliance, and get to the market before their competitors.
And it’s paying off.
For medical device startup, Proprio, VP of Software Engineering, Rama Pailoor knew it was imperative to establish a requirements-driven development process from the very beginning. Pailoor recognized that their existing approach of using only a Quality Management System (QMS) was not capable of supporting the level of complexity needed to develop their product. Like many document and spreadsheet-based processes, the Quality Management System (QMS) Proprio had in place technically supported requirements management at face value, but when it came to complex engineering efforts, the system came up short.
“Establishing a requirements-driven development process helps to formalize the user needs, getting all the stakeholders to come to a common forum, to express the requirements from their perspective, and avoid confusion. The right requirements management solution can facilitate all of that.”
Vice President of Software Engineering
For medium to large organizations: Strengthen your foundation by investing in modern tools and digital transformation
While big enterprises have large teams spread across various geographies and different divisions working on multiple projects, there is a strong need to optimize processes and reduce inefficiencies to reduce costs — especially during challenging economic times. Putting resources towards digital transformation and modern software tools (which result in more ROI) will also reduce overall product development costs over the long term. Through these investments, companies can strengthen their foundation to remain competitive and be better able to weather external market forces.
It is also worth re-visiting how enterprises can improve the engineering efficiency of product development by investing in requirements management and traceability tools. Optimizing the systems engineering process by bringing in traceability across your development stages can immediately create a positive impact on cycle times, and faster execution of testing and validation.
Eight Ways Modern Requirements Management Software Will Save You Significant Money
1: Reclaiming Productive Work Time
A modern requirements management solution like Jama Connect can help your teams reclaim hours of unproductive work time, resulting in money saved across the organization. Without a modern requirements management solution, highly skilled – and often highly paid – employees can waste up to 40% of their time on tedious, unproductive activities such as:
- Searching for siloed information in static documents and/or disconnected tools
- Manual/or duplicative data entry to update status in multiple systems
- Working off old data and outdated versions of documents
- Reformatting and migrating data back and forth between tools
- Reconciling differences between data sources
- Trying to understand ‘what changed?’ and assess the impact
After implementing Jama Connect, our customers on average, quantify that they are reclaiming one to two hours of productive work time per day, some even more. The engineers at Monolithic Power Systems can now quickly and easily produce required documentation and no longer need to spend time in multiple time-consuming meetings and scrums to get a clear picture of what’s happening with their products. And with Jama Connect, they can automatically generate — at times — 70-80 pages of documentation (entered correctly one time, in one place) and efficiently generate any additional documentation they need, saving their engineers countless hours of documentation time.
Another customer, RBC Medical Innovations shared that on one of their state-of-the-art capital equipment development projects, Jama Connect saved them 123 team-member days with an average cost savings per project of $150,000. And medical industry innovators and pioneers in the field of plasma science, Grifols, reports saving 80 hours or more per project after implementing Jama Connect.
Interested in the numbers?
Let’s take, for example, this simple calculation.
If you have 10 team members engaged in core requirements management activities, and each spend roughly four hours on the above-listed unproductive tasks per weeks, the annual budget reclaimed with Jama Connect would be $94,118.
Note: The calculation assumes 237 actual working days per year (at an average salary of $100K) with each author in Jama Connect reclaiming a conservative one hour per day.
Test this out with your own numbers using our interactive calculator!
2: Reducing Rework
How much money are you leaving on the table due to rework? See how much you can save by decreasing discovered and unplanned work due to:
- Improperly defined requirements
- Incomplete decomposition and missing coverage
- Insufficient review and stakeholder alignment
- Lack of rigor and impact analysis when managing change
- Late-stage requirements churn
Again, let’s assume an organization has an average product development investment cost of $10,000,000. (Typical rework costs average about 30% of development costs, so in this case, it would be $3,000,000. And rework costs due to poor requirements management averages about 60% of rework costs, which, in this case would be $1,800,000).
Our customer data shows that Jama Connect typically reduces requirements management rework by 40-60%. So, with these calculations, the organization can expect to reclaim, a not insignificant, $900,000 of annual budget with Jama Connect.
In one example our customer, Arteris IP has seen not only seen reuse go up by 100%, and review times down by 30%, but also a significant 50% reduction in rework since using Jama Connect.
Test this out with your own numbers using our interactive calculator!
3: Streamlining the Review Process
For product developers and engineers, reviews are a cornerstone of the development process. How much are inefficient requirement review meetings costing your organization? Is your review process cumbersome, manual, in disparate documents, and challenging for distributed stakeholders to collaborate? If so, it might be time to (forgive the redundancy) review your review process. Healthcare leader, Grifols shared that with Jama Connect, they have reduced their review cycles from three months to fewer than 30 days.
Legacy solutions that are difficult to use, can make the review process incredibly cumbersome, diverting frustrated team members out of the tool and onto ineffective (often quickly outdated) versions of disparate documents. This is a story we’ve heard repetitively from customers who’ve moved away from legacy tools and processes.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why Migrate from IBM® DOORS® to Jama Connect®?
If that’s one of your frustrations as well, it might be time to see how much budget you can reclaim through review optimization, including:
- Virtualizing reviews for asynchronous collaboration
- Focusing key stakeholders on the most relevant information
- Adopting a more iterative approach
- Increasing upfront rigor and version control
- Tracking participation and progress
For this calculation we’ll assume three variables:
- Total number of requirements review meetings per month
- Approximate duration of each review meeting
- Average participants in each meeting
Let’s assume six review meetings per month, each meeting lasting three hours, and an average of 10 people involved in each review meeting. Calculating with an average salary of $150K/per attendee, and with the above defined variables, the annual cost of review meetings would be $162,000. The total number of people hours in review meetings would be 180 hours.
The calculated savings alone, by just reducing the time spent in meetings, would be $81,000.
Jama Connect typically reduces time spent in meetings by 40-60%. Notably, the Finnish Red Cross estimates that implementing Jama Connect has shortened their review cycles by an impressive 80%. What could you get done with all that time back?
With Jama Connect, you can simplify the review and approval process by capturing collaborative feedback from stakeholders, including voting for priority and electronic signatures for approver roles. In addition, Review Center in Jama Connect helps teams reduce risk, and save time and money by allowing teams to:
- Increase participation in the review process
- Retain an historical record of all decisions made and by whom
- Provide visibility sooner in the review process
- Generate approval-ready content for e-signature faster
- Collaborate more often and capture tacit knowledge
Test this out with your own numbers using our interactive calculator!
4: Identifying Defects Earlier in the Development Process
Does your organization build complex software and systems? How much can you decrease the cost of development by addressing software defects earlier? Using a modern requirements management solution can help you identify and address software defects due to:
- Lack of rigor early in the development lifecycle
- Low stakeholder participation in requirements definition/validation
- Poor visibility into requirements changes and impact analysis
- V&V/QA teams remaining disconnected throughout the process
For this sample equation, we’ll take an average total number of requirements managed annually (we’ll use 4,500) and the average number of hours it takes to fix a defect (we’ll use six hours for this example). The average number of requirements with defects typically equals around 60% of the total number of requirements. With these test numbers, the annual cost of defects would be $850,000. Jama Connect can reduce the number of requirements-related defects by 25-40%. Identifying and addressing these issues earlier in the development process can significantly help to reduce risk and reclaim significant budget.
For this calculation, we’ve used 30%. The calculation assumes 237 actual working days per year (at an average salary of $100K) with each author in Jama Connect reclaiming one hour per day.
With Jama Connect, the annual budget that could be reclaimed is $255,150.
Test the numbers for yourself using this ROI calculator to see how much you can save by reducing requirements-related defects by up to 40%!
5: Providing a Better User Experience
Let’s face it, if software is difficult to use and the user interface is challenging, engineers just won’t use it, or only a select few will. We all want life to get the job done, run smoothly and easily — and the software we choose needs to reflect those desires. So, a requirements management tool not only needs to be powerful and have robust capabilities, but it needs to be easy to use.
“Jama Connect lowers the complexity and burden of having to manually keep requirements, architecture, and specifications all in sync and traced to each other. It’s a formidable problem that is virtually eliminated courtesy of Jama without the hassle of having to learn a clunky UI (IBM Doors).”
Chief Product Officer
G2 Verified Review
“Jama is being used as a test management tool in my company. I [have been] using Jama [for] 3+ years, and I can tell you that this was one of the best Test management tools I’ve ever used. Everything is so easy to understand, and the interface is user friendly — easy to use and can learn this tool quickly.”
Team Lead in Engineering
Verified Trust Radius Review
A smooth user experience that provides a pleasant and recognizable interface (one that teams will actually use) is critical to the success and effectiveness of any product development process. Jama Connect is award winning for its ease of use, and that’s something we’re proud of. Customers love using Jama Connect to optimize their complex product, systems, and software development spanning industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, medical device/life sciences, financial, semiconductor, insurance, industrial, software technologies, and more.
“Our team cannot stop saying great things about Jama Connect! Its efficiency and intuitiveness have turned requirement workshops from a multi-day event to a 6-hour meeting. Teams adopted the platform so fast, we needed to go back to Jama to get additional licenses (twice)!”
Director of Methodology and Tools
“I told the team it was a very easy-to-use solution. But people were shocked at how fast it came together. Within hours, we were going and setting up the structure for our requirements. There were many other people in the company who had used Jama Connect before and supported our selection. It was a clear choice for medical device innovators like us.”
Vice President of Software Engineering
6: Optimizing Communication and Collaboration
Modern, easy-to-use software can improve collaboration and communication across an organization, both for internal and external stakeholders. The right requirements management software will optimize communication and save money, frustration, resources, and time- across the board. One of our customers, the Finnish Red Cross, estimates that their testing team has improved their collaboration and communication by 50% with Jama Connect.
Legacy systems like IBM® DOORS® are notoriously difficult to use and often require individuals with specialized training to implement. This regularly forces engineers and other stakeholders to manage projects outside the software in disparate documents.
“Jama suited our need for collaboration and communication. Jama provides a very easy-to-use interface and communication system that brought in the buy-in from all stakeholders. Visure, Doors, TTA didn’t perform as well in the communication/ collaboration department where we really needed a boost.”
P. Eng, Systems Engineer
With Jama Connect, broader teams and stakeholders can collaborate on reviews, test cases, verification and validation in real time. This kind of in-situ collaboration dramatically reduces risk across the entire development lifecycle to reduce the chance of delays, cost overruns, and expensive recalls, and in turn increases the opportunity for successful outcomes.
[Jama Connect] has allowed us to get more people from our other offices involved in the collaboration process because we’re not all having to sit on a conference call at awkward times. People can come into the system at a time that suits them and review things. And we know their comments will be seen by everybody else.”
Sr. Business Consultant
“The fact that it is easy to share information and execute processes even when the team is not co-located (geographically dispersed). Changes are properly tracked, and people notified. It is also easy to organize, review, and monitor the review progress. My organization involves several scientists from 31 countries and more than 200 institutes. Jama Connect gets remote and distributed people informed and involved on processes related to requirements.”
Senior Systems Engineer
Verified G2 Review
7: Centralizing Your Requirements Management with Best-of-Breed Tooling
Managing requirements in a single platform speeds up the product development process by saving time (time=money), strengthening alignment, and ensuring quality and compliance. Teams can create, review, validate, and verify requirements in one solution. With Jama Connect, teams can:
- Have an authoritative source of truth for clear visibility throughout the product development lifecycle
- Iterate in real time for informed decision making and consensus
- Support multiple product development methodologies and engineering disciplines
- Configure the requirements management software to align to industry best practices
- Visualize how tests track back to requirements to prove quality and compliance
- Reuse validated requirements to quickly replicate features across products
- Not investigating how you can leverage software within your organization is costing you money
“We are using [Jama Connect] from the design specifications/requirements till the test case reviews…since Jama can be used as a complete project management tool, complete details of a product /project can be tracked in one place easily.”
Senior Test Engineer
L&T Technology Services
TrustRadius Verified Review
“Jama Connect has brought some new life to our requirements management (and how we see the inter-connectivity of functional requirements with System Requirement Specifications), better dashboards and reporting for everything it supports from printing test plans, requirements, specifications, and test runs.”
Senior Quality Assurance Software Lead
The #1 problem product engineering organizations face is complying with traceability requirements spanning siloed teams and tools. And one dirty little secret in product engineering is the plethora of traceable data stored in Microsoft Excel. Jama Connect Interchange™ is purpose-built to deliver end-to-end Live Traceability™ (see section below) across best-of-breed tools, including Microsoft Excel — and it’s the first requirements management platform to make Excel data live traceable through a point and click, integration interface.
Now teams can leverage the power of Jama Connect’s traceability model to continuously sync traceable information from other best-of-breed tools with no change required for engineering disciplines to continue using their chosen tools to maximize productivity.
“Jama Connect is one of the vital and advanced tools of the modern era. It has a methodology that can ensure complete project tracking from the first step to the execution, test cases, rectification, quality assurance, project timelining, and much more in a streamlined way which has been increasing the overall ROI and efficiency of the project. The important factor of Jama Connect is that all board members can analyze and collaborate on the performance on the same stage, and this has been increasing trust between the clients and organizations while doing large-scale management.”
Verified TrustRadius Review
8: Measuring and Improving Development Success with Live Traceability™
Live requirements traceability is the ability for any engineer at any time to see the most up to date and complete upstream and downstream information for any requirement — no matter the stage of systems development or how many siloed tools and teams it spans. This enables the engineering process to be managed through data, and its performance improved in real time.
“Right off the initial stage of just importing the data in Jama Connect and trying to create the relationships, we actually saw that we had traceability gaps, just based on what we had done before in the old system. Catching these gaps would’ve probably taken hours or days in our old system, while with Jama, it became obvious in a matter of minutes.”
But you can’t improve what you can’t measure!
Jama Software® is the first to measure traceability thanks to our clients’ participation in a benchmarking dataset of over 40,000 complex product development projects spanning aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, medical device, semiconductor, space systems, and more.
“We have achieved: better requirement communication across departments; a better home for verification and validation test cases with traceability to the sources; and a detailed overview of traceability of requirements from regulatory requirements all the way down to risk items.”
Stephen Cxerniej, P. Eng PMP®
Global Platform Systems Engineer
If you’d like to learn more, on how to measure your traceability to improve product quality and accelerate time to market — and get your Traceability Score™, check out our Requirements Traceability Benchmark (the first large-scale, empirical research to confirm that higher levels of traceability correlate to cycle time and quality improvements.) In it, we show how higher scores equal improved product quality and faster time to market. examine how traceability is measured, and the business practices that separate top-quartile performers from the rest.
“Jama Connect establishes traceability proactively from user needs, risk controls, all the way through verification.”
Vice President of Software Engineering
RELATED ARTICLE: Requirements Traceability Benchmark Webinar
When asked, “What do you like best about Jama Connect?” One G2 reviewer shared this:
” …Traceability and the traceability matrix. The ability to establish relationship rules, relate items and item types, and then see where you have gaps is really powerful. After your relationships are established, if you make a change to an item, you can see which related items might be impacted. It makes management of requirements extremely easy.”
Senior Vice President, IT Solutions
G2 Verfied Review
To speed time to market, with reduced risk of negative budget impact, now is the time invest in a modern requirements management platform
Jama Connect enables the delivery of high-quality products, faster, by improving the systems development process through unified requirements management and traceability across the V-model (or any product development process you utilize such as Waterfall, Agile, etc.).
“Jama Connect enables a requirements-driven, systems engineering approach for deploying the V-model in product development. It helps us manage the complexities of vehicle hierarchy; interdependencies between vehicle, system & component; and establish traceability between requirements to validations.”
Systems Engineering Lead, Vehicle Integration
The platform’s robust features coupled with an easy-to-adopt interface aligns people, processes, and tooling in one place to provide visibility and actionable insights into the end-to-end product, systems, and software development process. The result — improved product quality and accelerated time to market with reduced risk of costly delays, recalls, rework.
“We save a lot of time and effort in development and product management by using the well-made collaboration functionalities, especially in these current COVID times, when actors cannot always meet in person. We also save time by making use of the item reuse capabilities of Jama. With Jama we always know who made changes to an item, when the changes were made and sometimes even why. That helps us tracking down and understanding those changes. The ability to link pieces of information together in a relatively easy way, help us to achieve full test coverage, checking for impacts of changes upfront and oftentimes understand a requirement’s rationale. Jama [Connect] also provides good filter and search functions and especially the weaved in collaboration functions constantly prove to be useful. It is also worth mentioning that Jama [Connect] provides powerful customization options, so we were able to customize Jama to our needs and way of working.”
Requirements Management Enterprise
Verified G2 Review
RELATED ARTICLE: G2 Reviews of Jama Connect
Understandably, being on the edge of a possible recession can motivate extreme fiscal prudence, but now is not the time to duck and cover. It’s the precise time to make proactive decisions that will save your organization measurably in the long run. If you’re dealing with any of the budget-swallowing inefficiencies mentioned above — and can see the potential gains a modern requirements management solution like Jama Connect will offer — it might be exactly the right time to strategically think about making a change to optimize your development processes, saving money for your organization in the long run.
“We have achieved a significant ROI with Jama Connect in risk reduction and productivity gains: reuse is up 100%, rework is down 50%, requirements review cycle time is cut by 30% and audit preparation time is down 75%. Jama Connect is our single source of truth. If it’s not in Jama Connect, it’s not happening.”
Are you ready to reclaim some significant budget? Give us a call to see how we can be of help or get started today with a free trial of our award-winning requirements management software platform.
In This Webinar, Learn Best Practices for Requirements Traceability
Requirements Management is the process of documenting, analyzing, tracing, prioritizing and agreeing on requirements and then controlling change and communicating to relevant stakeholders. It is a continuous process throughout a project. A requirement is a capability to which a project outcome (product or service) should conform.