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Why It’s Time to Prioritize Managing Requirements

“Features.” “Requirements.” “User stories.” What you call them isn’t important. Your priority is defining a product’s promise, functionality, appearance, market fit, and value.

Requirements management is an ongoing process; from defining and prioritizing, to reviewing, negotiating, and approving, to validating and verifying changes of product capabilities and characteristics.

When appropriately executed, requirements management minimizes interpretation — one of the biggest barriers to building the right product.

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The Challenge

Requirements Management is Tough

There are several challenges to successfully managing requirements, many of which stem from collaboration issues or insufficient requirements tracking software.

Most teams either use cumbersome legacy systems, documents and spreadsheets, or some combination. Any of those options carry inherent pitfalls — lack of version control, siloed development, and error-prone hand offs — that could lead to process breakdown.

The Trouble with Legacy Tools

Antiquated tools often require that everything flow through a central point of contact. Successful collaboration and accurate traceability hinge on someone being well-trained in the tool and able to correctly synthesize and effectively communicate information from a variety of sources. This happens multiple times during the product development lifecycle, increasing the chance of error.

The Problem with Rudimentary Documentation

Ad hoc documentation relies on a variety of individuals maintaining cohesion across silos throughout the product development process. Success depends on knowing the location and maintaining the correct version of complex documents within and across teams, as well as regular, often taxing, communication via email or in meetings.

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The Solution

Successfully Manage Requirements Throughout the Development Process

In a well-managed requirements process, key stakeholders participate at the earliest stage of defining a product’s capabilities. They stay up to date on progress, changes, and decisions during the development process.

Sophisticated requirements management also employs real-time traceability — the proactive establishment of automatic relationships across pieces of information, people involved, and decisions, rather than manual recreation retrospectively. All stakeholders immediately know gaps up and downstream from requirements. This instant knowledge reduces delays and gets products to market faster by allowing individuals to give input in real time instead of waiting for someone to come to them. It also helps mitigate risks to product delivery and the end user, as end-to-end traceability includes test management and quality assurance.

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Our Platform

Requirements Management Software That Works for You

Web-based requirements management gives your team the opportunity to optimize your entire product development process.

Benefits of Jama Software for managing requirements:

  • Have a single source of truth for clear visibility throughout the development process
  • Iterate in real time for informed decision making and consensus
  • Minimize interpretation of requests by allowing direct input to accurately build the desired product
  • Reclaim valuable time lost chasing reviews and approvals
  • Visualize how tests track back to requirements to prove quality and compliance
  • Reuse validated requirements to quickly replicate features across products

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