You should be able to trace each of your requirements back to its original business objective.
By tracing requirements, you are able to identify the ripple effect changes have, see if a requirement has been completed and whether it’s being tested properly. Traceability and change management provides managers peace of mind and the visibility needed to anticipate issues and ensure continuous quality.
Getting requirements delivered right the first time can mean better quality, faster development cycles and higher customer satisfaction with the product. Requirements management not only helps you get it right, but also helps your team save money and many headaches throughout the development process.
Concise, specific requirements can help you detect and fix problems early, rather than later when it is much more expensive to fix. In addition, it can cost up to 100 times more to correct a defect later in the development process after it’s been coded, than it is to correct early on while a requirement.
By integrating requirements management into your quality assurance process, you can help your team increase efficiency and eliminate rework. Moreover, rework is where most of the cost issues occur.
In other words, development teams are wasting majority of their budgets on efforts that are not performed correctly the first time. For example, a developer codes a feature based on an old specification document, only to learn later, that the requirements for that feature changed. These types of issues can be avoided with effective requirements management best practices.
In summary, requirements management can sound like a complex discipline, but when you boil it down to a simple concept – it’s about helping teams answer the question, “Does everyone understand what we’re building and why?” From the business analysts, product managers and project leaders to the developers, QA managers and testers, along with the stakeholders and customers involved – so often the root cause of project failure is a misunderstanding of the scope of the project.
When everyone is collaborating, and has full context and visibility to the discussions, decisions and changes involved with the requirements throughout the lifecycle of the project, that is when success happens consistently and you maintain continuous quality. In addition, the process is smoother with less friction and frustration along the way for everyone involved.
Note − Research has shown that project teams can eliminate 50-80% of project defects by effectively managing requirements. According to the Carnegie Mellon software engineering institute, “60-80 percent of the cost of software development is in rework.”
Obtaining Requirements Signoff
Requirements signoff formalizes agreement by project stakeholders that the content and presentation of the requirements, as documented, are accurate and complete. Formal agreement reduces the risk that, during or subsequent to implementation, a stakeholder will introduce a new (previously unencountered) requirement.
Obtaining requirements signoff typically involves a face-to-face final review of requirements, as documented, with each project stakeholder. At the end each review, the stakeholder is asked to formally approve the reviewed requirements document. This approval may be recorded either physically or electronically.
Obtaining requirements signoff is typically the final task within Requirements Communication. The Business Analyst will require the output from the Formal Requirements Review(s), including accommodation of any comments or objections which were raised during the review process.