Requirements Tracking and Management is a vital, if challenging, component of successful software development. Requirements provide the basic definition and direction for projects from their very inception. When requirements are not met or when they are badly managed, a project can fail or can be much more expensive than originally anticipated or budgeted for. Early identification of possible problems or defects can greatly reduce the expense incurred in the repair or redesign process. It is important that requirements be traceable throughout the design and test process, because a project’s very success is dependent upon requirements that are complete, accurate, and measurable.
Successful requirements tracking requires that developers show accountability for the status of the requirements at every stage of the project. To do this, there must be a record of traceable linkage for each requirement to or through every other software artifact that relates to it or that impacts it. This means that at every stage of project development, each method be “traceable” to its corresponding elements in the design, each of which is “traceable” to its corresponding requirement. A complete and proper flow-down of requirements is the first step in the development of a quality product to meet the specific needs of the client.
Projects that are not effectively tracked are difficult to control and manage. When a project is not in control, risk identification and management becomes increasingly difficult and can lead to schedule and budget over-runs. Effective tracking ensures that the project is progressing as planned to meet schedule, cost, and quality goals. As requirements evolve throughout the life of the system, they may be required to change in nature, scope, and content to become more consistent, precise, and clear. Their connections to other system artifacts also evolve over time, and must be traceable.
To ensure successful management and tracking of requirements, an affordable, simple, powerful, and easy-to-use requirements tool is needed. CASE Spec and Visual Trace Spec are just such tools. The tools provide effective requirements tracking, simple importing, exporting, and baselining, and a traceability matrix to easily show the impact of changing requirements on the system and process as a whole.
Requirements Management & Tracking
The tools provides the power of both a word processor and a spread sheet to track requirements. It allows users to:
► Automatically Identify Requirements
► Generate requirements documents
► Analyze requirements with the ability to filter and customize attributes.
► Link Requirements to design elements.
► Store complex objects that can be linked to requirements in a powerful repository.
► Easily share requirements across projects.
► Control access at requirements level and requirements group.
► Work collaboratively on requirements.
Because requirements interact with every other phase of the software/systems development, tracing the relationships between requirements and other components is essential to effective requirements engineering and project success. The tools (CASE Spec, Visual Trace Spec) provides a rich array of tools to evaluate the completeness and correctness of the requirement model. More specifically, this includes:
► A global traceability matrix that shows the relationship between requirements, design elements, and associated files.
► The ability to quickly and easily identify the impact of requirements changes on the system as a whole.
► The ability to easily find dangling requirements that are not linked to other requirements or design objects.
► The use of Boolean logic to identify complex relationships between requirements and other system components.
► The use of striking graphical displays showing the relationships between requirements. These displays provide insights into the model that ordinary reports cannot.
The tools’ powerful importing and exporting feature allows the user to interface with other tools such as bug tracking and project planning programs.
Requirements may be imported from external sources such as WORD, spreadsheets (MS Excel), MS Access databases, html, word documents and text file formats (fixed or CSV, record separator, field delimiter, text qualifier). You can import users and custom attribute values.
Requirements may be exported to MS Excel as needed for custom requirements analysis.
The tools has a built-in baselining feature for baselining project artifacts that include requirements, design elements, repository files, and diagrams. With the tools’ automatic history change management coupled with the baseline feature, users are able to practice effective change management, to include:
► Baselining requirements and repository files.
► Comparing baselines.
The Baselining process is easily initiated from the Baseline tab in the Project Details Screen.
The tools allow users to reuse project settings from one project to another. This feature allows any project to be saved as a template to assist in the development of future projects.
The tools store individual requirements along with links to other system components and descriptive attributes. It also provides a full feature query facility that uses these links and attributes. The result is a reporting system that is exceptional in its scope and power. More specifically The tools includes the following reports:
► All data display grids in The tools, such as Requirements and Design Objects, use a standard reporting tool that is fully configurable.
► Standard reports for tabular data, requirements with or without attributes, projects, and Objects.
► Pie and bar charts by priority, status, release, and source.
► Requirement history reports
► Baseline reports