Five tips for better requirements management
The success of any IoT product hinges on how well requirements are defined and managed. From early development stages, developers need to implement a good system for tracking requirements. This is especially important for highly regulated industries that must adhere to certain safety standards and regulations.
The ideal management system will vary depending on the nature of the product, company needs, and industry standards. Below are five tips, however, that we at F3 have found helpful through our decades of experience.
Tip #1: Use unique identifiers
Each requirement should have a unique identifier. This can be a combination of letters and numbers, all numbers, or any other type of label – as long as it is unique to that particular requirement.
Tip #2: Link related items together
It may be helpful to link requirements together that are related – such as ones that are all associated with the same feature. Many tools and platforms exist that can help to initiate and track these links and will alert you to any missed requirements during testing.
In the end, what is most important is to make sure that you’ve tested and verified every requirement. Creating a trace matrix can help you to achieve this. Basically, in some form, a matrix indicates what requirements each test covers, links the test to the requirement, and ensures that your test cases have covered all of your device’s requirements.
Tip #3: Make it easy to capture comments
In the development of any device, it is essential to be able to receive and document feedback from all stakeholders. As such, it is helpful to have an easy way to capture comments within your requirements management tool. Ideally, this would allow stakeholders to review and add comments within the tool or document itself. This doesn’t always equate to more sophisticated platforms, as sometimes simple tools are better with multiple users of varying skill levels. Research and find the method that works best for your organization.
Tip #4: Remember that change is inevitable
Part of effective requirements management is to make necessary tweaks as new information is discovered. There will always be conflicting requests, different priorities, and changing levels of importance in any project. So good requirements management is able to roll with the punches by adding new requirements, removing unnecessary ones or tweaking what tests can be used to verify them. Also remember that the project will ALWAYS have tweaks – and that these can occur at any phase, despite even the best planning efforts.
Tip #5: Enlist help from experts
The success of requirements management depends on the knowledge and expertise of everyone involved in the development process. As experts in your industry, you know your target customers and their needs, as well as the particular features the product should include. Work with the experts at F3 to guide you through the development process itself, and help you to bring your product to market.