A DEFINITION OF REQUIREMENTS MANAGEMENT

Requirements management (sometimes called requirements engineering or requirements definition) is among the first steps of a Product Lifecycle Management process. It's how companies take raw ideas into more detailed requirements. Requirements management involves documenting, analyzing, prioritizing, and visualizing what stakeholders want from your products and services. Requirements management also typically includes change management for requirements, requirements traceability, collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and approvals of requirements.

Key Capabilities for Requirements Management

  • Requirements definition: details out what stakeholders are looking for in your product or service. Requirements are often documented as user stories, use cases, marketing requirements, technical requirements or a combination. Requirements definitions may often include level of effort, timing, costs and other factors.
  • Requirements analysis and prioritization: once requirements are defined, companies need to determine what is feasible, how they align with product and corporate strategy, ROI and so on. Requirements analysis typically involves multiple stakeholders and may result in updates to requirements definitions.
  • Requirements visualization: For some industries, especially software, being able to see or play around with a set of requirements is a critical element of turning requirements into real products. It may include mockups, early prototypes, models, etc. for feedback from stakeholders.
  • Requirements change management: As requirements are discussed and prototypes are being modeled, it's inevitable that there are changes. A robust change management process is critical for keeping everyone on the same page. It's especially helpful if there's an auditable requirements approval process.
  • Requirements collaboration: Requirements management is typically thought of as an internal process, but even then collaboration is important across multiple engineering, marketing, operations and sales teams. Best-in-class companies also consider requirements collaboration with external partners, suppliers, channels and even customers.
  • Requirements traceability: As a product is being developed and finalized, requirements traceability helps ensure that the final product is actually meeting what requirements are agreed upon.

Benefits of Requirements Management

Companies who excel in requirements management can expect the following benefits:

  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Greater market share
  • Faster time to market
  • Less rework
  • Higher product quality 

Find out more about PLM, or learn more about Propel's approach to requirements management, which offers a highly flexible and collaborative requirements management solution built on a world-class platform.