Requirements management... with integrations on the side
March 1, 2012 —
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Related Search Term(s): agile, requirements
Seeing the complexity
Kurt Sand, program director of systems strategy at IBM Rational, said traceability is an important part of the requirements-management process, and he added that modeling helps link up the requirements throughout the tools used in the development process.
Visual prototyping is also a feature in Serena’s requirements-management tool as part of the Serena Prototype Composer.
“Many teams have trouble visualizing how things will work,” David Hurwitz, vice president at Serena Software said, adding that the visual prototyping helps keep everyone on the same page.
Sky Basu, CEO of Kovair, said that is the biggest challenge development organizations face today: keeping everyone on the same page. He said Kovair’s requirements-management tool features network diagrams that trace the relationships between features and requirements. Additionally, the tool offers metrics that show a traceability hierarchy so that teams can understand why the decision was made to release certain features at a given time.
Diagrams and imagery of requirements help support an agile development methodology because they allow team members to have a strong understanding of the product they are building, and a strong understanding allows for an accelerated process, according to Eric Winquist, CEO of Jama Software.
Jama Contour, the company’s requirements-management tool, also has built-in diagrams, with rich text-based collaboration to help development teams create a full and complete picture.
Jama recently announced integration with Rally Software’s Agile Lifecycle Management Platform. The Jama Connector for Rally is available to provide integration between Contour and Rally’s suite. Contour allows teams to collaborate and visually showcase requirements in a way that clears up any possible issues with how a stakeholder wants a particular feature to be represented before the developers write a single line of code. Rally’s tool allows for integrations with other visual prototyping tools, including Balsamic and PowerPoint, but does not allow you to generate these images in the product itself.
Rally’s requirements-management tool does have other features that could benefit teams doing what is known as “Water-Scrum-Fall.” Rally, according to Todd Olson, the company’s vice president of products, allows teams to customize every aspect of the process.
“Some people don’t call requirements ‘requirements,’ some call them user stories or business deliverables. Rally lets you choose what name you’d like to use,” he said. “Rally also collects business requirements to help developers understand why features are rolled out and how they fit the needs of the business. Matching the business requirements to the development requirements helps developers understand how much effort to put into a particular requirement.”
Olson added that if a feature calls for an internal user interface, developers would understand that it needs less attention than a front-facing user interface.
Mike Jones, vice president of global marketing and agile evangelist at OutSystems, agreed that matching these two sets of requirements can help drive the business and, as Olson said, create better software.
“Model-driven development is killing code,” Jones said. “It has been around for a long time and automatically creates lines of code for a developer. Business process modeling [on the other hand] allows developers to model the application development process.” He added that by using business process modeling, requirements are turned into logical decisions made by the business, based on the needs and demands of the market.
OutSystems’ agile platform includes a drag-and-drop visual prototyping tool—similar to Jama’s visual prototyping—that allows developers to create different modules that can then be modified to leverage specific features or code enhancements.
Jones said the agile platform also allows teams to add new features to the requirements after delivering the critical features first, something that is a different process in every organization.