Poorly managed requirements lead to many software projects failing. That’s why it’s important to have a systematic way of documenting, analyzing, and prioritizing requirements.
Traditionally, requirements have been captured using spreadsheets. But there are many tools available today dedicated to managing requirements. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the top requirements management tools software teams are using today.
Important Features of Requirements Management Tools
First, let’s look at some of the key features to look for in a requirements management tool.
Support for different software development methodologies
There are many processes for developing software, thus, it’s important for a requirements management tool to be flexible and accommodate a variety of software development methodologies. Even if you do follow a certain methodology, you might have your own flavor of it. A requirements management tool that supports a variety of different software development methodologies can adapt and change as your team does the same.
Some requirements need to be broken out into smaller sub-items. In agile, this is called an “epic”. An epic effectively contains many different feature requests, tasks, or business & technical requirements. It is a chunk of work. A requirements management tool shouldn’t pigeon-hole you into categorizing everything the same exact way, on the same level. Make sure you’re able to organize your requirements using a hierarchy that works for you and your team.
A requirements traceability matrix helps ensure no functionality is missed during testing. The ability to link functional requirements to test cases, design specs, and other artifacts is a key feature most teams look for in a requirements management tool.
Everyone is trying to work faster and more effectively. With remote work becoming more common, teams need reliable tools to work together. Commenting, sharing, and collaborating with team members in a requirements management tool will save you time and increase productivity.
Import requirements from other tools/systems
Perhaps you keep all of your requirements in a spreadsheet or in another tool. The ability to import these documents will expedite the process of getting those historical requirements into the new tool. Manually entering all of that information could take a lot of time.
Security and permissions
Some requirements might contain classified information. A requirements tools should take security seriously. Do your homework and see how the company positions themselves as it pertains to security practices. Some projects are private, and some information needs to be accessed only by certain roles. Permissions or role based access control allows you to have your entire team in the tool without worry they have access to too much.
Requirements Management Tools List
Now, let’s take a look at some of the requirements management tools available today:
Modern Requirements helps team manage their requirements documents and increase productivity. Automatic traceability analysis allows you to quickly and easily scan for requirements coverage. They offer a cloud, VSTS, and server version of their products.
Accompa is built for product managers, business analysts, and engineering teams who are looking to improve their requirements gathering process. Discussion threads make it easy for teams to collaborate and prioritize work. This cloud-based tool is packed full of features sure to improve your requirements documentation process.
GatherSpace is a cloud-based requirements management tool meant to increase product development speed by giving teams a simple and intuitive way to organize their product requirements. Keeping requirements in a single space means you always know where they are, and that’s the goal of GatherSpace.
Visure Solutions enables teams to collaborate and increase the quality of software products through better tracking of requirements. They have a large number of integrations so you can keep your requirements documents in sync with other tools and collaborate with teams. Key features include traceability, role based access controls, reporting, and much more.
Jama Software builds tools that helps product teams create better software. Their Connect product lets you to assign and run tests that are directly associated with with requirements and features, ensuring good test coverage and that all gaps are closed. This ultimately results in increased quality. Other features include feedback tracking and voting, and custom reports.
Jira is the number one software used by agile teams. You can do a lot of things in Jira, including configuring your own requirements and test case traceability process. Jira’s custom development workflows lends itself to more of a product management tool, but this often includes requirements management. Collaboration tools include sharing and watching features, and commenting.
Requirements Hub helps you save time and reduce meetings by providing tools to gather, evaluate, and produce requirements. They offer over 100 pre-built requirements templates, or you can create your own from scratch.
ReqChecker is a simple tool that helps you check your requirements coverage. Engineers, buyers, trainers, and quality analysts use ReqChecker as an added level of assurance. You can import word, pdf, excel, powerpoint, and XML files and turn them into requirements in ReqChecker. Their traceability analysis gives you the information you need to know requirements and tests are covered.
Aha has positioned themselves as a roadmap software. But what goes into planning a roadmap? You guessed it, requirements! You can added requirements, and even create mockups and wireframes that support those requirements directly in Aha. Collaboration tools include @ mentioning, hash-tagging, and a robust notifications system.
StoriesOnBoard is a visual requirements tracking and collaboration tool. You can easily create user stories, requirements, and features and prioritize them as you see fit. Custom labels help make certain requirements stand out and add an extra layer of data and organization to your workflow.
Blueprint is a place to store and organize all project artifacts. It helps teams create lean documentation from those artifacts and can play a crucial role in change management. Traceability and impact analysis give product managers the information they need to understand coverage and risk. Blueprint brings a level of transparency to the table that helps teams work faster.
Pond is a simple requirements management tool built with process improvement in mind. Their philosophy is that a simple process will be followed, and a difficult process won’t be followed. When process is followed, risk is avoided, and this helps reduce cost.
iRise combines prototyping and requirements management, making it easier to teams to collaborate on new concepts, designs, and ideas. Key features include the ability to create responsive visual prototypes, user flows and diagrams, and custom fields on requirements documents. It stands out from other requirements management tools by offering a robust prototyping solution, in addition to requirements management tools.
Visual Trace Spec
Visual Trace Spec is a requirements management tool that supports agile and non-agile methodologies. You can specify requirements with user stories, use cases, or a hierarchical list of individual requirements. Visual Trace Spec helps software teams manage, view, and verify their requirements.
Every software team has requirements. Managing those requirements properly is crucial to the success of the team and product. We hope you’ve found this requirements management tools list helpful in deciding which tool to use for your team.