06 June 2011

Lost in complexity? – Act now!

Nowadays it’s no secret anymore that products getting more and more complex regardless whether it is an aircraft, a medical device, a car, a mobile phone or just parts of them. It’s also no secret that many people from different departments – or even companies – having different educational background are involved in the development of such products. Ideally their efforts should have a common base: the requirements describing the product to be built.

There is no doubt that proper requirements management is key to the success of projects. We all know since more than 20 years that it also helps identifying possible issues, problems and mistakes earlier in the development cycle saving us a lot of effort and money fixing them. So why most companies still don’t use professional requirements management solutions? Why they stick to Word and/or Excel based approaches which only work well up to a certain level of complexity?

It is widely accepted that professional requirements management solutions would increase efficiency and bring tremendous benefits to the whole development lifecycle over time thus saving time and money. Nevertheless you will often get the following answer: “We don’t have the time now to introduce a new tool because our project is under time pressure.” I’ve seen dozens of projects in my life but there wasn’t a single one not having time pressure. One thing is as sure as death and taxes: complexity will continue increasing as well as time pressure will not become less if you don’t start thinking about improvements in your development process today! Requirements management is a good place to start...

By: Andreas Plette

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