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Process Improvement Essentials by James R. Persse PhD

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Engineering Process Areas

The following sections detail the Process Areas specific to engineering.

Requirements Management

If the IT industry as a whole were asked to isolate one activity that led to more problems than any other, it would probably be requirements management. Poor requirements—incomplete, inconsistent, ill-expressed—have been known to derail a project faster than almost anything else. Without sound requirements, a project operates in an amorphous world where nothing can be fixed, where no quality mark can be set. Therefore, sound requirements—at least a baseline of sound requirements—should be in place before you embark on any development effort.[*] It's a critical path item for project success. It's not hard to see why. If your project team has no methods or tools for managing requirements, no degree of effective oversight or engineering talent will keep a project on its rails. The tracks have been greased for slipperiness from start to finish. Requirements Management then is an essential characteristic of any quality model.

At its core, Requirements Management is a control technique that should be adopted as early as possible in a project's life cycle. Because it recognizes that people change their minds, that business rules fluctuate, that no one thinks of everything at once, requirements management serves as a facility to handle change in a manner that promotes the clean intake of requirements, their smooth integration into project plans, and their eventual evolution ...

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