The purpose of Requirements Management Software is to increase the likelihood that a proposed solution/application will work as desired and add value to the business. However, BAs should take care when selecting this tool to ensure that it serves the intended purpose once installed.
Every project and organization will have its own requirements on what the Requirements Management software should do. Asking these basic questions will however help in choosing the best requirements management software for your projects:
1. What are your requirements?
Understand your requirements and list them down as these will determine the features and functionalities you should be on the lookout for. Find a tool that meets your determined requirements and has the right set of features. Avoid choosing a tool because of the number of features it has, as this will increase the complexity of use and associated costs such as time lost in learning to use the tool, training costs, etc. For example, do you require a tool with extensive features for collaboration? Would you require image uploading capabilities? Taking the time to define what is actually needed will prevent disappointment when the solution is eventually installed for use.
2. Which categories of users will use this tool?
Once you have listed your needs, find out who will be using the tool. Will it be only business analysts, customers, developers, project managers or a combination of these? Are all these users geographically dispersed?Requirements will certainly vary from user to user and the tool should at least be flexible enough to accommodate the different categories of users.
3. Are there any constraints?
Cost is one example of the constraints a BA can face when selecting Requirements Management software.
The cost of requirements management software varies. Cost would typically depend on the number of users, installation license, maintenance agreement and training needs for the team, to mention a few considerations. Since you would typically have determined your needs in previous steps, determine if excluding unnecessary features would drive down the cost.
4. How do other users rate the software?
Search for customer feedback and testimonials when evaluating the software prior to purchasing it. Independent evaluation sites can provide useful information in this regard.
5. How easy is the tool to use?
Since many technical and non-technical users including business analysts, customers, developers and project managers may end up using the software, it is important to find a requirements software that is easy to use and does not require an extensive amount of time to learn.
Fortunately, some requirements management software are subscription-based and offer a limited trial period during which you can learn how your preferred option works before making a final commitment. Take the time to define your needs before taking the first step, just as you would with any other organizational solution you procure.
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