Requirements management systems

Subject: Requirements management systems
From: jennysubs -at- mac -dot- com
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2010 17:41:43 -0700

Hi all,

My current client is a fairly small hardware/software shop with a relatively immature engineering organization.

Right now, we get requirements in the form of screen shots developed by a marketing person. They sometimes come with a written description of how the controls work, but often we don't get even that much.

The engineering manager would like to put in place some sort of requirements management system. It has to be relatively easy to use and free or cheap. (Not asking for much, right?)

We need a tool that gives us a place to store requirements and art work and record the questions (and answers) generated by the screen shots. We've tried using an open wiki for this, but it's not working very well. Nobody is very excited about using Excel and Word.

The development organization uses a SCRUM-like process, but we have no control over the front end use cases, etc. (We don't get any, either.) I expect that at the beginning, at least, we will flesh out requirements and create specs for small chunks of development. Eventually, it would be nice to have the archaeological record around to help new people come up to speed. The tool needs to support use by about 15-20 people, including engineering, QA, and me, the writer.

The hope is that by having a tool and enforcing its use, we can make our lives easier in the engineering organization and eventually train the folks developing the "requirements" to be more precise.

I said that I would appeal to the collective wisdom of the techwr-l list, since you've seen it all.

Any suggestions?

Portland, OR


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