Have you had this problem? As a product developer, you are constantly looking for new solutions to meet your customers’ requirements in the best possible way.
The product is optimized time and again to keep improving the quality—but often without knowing exactly what the customer’s expectations are and what the new development is ultimately supposed to achieve in the market. The result?
Numerous Changes to Requirements Even During Product Development
What can you do to prevent this from happening?
Based on experience, the following questions already take you a fine step forward:
- Are all the requirements documented individually and in a comprehensible way, and can they be verified by means of tests?
- Does the current product have an explicit business case that is tested over and over again?
- Is there a description of each requirement from the user’s perspective that documents what its implementation will improve?
Are you unable to answer these questions with a clear “yes”? Then you should take a look at the topic of “requirements management.”
The reasons are obvious: The development of products and systems requires many different components and disciplines to be integrated. In some industries, the software portion of product development is nearing 50%.
As everything is connected, the failure of a subsystem can bring a whole system or possibly even an entire process chain to a standstill.
The three most common reasons that cause projects to be impaired and ultimately stopped are
- incomplete requirements,
- changing requirements. and
- a lack of user involvement.
Why Requirements Management Is so Important
- The requirements for software are becoming increasingly complex.
- Projects fail because of the requirements themselves.
- Implicit requirements
- Vague requirements
- Frequent changes of requirements
- Requirements that only become clear when it is too late
- There is a lack of structure in the multitude of requirements.
- The objectives of the contractor and the client do not match 100%.
Developments often fail to take the requirements of the market into account, as the following customer survey illustrates. Up to 64% of the functions are rarely or never used.
Which Functions Are Regarded to Be Useful and Are Actually Used?
Source: Standish Group Report
Structured Requirements with SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer
SAP now also offers a possibility for the structured management of requirements for product development with the SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer (SAP EA Designer) within the SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Intelligent Product Design.
Customers often provide requirements directly as an interchange format. Files in Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF) are XML files that enable requirements to be transported between different requirements management tools.
This allows you to both import and export multiple requirements or an entire list of requirements.
The Impact and Lineage Analysis is a useful function. This analysis visualizes the connections between the individual objects in order to map dependencies and the impacts of changes.
SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer (SAP EA Designer), 5th revised edition, Heidelberg 2014 SAP
Would you like to learn more about the topic of requirements management or SAP Product Lifecycle Management? Get in touch with us. We will be happy to find the right solution for your company.
-by Kenan Sen, Head of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) & MDM, itelligence AG-