Article by Principal Consultant Thomas Hornbæk Svendsen, NNIT
ured against a well-functioning ERM system it will be more cumbersome and error prone. If you sketch the strengths and weaknesses of ERM and Paper-based Requirements Management (PRM) systems in a radar-diagram as shown below, the difference becomes clear. In most aspects, the ERM system will provide a better option for the requirements manager than the PRM system. Requirements tracking, base lining, configuration, and collaboration are far easier to facilitate using an ERM system than Word and Excel. However, Word and Excel may appeal more to the infrequent user who will be able to prepare easy-to-read documents and reports using existing skills.
Start out by determining what type of ERM system to implement. When ready, it is recommended to select a set of requirements that can act as a pilot project, import the requirements to the ERM system, and then explore how they can be organized and referenced. Some ERM systems offer a modular approach where different types of specifications can be arranged in modules that help facilitate an overview.To ensure that requirements are always organized using the same structure– regardless of the IT system in question – it is recommended to define and enforce the use of specific templates for different kind of purposes. It is likely that the structure of e.g. a user requirements specification will be different than the structure for a functional specification. Setting up appropriate measures for user access is also recommended, thereby ensuring that the requirements can only be created, updated, and deleted by individuals with the appropriate permissions.
Article written: May 2018