requirements review

Our graphic designer is on vacation, so I had got to create my own graphics today! My next project is to help repair the “Ecce Homo” fresco that was recently botched in Spain.

The life of a business analyst

What you’ll notice here is that there’s a black hole developing in your BA’s inbox. The better your customers are at responding to requirement reviews, the more productivity is sucked out of their day. Instead of delivering requirements to the development team or figuring out what’s going to be in the next sprint, your BAs are busy reviewing Word documents and making clerical updates.

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How are you managing requirement reviews with project sponsors and stakeholders? We’ve worked with several  TestTrack customers recently who have shortened the feedback loop with the new web-based TestTrack RM Reviewer.

During the project planning process, sponsors and stakeholders need to be consulted at regular intervals to ensure the project is on course to meet their objectives in delivering value to the business. Formal sign-off on requirements is also a common step in the planning process, at which point the team can begin implementation. Engaging with those folks for review and sign-off isn’t complicated; you send them an email or schedule a meeting to walk through project requirements then badger follow-up until they provide feedback. In working with customers over the past few months who were looking at the TestTrack RM Reviewer web client, we’ve found a couple common areas of inefficiency that can be alleviated with TestTrack RM Reviewer.

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If you’re looking for a way to simplify the process of reviewing and commenting on requirements for project sponsors and stakeholders, check out the new TestTrack RM Reviewer web client.

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In this video, Gerhard Kruger shows how to handle requirement reviews in TestTrack RM, including how to use new TestTrack RM Reviewer.

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In a recent post about “watching” approved requirements, I presented a simple workflow for moving requirements through the development process. In the real-world though, we see customers using more granular workflows to  accurately gauge progress and track changes throughout the lifecycle. These workflows work great for folks down in the trenches of the project, but don’t always translate as you report on that progress up the chain.

Look at the slightly more complicated workflow below, where we’ve expanded the review cycle to better track where a requirement is in the review/approval loop.

Expanded workflow, with detailed review/approve progress tracking

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Prospective customers often ask me if there is a way to approve all the requirements in a requirement document at once.

I usually ask a few questions before responding:

  • Are there multiple document approvers?
  • Does each document approver have an area of expertise?
  • Does the approver verify the content of each and every requirement in the document?
  • Is there a need to have accountability in specific areas of the requirements process, such as design, technical, or software?

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Since the introduction of TestTrack RM earlier this year, I’ve had a chance to demonstrate the product many times to prospects. While the initial feature set of the product is impressive, every once in a while I do hear about features that are not currently available. These become feature requests, which are prioritized and scoped out by our product management team.

One feature request I have heard a few times is for a very specific need. This scenario is for a user whose only action related to requirements is to approve or reject them. This user is not in development, QA, or any other group directly involved with software development and does not use TestTrack. This individual is likely to only deal with business requirements and not functional requirements.  The user does not want to install the TestTrack client and learn how to use it when only a simple view is needed to review and approve or reject requirements.

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