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RequirementOne – Answers to the top challenges for BAs

Martin Gorm Pedersen
WRITTEN BY Martin Gorm Pedersen - 12 September 2012

The role of a business analyst is a tough one.

With ever increasing demands being put on software to deliver improved results within tighter budgets, the pressure on BAs to deliver great solutions has never been greater.

Added into the mix are numerous challenges that make this already difficult task even more difficult. Some of these include new methodologies (agile, scrum), ever increasing documentation, expanding requirements lists and teams working across different time zones and disciplines.

At RequirementOne we live and breathe requirement management – having delivered many successful large-scale projects. In this overview we want to share some of our best practice suggestions to overcome the most common challenges we have identified amongst BAs.

Today we are looking at the pros and cons of using a requirements management tool database vs. word documents

Managing a project with 100s or 1000s of requirements can be a real headache. On one hand you need to have the traceability, audit trail, attributes and search features of a database. This gives great control of the project from a management point of view.

However from a stakeholder point of view this is not an intuitive way to view the requirements as they are often viewed in isolation and not in context with the other requirements and the overall objectives of the project. 

The risk here is that the end users contributions to the requirements are not 100% true as they are viewing each requirement on its own. 

So to get the best input from stakeholders a BA may revert to a Word or Excel document to pull together the various inputs from the team. And hence sacrifice all of the benefits of a database – jeapordizing the deliverability of the project.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

So what are the options?

Transfer manually the Word inputs into a database? 

Probably not a viable option as requirements change continuously there is a risk of errors creeping in.

Force the users to input directly into a database? 

Again prone to collecting poor quality requirements – so not ideal!

There is a third way – you can have both!

RequirementOne Requirements Document Overview - all of the benefits of a database PLUS the ease of access of Word! In summary all of your requirements, their attributes and history are stored in the database but can be viewed in the same familiar format as end users would like to see in Word.

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