How Can Requirements Management Tools Ensure That You Avoid a Disaster?

Last Updated on 25th April 2022 by Ken Hall

Requirements Management Tools are Essential

Requirements management tools are at the heart of future development in tools for systems engineering. Organisations that are not following and implementing the developments in these tools and utilising them in their projects may well lose out significantly.

What are requirements management tools?

According to Professor Roland Traunmüller, requirements management is the systems engineering activity principally concerned with finding, organising, documenting and tracking requirements for software systems and products / projects in many different industries. Its focus is maintaining traceability, defined as the “ability to describe and follow the life of a requirement, in both forwards and backwards direction (i.e. from its origin, through its development and specification, to its subsequent deployment and use, and through all periods of on-going refinement and iteration in any of these phases).”

The need to be sure that any project is continuously and effectively moving towards the goal of satisfying all the required elements of that project is best and most effectively met with a dedicated requirements management tool.  This is a tool which is designed from the outset to impose requirements management principles upon the project from the start and continue to impose them through all of the project lifecycle.

What happens to your projects, or indeed, your business if you fail to follow good systems engineering practice? How can your systems’ design properly satisfy requirements that are imprecise or incomplete? How can you implement a requirements management process without the effective deployment of a fully integrated requirements management tool? The project stakeholders lose sight of the requirements in the maze of changes and developments that always naturally occur during the project lifecycle. Time, money and energy are wasted creating and implementing solutions to problems that do not exist.

Let us use an example

An engineering company has won a contract to design and install a heating system in a new office block. The company offering the contract seeks an environmentally friendly, carbon neutral system. It would be cheaper to use existing heating systems available ‘off the shelf’, but they want to win environmental awards for green technology and so they want a new design.

They award the contract to a company that uses fashionable green language, but that company is not using a dedicated and integrated requirements management tool. Their systems are based on taking notes on paper and mobile devices, then transferring them to Microsoft ® Word documents and spreadsheets. They say that this document-centric approach works well, as shown by their low development price.

As their system progresses, they have designated naming conventions for these documents to keep their system from becoming too complicated and losing documents. Inevitably, some employees forget the naming convention, or fail to apply it correctly, or overwrite documents with the wrong content. Before long requirements are lost or forgotten and not included as they pivot from the design phase, or “slip through the cracks” into the testing and implementation phases. These losses are further compounded when changes are required later and there is no communication between the design engineers and the installation engineers and decisions made on the spur of the moment to make changes are not checked against the system’s requirements. Equipment gets designed and installed only then to discover, “Oh no!” when a part does not comply with the new corporate environmental regulations created by the Chief Environmental and Climate Change Officer. Such regulations were incorrectly entered into the manual, document-based process, so the design team didn’t ever see them and the installation engineers were utterly unaware of them! Disaster! The project runs over schedule, over budget, delivers the wrong system and the company’s reputation is tarnished!

All of this could have easily been avoided had they used a fully integrated requirements management tool such as Cradle. Not only does Cradle provide full end-to-end traceability and coverage of all requirements, it is also fully integrated into its Systems Engineering package that handles every part of your full project lifecyle. That means that whatever size or scale of project you are delivering, Cradle can be trusted to hold all your data securely and gives you the confidence to know that every single requirement that is gathered and entered into Cradle. All these requirement scan be tracked throughout your design, testing, implementation, maintenance phases and through to eventual upgrade/replacement or retirement. Any changes and their impacts can be managed fully and properly throughout the entire project lifecycle from concept to creation.

And that means you can enjoy the confidence that your projects can deliver what you promise to deliver on time every time.

Start your journey to success by clicking here to register and download a free trial of Cradle now!

April 2022 – Newsletter

Last Updated on 12th April 2022 by Ken Hall

Egging You On

3SL Easter Egs
3SL Easter

We most likely understand this to mean encourage, provoke or urge. Unfortunately there is no underlying tasty treat associated with the phrase.
Eggs and Easter eggs may represent the start of a new life or regeneration and are often given at Easter after their consumption would have been prohibited during Lent.

Project

An egg holds the building instructions for a new life, and when fertilised can grow into something great. Like a new life, a  project needs to be nurtured in order to grow. However, it must be led in the correct direction, not allowed to grow too fast or out of control for the best success. There will be risks on the way and its progress needs to be monitored and checked.

Go-on

So we urge, cajole and encourage you to keep your projects safe, warm and cared for the only way we know how – in Cradle.
Now does anyone fancy taking up the Chicken and Egg debate???

Return

shot from Barrow-in-Furness town square of 3SL Offices
3SL Offices

During April 3SL UK offices are making a phased return to the office. It’s been over 2 years since we’ve sat at our desks. It was a bit of a time capsule moment seeing diaries open on March 2020! You will still be able to email, use webinar, or snail-mail, but if you call us on +44 1229 838867 you may find different voices answer.

Training

Cradle Online Training
Online Cradle Training

The Project Administration 20th-21st April 2022 course is designed for project team leaders or managers who administer and manage Cradle projects. It will cover user and project administration. It will also include setting up project schemas helping your users to hit the ground running.

Social Media

Twitter

HII Tweet Mar2022
HII Tweet March 2022

We marvelled at how a dock can float in this tweet from HII.

We reviewed the SpeedUpSolR(TM) device, but apparently a number of people have reported difficulty buying it….. SpeedUpSolR(TM) 😉

YouTube

Item Properties in Cradle
Properties

Updating Item Properties. If you have a large number of items for which you need to change value(s) did you know you can set properties? Take a peek at this method on our YouTube Channel

 

 

SpeedUpSolR – Review

Last Updated on 1st April 2022 by

Solar Power Productivity

We were interested to be provided with a SpeedUpSolRTM unit. We thought we’d test the claims and share them with you.  The device works by “capturing ambient light waves and amplifying productivity software enhancements” We suspect a little has been lost in translation, however the blurb goes on to explain that generally workers want to complete their work more quickly in the daylight saving summer months (in our case anything after GMT turns to BST), in order to make the best of the rest of the day. By capturing the increased sunlight during these hours it can help speed up a your work by using their proprietary algorithm to assist and second guess the text or keys you are about to press. Once finished employees will have completed their schedule ahead of time and will be able to leave earlier benefiting their well-being.

The Unit

SpeedUpSolR device

Comprising a “bubble matrix silicon cell panel” which uses lenses based on omnidirectional fly eyes, maximum sunlight is captured in unit around 150mm long. The interface is s standard USB connector. The drivers download automatically, as it supports plug and play.

Testing

SpeedUpSolR video in useWe connected the SpeedUpSolRTM to a standard desktop and installed a copy of Cradle. We then closed the blinds on the window to simulate a darker time of day. The unit is balanced atop the monitor facing the window, to achieve maximum exposure. The staff member was then asked to simulate entering data for the requirement they were working on. You’ll see their usual speed of typing. We then opened the blinds to allow maximum light onto the SpeedUpSolRTM. This allowed the software to start its word guessing and action assisting operations. We think you’ll concur, there is a marked increase in speed.

Software

SpeedUpSolR softwareThe software bundled with the SpeedUpSolRTM includes an average light level monitor with a rolling 7 day count. It suggests that this can be used to co-inside with maximum productivity bursts for employees. It is also noted that by monitoring the peaks, in winter months people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be able to time their coffee breaks outside to maximise benefit.