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Requirements Management

Every project seeks to satisfy needs expressed by groups of people, its stakeholders. The process to capture and precisely express stakeholders' needs produces set(s) of information, such as:

  • Needs, goals and objectives (NGOs)
  • User stories
  • User requirements
  • Concept of Operations (CONOPS)

This information specifies what is needed and not how the needs are to be met. The process will next produce design constraints, that express how these needs will be met, as further set(s) of information, such as:

  • System requirements
  • Use cases
  • Analysis or logical models

To be useful, this information must be assembled, categorised, analysed and refined to allow later phases to occur. This is requirements engineering, which applies quality controls to the information sets, including clarity, uniqueness, atomicity, measurability and testability.

In agile processes, these activities occur throughout the project in each iteration. In other processes, the activities occur in an early phase, and are continually reviewed. In all cases, stakeholders' needs are rarely static.

Requirements management is everything needed to engineer information as needs change. It means to track changes, ensure traceability to the sources and uses of the information, and provide reviews that record approval of the information being produced.

The Cradle Solution

Cradle provides web-based and non-web UIs to enter, view, manipulate and analyse requirements. All parts of these UIs are user-defined. All information can be shown in lists, tables, documents and trees in any desired layout:

Cradle allows flexible, user definable interface layouts

Cradle provides everything needed for requirements engineering and requirements management with a unique range of features, including:

  • Define any number of information types
  • Create any number of items of each of these types
  • Allow each item to contain any number of attributes, each attribute storing or linking to up to 1 TByte of any type of data
  • Allow items to be linked 1:1, 1:many, many:many with no restrictions
  • Provide indirect, transitive, linking across the entire lifecycle, see anywhere to anywhere relationships where Cradle transparently follows chains of multiple links for you:
Link types
  • Allow any user-defined requirement types, including functional, non-functional, commercial and environmental, and support different implementation strategies for each type
  • Provide any number of categorisations, single-value or multiple-value, all user-defined
  • Allow user-defined calculations using attributes in the same item or linked items (to allow aggregation or apportionment):
User defined calculations
  • Capture items from source documents, Excel spreadsheets, data files or manual entry
  • Coverage analyses of source documents against the database, compare database items against source documents:
Compare against source documents
  • Automatically detect changes in new source document versions and merge into the database
  • Create hierarchies of items (requirements, needs, user stories) and reorganise these hierarchies with drag-and-drop:
Drag and drop to reorganise hierarchies
  • Split items into sets of children or linked items, optionally based on sentences or lists in the text:
Split items
  • Merge items, optionally replacing the originals and preserving external links
  • Track changes to items with the ability to reverse single or multiple changes, also tracked:
Change histories to keep track of all changed to every item
  • Perform user-defined quality checks on the contents of requirements and other items, and optionally analyse coverage and structure
  • Allow users to collaborate, even when in multiple locations, using automatic alerts, comments and discussions:
Chat with other stakeholders about item changes or updates or ...anything
  • Run user-defined metrics on any sets of information
  • Perform traceability and coverage analyses and analyse the results in tabular views, matrices, metrics and user-defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
Cradle Dashboard allows a very quick overview of the status of your projects
  • Graphically show traceability with automatically-generated, interactive, Hierarchy Diagrams with user-defined layouts and levels of detail:
Hierarchy Diagrams (HIDs) allow you to navigate your project in a huge number of ways to see how all items are linked
  • Formally review items through user-defined workflows
  • Option to manage all information in project baselines
  • Option to manage changes to baselined information with Change Requests and Change Tasks
  • Full audit trails and logs of all project activities to any level that you choose
  • Maintain multiple projects' information and reusable libraries in one database
  • Publish all your project's requirements documentation from user-defined templates
  • Track the contents of all issues of all formal project documentation, relating items to documents

Collectively, these provide the most powerful, flexible and extensible requirements management solution available. But since Cradle can integrate your entire process in one tool, you are not limited to managing requirements in isolation. You can also:

  • Link functional requirements to functional descriptions, including models using any of a variety of notations, including eFFBD, IDEF, UML, ADARTS, SASD and others
  • Link non-functional requirements to system descriptions, either architecture models, SBS, PBS or sets of functions and components
  • Allocate functional elements into the architecture
  • Manage all levels of validation and verification, including test specifications, test cases, test results and acceptance criteria
  • Perform traceability and coverage analyses from every part of each source and reference document, through the products of requirements engineering into architecture and design models and from there into test management and acceptance testing

The Benefits

To be truly effective, requirements management is not an end in itself. Requirements are not the products and services that meet stakeholders' needs, they are simply an important step on the road to these products and services.

With Cradle's unique ability to support the entire systems process in one tool and one database, you can ensure that the results of your requirements management will be successfully designed, implemented, tested and commissioned. By providing a fully traced, tracked and configuration managed environment, Cradle ensures that your project will respond accurately and efficiently to any number of changes in both agile and phase-based processes.

The benefits of Cradle for requirements management are:

  • You are able to manage all your data, no matter how large or small, no matter how static or dynamic, of any format and content, in every agile or phase based process
  • You and your team can work efficiently, collaboratively, even across multiple locations
  • Requirements are not isolated, they are available to every part of your process
  • You can be alerted to, and track, every action and every change
  • You have full traceability across the entire lifecycle, including unique transitive views
  • You can apply the appropriate level of configuration management and change controls and produce change logs, audit trails
  • You can guarantee the quality and completeness of your requirements and other information, your documentation, your traceability and your historical records