As software code continues to account for ever greater portions of company’s value propositions, the amount of stakeholders needing access to monitor progress or provide input on requirements definition and change management is increasing. In order to keep projects on schedule and within budget, developing well-written requirements and effectively communicating them early in the development lifecycle has become increasingly critical.
However, it is not only the quantity of the stakeholders that is changing. For software tool suppliers, the more important factor may be that the diversity of these stakeholders is broadening as well. We’re seeing this diversity across a number of dimensions:
In our research, a majority of engineers in both the embedded and enterprise realms indicated their company utilized outsourcing in the development process. Likewise, the use of geographically distributed teams is increasing. 28% of embedded engineers and 32% of enterprise engineers responding to a recent survey by the VDC embedded software team report having remote team members on current development projects. Similarly, growing diversification of the roles and experience levels of stakeholders means more of them will have a background outside software development. Coordinating different experience levels, time zones, and languages makes communicating or understanding project requirements ever more complicated.
The logical result of these challenges is that respondents to VDC’s 2012 survey selected “Ease of Use” as the most important selection criteria for Requirements Management / Definition and Source / Change / Configuration Management tools. As additional team members need access to dashboards and reports available through the use of tools to monitor and modify requirements and specifications documents, provided these stakeholders with a resource that has a short learning curve becomes a matter of operational efficiency for development organizations.