What is Requirements & Validation? Application Lifecycle Management

Written By: Lars Joosten
  • 4/25/2017

Did you ever have these meetings with your customer where they tell you how you should develop your products in order to meet schedules, budget - or quality targets?

If not maybe you had to do intensive contract research only in order to find out at the end that there really is no way to bill the customer for the extra piece of implementation that made your project run out of budget and time.

A further scenario -out of many- could be your chief product designer walking into your office with slightly increased blood pressure. He more or less politely asks you who the hell made those changes in the requirements specification without informing him before starting his design work?

To make you feel a bit better…. whatever situation you were in; you are not alone! But only knowing that doesn’t help. So what does???

Requirements Management & Validation are the beginning and end of every product development project to address exactly those situations. They are the cornerstones for successful product design and development.

Implementing the right processes and tool support can help increase transparency by making the right information available to the right stakeholders.

And on a site note…. you will get along with much less sticky notes

The same applies to validating the product through its development phases until completion.

Imagine you were able to answer the following questions by the click of a button?

  • Do the Requirements satisfy customer demand?
  • Is the product ready to be released?
  • Are all requirements covered by at least one test case?
  • Are there redundant or outdated test cases?
  • Where test cases updated when their corresponding requirements changed?

In order to keep up with today’s business environment your company needs to focus on requirements and validation activities connecting relevant artifacts throughout the development process. Some examples fueling the change in today’s business environment are:

Increasing product complexity

Today’s products host hardware, software & electronical components that need to work together seamlessly

Changing customer demand

  • New generation of consumers entering the market. Digital natives with strong focus on integrating their devices into products they purchase (e.g. IPhone in car)

Rigorous legal requirements

  • Technologies like autonomous driving need to deal with the question of who is in charge in case of unexpected events (driver or technology). This requires seamless traceability of data in order to fully comprehend why, when, who, etc. a system was developed.

Shortened development cycles

  • Most innovation in new products is introduced through software. Changing / extending functionality in software is much easier and faster done that in any other domain. That results in new product functionality in much shorter cycles than in the past, up to the point the products are being update while in the hands of customers.

 Demand for compliance

  • Legislation often introduces new guideline and rules companies need to adhere to in order to avoid legal penalties. These guidelines and rules are to be treated as requirements to the product. Monitoring and updating them becomes an important task during development

Those factors make it inevitable for companies to rethink their current mode of operation and invest in reviewing their processes and tooling for requirements and validation activities.

Here’s a practical example how a professional requirements & validation solution can help…

You receive a request from a customer for a new product / product version. He sends his requirements in form of a word document. You have a reviewed his requirements in order to start developing.

In many cases the customer will request a change of specification half way through the project, sending an updated version of the word document. This happens several times during your development efforts.

You need to find the differences between multiple versions of the Word document, making sure you develop against the most current version. Also you need to make sure that your testing tasks are updated to reflect the new / changed requirements coming from your customer.

In many projects this fails and the product does not meet the customers’ expectations.

With a professional solution finding the differences and making QA aware of those changes happens automatically preventing you from late and costly rework.

Furthermore, you can validate the impact (risk, time, budget) of requested changes prior to implementing. That puts you in a position to negotiate additional time and budget with your customer preventing late delivery or exploding project costs.

But the solution needs to be easy to implement and have a low learning curve.

For this purpose, PTC developed an easy to use / easy to adopt Requirements & Validation solution enabling customers to quickly start their product development projects with low administrative efforts and still enjoy the value of a professional requirements management solution.

For further details, please download and consult the PTC Requirements & Validation buyers guide.

  • Windchill
  • PLM
  • Electronics and High Tech

About the Author

Lars Joosten

Lars Joosten is a sales specialist at Parametric Technology GmbH (PTC) for solutions around Software Configuration -, Requirements-, Test Management and Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). For more than 15 years he gained comprehensive practical experiences from working in enterprise environments as software sales in various industries. In recent years he focused on working with automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and medium-sized medical accounts facing the challenge of increasing product complexity.Currently he’s focusing on delivering “right sized” Requirements Management solutions to small and mid-scale enterprises by supporting the direct sales force and the PTC partner eco system.