Posted on November 11, 2013 · Posted in Risk, Small Business, Software, Workflow

There are a number of Requirement Management software tools available in the market. As a Consultant or Business Analyst, naturally it is important to use the software to elicit, gather and manage requirements for successful delivery – but how do you go beyond the deliverable and generate repeat business?

The first stage is making sure you have the right software for what you, and your client, needs. Evaluation criteria can be seen as moving goal posts, but as a general rule of thumb, product features should be benchmarked in the following areas

  1. User-friendliness
  2. Integrated facilities (how does it work with other software and programs? Is there scope for customisation?
  3. Functionality
  4. Scalability
  5. Maturity and adoption within the wider industry
  6. Support

Once you’ve found the perfect-fit tool – here’s three ways to can use the software to your advantage and generate future revenue streams:

1.  Impress them with your time and cost management skill

Since requirements are the basis on which potential solutions are assessed, and the potential solution and the process that leads to its success is what you are measured on (and potentially rehired for), it’s critical to do it well.

Online, cloud-based requirement management tools can generally offer a customisable, flexible and cost-effective way to get the right supporting infrastructure in place. With many in-built features, scalable apps and custom development opportunities, project plans can be setup, bugs and issues can be tracked, overspend can be reduced and requirements management can be done with ease.

From a time and cost perspective, a solid software product will enable non-duplication of work and effort too. Since requirement management software holds a single copy of your requirements up in the cloud and allows the whole team to work on the same version. This then feeds into shared and allocated responsibilities and creates an effective output of change management and traceability.

On the same thread, requirement management software really gets to grips with the requirement verification process early on in the project life-cycle so as to avoid costly rework further down the line.

2. Get closer to the client

For a client to feel actively involved and contributing to the project, communication, reporting, feedback and progress updates are essential.

Requirements come in thick and fast from a potentially huge pot of stakeholders. Externally, they will come in the shape of customers and partners. Internally, they may take the form of sales and support teams. The challenge of managing the ideas, wants and needs of these groups is much less overwhelming and manageable when the software you have in place streamlines it all.

Engagement with the project team and stakeholders can be much more accurate, and an automated process with the use of good software. Greater levels of insight are available and Consultants and Business Analysts have fast and accurate visibility of progress against key performance indicators.

Within the requirements matrix, feedback and results of validation and verification processes trace back through risk and control matrix to the originating requirements. Keeping the client involved in the progress of the project

All of this positions you well to deliver consistent and relevant reviews to the senior client team.

3. Bend over backwards

Figuratively speaking of course. The client wants and needs to see its requests are being managed and delivered, and that every part of the requirement management process has their interests at heart. This means that you, and your requirement management software, needs to do everything they want it to.

Scalable software with integration functionality allows you to mould an approach to that of the client. Some tools permit project teams to use any methodology (such as Agile, waterfall, hybrid, Prince2, PMBok) – so you can quickly adapt and fit in with the systems used by the client team for happy faces all round. It also means that you and your clients don’t have to change systems each time a new project or development is initiated.

Requirements are the building blocks of any project, so it’s fascinating to learn that around 80% of projects fail as a result of inaccurate or incomplete requirements – or poor management of accurate ones. Approaching a project with the right requirement management software can potentially avoid failure, and could transpire into repeat business as well as a new addition to your portfolio of successful projects.

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