August 16, 2012

Pull Project Sponsors & Stakeholders Into the Requirements Review Process

Helix ALM
Requirements Management
How are you managing requirement reviews with project sponsors and stakeholders? We've worked with several  TestTrack customers recently who have shortened the feedback loop with the new web-based TestTrack RM Reviewer. During the project planning process, sponsors and stakeholders need to be consulted at regular intervals to ensure the project is on course to meet their objectives in delivering value to the business. Formal sign-off on requirements is also a common step in the planning process, at which point the team can begin implementation. Engaging with those folks for review and sign-off isn't complicated; you send them an email or schedule a meeting to walk through project requirements then badger follow-up until they provide feedback. In working with customers over the past few months who were looking at the TestTrack RM Reviewer web client, we've found a couple common areas of inefficiency that can be alleviated with TestTrack RM Reviewer. First, getting requirements to sponsors and stakeholders is time-consuming for the BA or project manager. Stakeholders frequently don't have access to TestTrack, so sending them an email notification with a link to the requirement document in TestTrack isn't an option. What is more common is to use the export capabilities to pull the document out of TestTrack and into Microsoft Word. This isn't super complicated, and if you have a Word guru on your team you can make some really clean and crisp documents. Aside from the time it takes to export and email the document, the bigger problem is that you've taken the "conversation" out of TestTrack. You now have a Word document floating around in email and someone will have to manually copy any feedback into TestTrack. Your BA is essentially doing data entry while the rest of the team waits for the green light to start implementation. Add Requirements Review NoteSecond, tracking responses is more complicated and time-consuming when done via email. You've pulled the document into Word, sent it out via email, now you wait... and wait... and then start starting sending follow-up emails. How are you tracking who has responded and who hasn't? What happens if a requirement needs updating based on feedback? Do you export the updated document to Word, and send it out to everyone for review again? How are you tracking what's changed, for folks that already reviewed it? While you were making updates, did other stakeholders conduct their reviews and provide feedback? When do those updates get sent out to the rest of the team? This kind of "off-line" conversation kills collaboration because everything has to run through the BA, which is cumbersome and inefficient. TestTrack RM Reviewer eliminates these two challenges by providing project stakeholders with a slimmed-down TestTrack client where they can quickly provide feedback and enter formal sign-off on requirement documents. No need to export to Word, manually enter feedback, or track email responses. If you haven't checked out TestTrack RM Reviewer yet, watch this video to see it in action.