Tackling Common Challenges with Requirements Management in Microsoft's Azure DevOps

Product development ensuring safety compliance can be increasingly complex, especially in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, technology and automotive design. Teams need to navigate the entire process end to end – from requirement visualization and testing to uses cases and reporting – and this can be a consuming task, requiring the use of multiple different platforms that are not always compatible. In this post, you’ll find out how 1,000s of businesses are eliminating all the challenges of product development through one simple Requirements Management solution built within Azure DevOps: Modern Requirements4DevOps.

Challenge 1: Unclear requirements documents

From choosing a methodology to figuring out end goals, project managers and designers each have their own preferences to creating requirements documents, some of which might not be clear to others. Creating an unclear requirements document can result in projects that go over time, over budget and do not address the necessary challenges of the stakeholders involved.

The Solution: Use a flexible tool that accommodates all content formats


Whether members of your team build diagrams, flowcharts or documents, Modern Requirements4DevOps’ (MR4DevOps) tools allow you to take any approach to creating requirements. MR4DevOps’ “Smart Notes” features offer a free-form approach to creating requirements content. Use this tool to take meeting minutes, create To-Do lists, and link it to your requirements document, keeping everyone involved in the project on the same page.

Unclear requirements documents
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Challenge 2: Gathering correct requirements

Whether it’s usability, functionality or both, gathering comprehensive requirements is key to an effective product design. Without the correct requirements, a product may fail to meet regulatory compliance and stakeholder concerns.

The Solution: Leverage pre-built FAQs & easily gather requirements

 
MR4DevOps FAQs tool consists of pre-built question lists that help your team gather requirements faster and easier, ensuring that you collect robust and comprehensive requirements. All of these tools are also seamlessly integrated with Microsoft / ADO Servers, which turns your Azure DevOps project into a collaborative workspace to help identify requirements that meet the needs of all involved.
 
 
Gathering correct requirements

Challenge 3: Authoring and documenting requirements/changes

With multiple team members and stakeholders involved, it can be challenging to stay on top of changing requirements, updates and backlogs, leaving users hunting for past documents that contains the changes.

The Solution: Enable a complete and central source of truth

 
Designed to bridge the gap between document creation and requirements management, Smart Docs empowers users with documentation capabilities within Azure DevOps. This means your documents now live within your team’s project, and your team can finally benefit from a complete and central source of truth. With Smart Docs, users can build living requirements documents that update with your requirements, build fully versioned documents and link existing requirements or author new ones.
 

Authoring and documenting requirements changes

Challenge 4: Managing Orphaned Requirements

Orphaned requirements are siloed requirements which are hard to estimate the impact caused by requirement changes. Orphaned requirements can increase costs and time spent on work that does not relate to any other key requirements. For example, test cases not linked to requirements etc.

The Solution: Add Traceability Matrices to easily identify orphaned requirements

 
Requirements Traceability Matrix is a tool that provides teams with the ability to easily trace requirements from end-to-end. Traceability Matrices allow teams to visualize requirements in a hierarchy, identify disconnected and orphaned requirements, and provide an extra level of auditability. With MR4DevOps’ traceability matrices, you can easily capture end-to-end traceability, and identify orphaned requirements.


Managing Orphaned Requirements

Challenge 5: Creating mock-ups for visual presentation

It can be challenging to visualize how certain features and components will appear to users at the end of the design process. Attaching requirements directly to the design is often not possible and requires using multiple software and platforms, and redesigning these features once built is time consuming and wastes important resources.

The Solution: Use mockup tools directly in Azure DevOps

 

With the Mockups tool, users can prototype, wireframe, and mockup the interfaces that the team needs. The Mockup tool allows you to easily visualize how an interface, feature, or component will look like or be seen by a user.

 

Creating mock-ups for visual presentation

Challenge 6: Verifying requirements

Requirement verification involves user testing and deficiencies diagnosis – this is complicated by traceability, verifiability, and solution communication.
 

The Solution: Automatically generate user cases and diagrams

 
MR4DevOps’s use case tool allows you to convert your textual narrative into a process. These steps can be turned into requirements quickly and easily, and the tool can be used to write Use Cases textually and automatically generate a Use Case DiagramDiagramsbuilt directly within your project, can also automatically generate User Stories/requirements and Test Cases. Plus, with the option to have detail-oriented conversations separately from the general discussion, you can be sure that your collaboration on the smaller details never gets lost in the discussion.
 

Verifying requirements

Challenge 7: Gaps in Documentation & Reporting

Stakeholders and team members can find it challenging to collaborate within the same space, which means many different documents and templates to keep track of. This can result in gaps in the management requirements and reporting process.

The Solution: Create living documents and reports

 
MR4DevOps allows users to create living requirements documents and reports that update with your requirements. You can create/design customized report templates with Smart Reports, which allow you to output anything and everything within your project. You can also turn your requirements from a backlog, Smart Doc or a Diagram into a Smart Report – bringing the entire process into one space for the team to review and collaborate on.


Gaps in Documentation & Reporting

Ready to streamline your requirements management? 

Start your free 30-day trial of Modern Requirements4DevOps to overcome any and all authoring, designing, documenting, and requirements challenges. Every requirement you create will exist directly within your Azure DevOps project.

You have the option to try it in your own environment for a personalized experience or try it in Modern Requirements’ in-house Azure DevOps Server with pre-built templates.

Please note: If you choose to try it in your own environment, a valid Azure DevOps/VSTS account URL is required.

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