A recent Methods & Tools survey was dedicated to the software tools used to manage software requirements. The following question was asked: “How does your project manage the definition of requirements (text, user stories, models,…)?” Here are the answers:
|We use office software (word processor, spreadsheet,…)||27%|
|We use more than one tool||21%|
|We use a commercial requirements management dedicated tool||18%|
|We manage requirements without software (paper, cards, boards,…)||13%|
|We don’t manage requirements definition||11%|
|We use an open source requirements management dedicated tool||10%|
Ending Date: August 2012
Source: Methods & Tools
Close to 80% of the participants use some software tool to manage their requirements, but there is no clear dominant answers in this poll, even if office software is still the main tool used to manage requirements. The second most chosen answer is the one that concerns the use of multiple tools. This could mean that no requirements management specific software seems good enough to do it on its own. This situation could also be caused by the importance of the text format usage for requirement definition. In a 2011 Methods & Tools poll, 36% of participants said that they use free text as a format to express requirements in their organization. Another explanation is that office software is already available in organizations. It is then easier to use this type of software than to buy a dedicated software to manage requirements, unless some specific needs like traceability is required by the context, for instance if the software product has to be certified by some organization like the FDA. The complexity of the requirements topic can explain the small impact of open source tools. There are however many open source UML or Scrum tools where UML models or user stories and backlogs can be defined and managed. Finally, the fact that 12% of the participants don’t manage requirements confirms the figure of 14% of organization where requirements were not formalized in the previous poll mentioned above.
State of Requirements Management 2011 (PDF)
Requirements and the Siren Song of Microsoft Office
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