Keeping Up With Change in Product Development


iStock_000041876160_FullThe only thing you can count on is change. That’s especially true in the world of product and system development. Staff, schedules, priorities, competition, and resources all impact requirements specifications and can drive changes at any time – and at multiple times – throughout the development lifecycle.

So if you are tasked with leading the charge for your company's product development, it is vital that you stay (or become) dynamic - especially when it comes to your requirements specificiations. 

Your requirements specifications must be a fluid, dynamic document, with each requirement standing alone so that modifications can be made to individual requirements. At the same time, requirements must be organized in a way that it is easy to detect when changes to one requirement affect related requirements surrounding it.

Adhering to a Process

Once your requirements are organized and named accordingly, then it’s important that you have a change management system in place and that everyone on the team abides by it. When defects are detected late in the cycle, it can seem easier just to have an informal chat with developers and make quick backend changes to the functionality without addressing the source requirement.

But this wreaks havoc on the process and on subsequent projects that may be developed using the same requirements.

By bypassing the process, developers could end up making changes that were already rejected, or work on changes that haven’t been approved. They could compromise other essential functionality. Moreover, changes could be made without the right people being involved and without everyone on the team knowing.

Following an effective requirements specification template in establishing your requirements can help ensure they are dynamic and that any changes made are easy to document and keep track of.

Using the template, you can be sure:

  • Requirements are organized and named correctly so that each requirement can be expressed separately from other requirements

  • Changes can be made and documented at any time there are new needs in a product or system’s functionality, physical characteristics, reliability, response time, design constraints, purchased components, or interfaces

  • Related requirements are grouped together and easy to locate with a table of contents and index that can be cross referenced

  • The right tool is used so that a history of changes to each requirement is maintained

Taking the time at the beginning of the requirements gathering process can ensure that your requirements document will be able to change and transform over time.

Are you looking for assistance in writing dynamic requirements? Tecnova’s Requirements Specification Template is a hands-on tool for clearly communicating hardware and systems specifications that can be changed, expanded, and reused as your business environment evolves. Download it below!


Topics: Electronic Engineering