Communicate Requirements – Vendor offerings

I recently attended a webinar on communicate requirements. It was an interesting one and here are some highlights of the session. The webinar was hosted by IIBA(International institute of Business Analysis) and vendors were invited to present their solutions on Requirements suite primarily focusing on Requirements communication. The vendors were 1. Blueprint 2. Top team analyst 3.IBM As a prelude to vendor presentation, importance on Requirements package and best practices was mentioned. Requirements package selects and structure requirements to ensure they are effectively communicated. Understood and usable by one or more stakeholders. The success of any requirements package depends on the format and attributes like what,how,detail,frequency of the communication has to be understood. It is also important to knock down on who prepares which piece based on skills, availability and knowledge. Blueprint – Requirements center 2010 John Stetic of Blueprint talked about their product Requirements center 2010 which is aimed at streamlining and improving the processes of authoring requirements, validating it and communicating requirements through the downstream software development lifecycle. This product has gone through seven releases since its inception in 2004. Like Requisite pro, It is also has textual editor for writing requirements. It also has a feature of converting the textual requirements into business process diagram through the editor which can also be modified as needed later. From the BP diagrams, it can subsequently be converted into UC diagrams, UC specifications, I Mockups(screens) and Glossary. All these through respective editors. The tool has effective document revision function to track the changes through checkin/checkout option. All these data will be stored in a central repository which again is version controlled & collaborative in nature. It can be fully traceable which aids impact analysis and coverage analysis. Once the requirements are documented, The tool has features to validate requirements by document generation and simulation. It auto generates word documents and can operate in template driven approach. It was also mentioned that it generates a consumer/reviewer friendly output ( like pdf..). It also simulates requirements and captures feedback into system. Requirements center 2010 Communicate requirements through auto generated word, excel and HTML. It has a capability of generating 100% of functional test scenarios from the requirements which will be emailed to the QA team as per mail configuration. It also has a predefined applets to update QC with the scenarios. The product is integrated with leading ALM( Application lifecycle management) solutions.It can auto populate the requirements based on the template chosen by the enterprise. Their customers lists includes Chase,Lowes,Motorola,Pfizer,Verizon,Merck,Capgemini etc.. Top Team analyst TopTeam Analyst is a fully integrated end-to-end solution for Requirements Definition and Requirements Management. Ashu potnis of Top Team analyst, started off mentioning about how important is requirements communication in a project with multiple stakeholders being involved. It is important that the one document(I.e. requirements doc) is well understood by Business users,QA,Architects,developers,Product managers, Project managers,BA’s etc. The layered requirements (onion diagram) has information at varying level with minimal information at Context diagram and maximum information in detailed requirements through UC diagrams & Use case scenarios/specifications. Top Team has a feature of documenting and communicating the requirements at various levels like Context diagram, UC diagram, BP diagram, through scenarios, Screen mock up’s. The best part is users can receive requirements at desired level( say Context diagram level( high level) for Project sponsors & Use case specifications / mock up’s for developers) can be preset. This way the tool automatically email outs the appropriate level of document. It also has a feature where the users can approve artifacts with digital signatures. Top Team generates test cases automatically based on the requirements and can also be integrated with QC. It baselines the requirements and does version controlling. The tool has features in Use case modeling, Requirements management, Requirements traceability, Test case management, Baseline management, Project management, Wire framing and BPM. PWC,3M,GE,Siemens,HP,Philips,Costco are their key logos.. IBM – Blueworks live IBM blueworks live chief story teller Mihnea started off saying how effective their cloud solution to cloudy requirements. He mentioned about the three rights (The right thing, The right time, the right person) in requirements management space and how their tool can help clients organize and communicate requirements effectively. The tool is designed such that every user participates in process discovery, mapping and automation right from their web browser. IBM positions Bluework Live as their one stop shop for all BPM related tasks.. Blue Live converts a bulleted list of activities into a set of activity boxes which can then be re-arranged, stacked and grouped through simple drag and drop to come up with a process map. What interested me was the slide which had the information about how users can communicate in the environment which resembled social networking sites. Screen shot attached..It has has a feature of rolling up previous days conversations and archives it for certain number of days/weeks..Users can also follow items,say for eg.if certain stakeholder interested in updates on certain requirement document, they can do it by following that item..It has built –in communication features such as instant messaging, live feed, subscribing etc..The tool has a feature of documenting the requirements to use case generations to screen mock ups to communicating requirements to assigned users. It also generates a Glossary at the end of the requirement document. The automatic routing of document approval is well integrated with outlook, lotus and other email applications.. Blueworks live pricing in US is $50 per user per month for editor and $10 per user per month for contributors..

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