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Enhancing product development with requirements management

Worldwide IoT and Industrial Digital Strategist, IBM

Internet of Things (IoT) products have a huge potential to make our lives better, but developing these products can be challenging. They are complex and riddled with interdependencies that can cause costly incompatibility failures or delayed product launches. So how can you effectively develop and deliver IoT-related products? How can you make sure the product you’ve developed meets its original requirements? The key is to ensure that requirements drive the entire product development process with a strong requirements management strategy.

http://www.ibmbigdatahub.com/sites/default/files/blog_iotproductprocess_blog.jpgRequirements management is a set of methods and processes that helps you translate customer and market needs into the right products. It helps increase predictability in product development by helping control changing requirements. At the same time, it helps minimize cost and risk by allowing teams to assess the impact of changes before they are implemented.

Engineering products for the IoT means considering new requirements that are different than the ones typically seen in product development, as well as building products, devices and sensors that are easily updated to adjust to new demands and regulations. Requirements management can help with the development of products, but also makes product updates much simpler as they become necessary. Organizations must manage requirements through the lifecycle of a development project—and, in most cases, even after the project has moved to deployment, use and maintenance. In many cases, managing requirements may even extend to disposal. Sound management throughout the entire lifecycle of a product ensures less downtime and helps reduce reengineering. 

Surveys consistently put requirements management issues ahead of managerial and technical issues as causes of project failures. This is true whether the failure is an overrun on schedule, a cost that is greater than originally budgeted, inability to meet requirements—or all three. However, many IoT product development challenges are easily overcome through requirements management oversight. 

There are six key benefits of using a requirements management tool when developing products for the Internet of Things:

  1. Live collaboration
  2. Consistency
  3. Traceability
  4. Understanding change
  5. Requirements reuse
  6. Making your data work for you

To get details about these key benefits and to learn how to put them in action, check out the new study, Requirements management for the Internet of Things