How does requirement gathering and elicitation differ from requirements management?Requirement elicitation refers to the process of understanding what a client wants and conveying this information to the project team so the client's needs can be addressed. Characteristics of atomic requirements are as follows: correctness, completeness, clarity, testability, and design independence.
Requirements management refers to the active management of the needs of a project. This includes things such as:
- Organizing individual requirements into a mosaic that represent an initiative.
- Identifying requirement gaps or situations where a high-level requirement exists but lower-level ones do not. These situations identify areas where further probing may occur (recall in a previous post Defining requirements by priority I stated that areas with minimal or low benefit might not be investigated at all. That's why I say, may.) This provides visibility into the state of the requirements and can be extended into the design aspects of a project or beyond.
- Understanding how a change (or change request) to a requirement will impact other requirements; upstream and downstream. This is a function of traceability.
- Ensuring consistency for a set of requirements. No contradictions please.
- Reuse of components throughout. There will only be one place to make a change.
Requirements management can be done manually in something like MS Word or MS Excel, but the cost in terms of maintenance will be very high. As such, I would suggest you make use of tools such a Rational RequisitePro or Telelogic DOORS. These tools allow you to link between individual items and traverse the linkages easily. Traceability is what allows for the benefits of requirements management. However, to make requirements management useful, you must master the skill of gathering requirements first.Think of it this way, view the gathering of a requirement as the construction of a single instrument. View requirements management as the symphony of many instruments working together in harmony.