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A Complete Guide to Open Source Requirement Management Software

As the word states ‘Requirements Management’ means the process of managing requirements or the needs of any product.

For the successful delivery of the best quality product, the requirements should be in its best place.

Similarly, in the IT industry requirements place a very important role for successful user satisfaction and software/application delivery with minimum issues.

What is Open Source Requirement Management?

Read the above point and think about what it says. So OPaM is simply managing the requirements with mainly open source technology including open source software. It is all about building, managing and delivering any project with the help of best-of-breed (BOB) open source products and open source frameworks and thus complying the requirements.

Why to manage requirements with Open Source?

Let’s understand why this product and solution is perfectly designed for use.

  1. Open Source projects are more real-time, due to the features of collaboration, integration and high-level of community involvement.
  2. Pricing is a big issue with standards, and the changes in it, over a period of time, are not to the liking of the company. They want to be free from that situation. Thus, the company might need to invest heavily in a purchase of software.
  3. Open source projects always have some updated and up to date features, which the more expensive products might not have.
  4. Products are always paid for rather than free of cost using open source technologies and frameworks.
  5. Critical and important support and bug fixing, if any, can be expected from the developer community as well as from the company that developed that particular open-source product.
  6. There is a constant advantage in product design and function, which is expected to be upgraded over a long period of time.
  7. Companies can use open source products to design, customize and deploy as a software solution.
  8. Product maturity depends on the long-term use, which helps in providing easy availability of large-scale services.
  9. Selection of certain open source products helps in reducing the cost of the project.
  10. Most of the open source projects are kept updated and maintained by the free of cost software developers, which not only highlights the maturity and standard of the product, but also shows its great usability.
  11. Due to the community support of the Open Source product, bugs are always fixed, therefore, it helps in error free software.
  12. There is a transparency in the ecosystem of open source projects, which makes the project more useful as any client can access it as they want.

So, as the product is flexible and offers some great functionality with product maturity and standard, companies should select the best open source project to manage and fulfill requirements.

  1. Open source projects are quite renowned for its robust and scalable management, which helps in achieving more than just an ordinary product. This is mainly because of the development of project and maintenance.
  2. The Open Source Management System helps to quickly enhance the productivity of the developers and deploy the product securely.
  3. The Open Source Management System is often used as a quick survey tool for understanding the overall situation of any product or software solution.

How to manage Open Source requirements?

When looking to open source requirements management system (OSRM), there are some things that need special attention. These include:

  1. Increased project productivity: It is a good practice to take a decision in selecting the right product, which is if at all needed and not a necessity.
  2. Additional reusability: The products in the open source management system are available for use in various projects, which help in reusing current pieces of codes and promotes reusability. This reduces the development efforts, development time, and cost.
  3. Scalability: A great feature of this open source management system is that it allows multiple versions of the same product. This is possible due to the functionality and the design of the product, which is also scalable.
  4. Flexibility in development: The open source management system captures the requirements and provides the flexibility to the commercial software by using the existing products from this management system.

This is not the end of the story, but the beginning of more scope with open source products in the requirements management system. Remember that open source is never a bargain, it is an investment for any company, which has a long-term return on the initial investment. This will let the company survive the competition.

Business Challenge – Risk Management

Risk Management can be defined as a strategic planning, assessment, evaluation and management of the probability of an occurrence and its impact, risk severity, and deliberation and development of a specific plan to deal with the problem. With the help of risk management, a project can be analyzed before it is released in the cyberspace. Risk Management is a process that is carried out in an organization which helps an organization to deal with the risk. Risk Management is a systematic process. Its phases reflects the sequence from the creation of proposed risk, assessment of the risk, control of the risk and finally, it is reduced or extinguished. It is a good practice for an organization to include the risk in the overall process of managing the project deliverables. Risk management activities are also very much useful for the proactive planning efforts. It gives the organization an opportunity to manage the overall impact on the organization.

For this discussion, we look at the project deliverables, produced as part of the project development. There are two important types of deliverables, which are defined as project products and project documents. The Project Deliverables can be defined as the material and intellectual resources resulting from project activity and the time period within which these project products are expected to exist. The focus is on the results that are visible. The deliverable can be operational and management support deliverables that help a project manager. An output of the deliverable is the quality of the deliverable. These deliverables can have different types of forms and they serve different functions.

In the information technology (IT) industry, a deliverable can be used for internal purposes, external purposes, and for control and communication purposes. When a deliverable serves for internal and external purposes, it is known as project products.

Internal Project Products:

These are the project products, which are created within the life cycle of a project. These are the product of daily, weekly or monthly tasks. It is not necessary that these project products are produced in paper form or any physical form.

External Project Products:

These project products are important and contribute to the total output of a project. These are visible and they are created as a part of communication, influencing and control. These contribute to both the internal and external effort and supporting the project. These are also called as “Communication Products”.

Regression Test Plan:

It is a contract with stakeholders, that the newly developed software product is thoroughly checked and validated, to ensure the product quality and functionality. It is the document that contains the detailed description of the testing tasks. This test plan is prepared during the ‘definition’ and ‘verification’ phases of the software development life cycle. Regression Testing typically is performed after the major change in the system takes place. This plan is prepared to ensure that the entire system still performing the required functions.

Feedback Document:

It is a document given by the project manager to the stakeholders, which provides the detailed description of the project deliverables. This document is prepared during the ‘planning’ and ‘definition’ phase of the software development life cycle. The feedback document ensures the project manager about the project success and that the project meets the customer’s requirements.

Analysis Matrix:

It is a document, which includes the comparison of the project product with the relevant corporate norms and standards in the function. It is the document, which is prepared assuming the risk of software project is high and during the ‘planning’ and ‘definition’ phase of the software development life cycle.

Project or Project Related Document:

It is the document that contributes to the output of a project if it is a documentation of any project proposal. It is an essential requirement to the project success. It also manages the information and knowledge that is a part of the project. These documents are considered as project products because they are produced daily, weekly or monthly. Some of these documents such as the staff report, email, meeting minutes, personal writings, minutes of project meetings and reports, etc. are not created with the intention of the project. It is prepared during the ‘planning’, ‘monitoring and ‘control’ phases of the software development life cycle.

Controlling the risk in Project Risk Management helps the project manager and the project team to manage the overall project risk.

All the project managers should be aware of and willing to defend the following statements:

  1. The companies that implement a project risk management system are better positioned to anticipate, recognize and respond to risks, threats, and opportunities, as the situation may warrant.
  2. The project risk management improves the flexibility, adaptability, accuracy and credibility of the project.
  3. The project risk management reduces the cost of the overall project management process.
  4. The project risk management helps to manage and control the risks in an efficient and systematic way.
  5. A systematic project risk management facilitates projects of any size.
  6. The project risk management helps to determine the types of the project risks based on the project characteristics and the parameters of the project.
  7. The project risk management helps to identify the right methods for controlling the project risk.
  8. A good project risk management should clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each of the stakeholder groups or project participants.
  9. A risk management audit is the system of controls, which records project risks occurrence, status and the way they are remedied.
  10. Risk management audit is the process that ensures the quality of the project risk management system.

Some essential project deliverables that are of vital importance to the project project manager.

Key deliverables management is one of the most important parts of project planning. Without adequate strategic management on the part of the project team, you can expect that your project will run into some problem at some point. This section is intended to provide some of the key deliverables for you to learn about and then start using to manage your project. The goal of this is to provide some practical advice on how you can leverage the power of the key deliverables to control the cost and schedule of your project.

Project Schedule:

It is the list of all the work activities and time it will take to complete these activities. It is related to the project resources and activity duration. The project schedule is the basis for tracking and monitoring the project progress and also used for planning and controlling the project work.

Cost Budget:

It is the estimated cost and time required to complete the project. It is also called as “planned budget”. It is the important funding and project performance document that is prepared during the “planning” phase of the software development life cycle. The budget is used during the control, for tracking and for scheduling of the project.

Estimating Techniques:

There is nothing called precise estimating, which can give exactly the data about a cost or time. The project manager uses the estimating techniques to determine and manage the initial project cost and schedule. The technique used for estimating the cost and schedule depends on the project size.

Funding Plan:

It includes the methods and techniques to secure the funding required for a project. The funding plan also becomes an important project deliverable when it is prepared during the ‘planning’ phase of the software development life cycle. The funding plan is an essential part of project planning and management.

Meeting Minutes:

It is also known as Minutes of Meeting. It is one of the most important project deliverables, which is prepared and updated during the meetings such as Project Briefing, Business Case Review Risk Analysis, Risk Management, Business Meeting, Project Review, Monthly Review Meeting, etc.

Benefits of Open Source Requirement Management?

  • Improved efficiency
  • Cost savings
  • Ease of configuration to suit your business
  • Reduction in support costs
  • Reduction in time to market
  • Increased choice
  • Increasing flexibility in the way you do business
  • Quicker decisions
  • Help with remaining HIPPA compliant
  • Accredited Health Information Management solution
  • Improve Intra-Organizational Collaboration
  • Improve External Collaboration
  • Improve User Experience
  • Improve Communication and Coordination
  • Ensuring Vendor Compliance
  • Provide Vendor Self-Service
  • Programs
  • Status Report
  • Report on Donor User Intentions
  • Staff Report
  • Annual Report
  • Web-Site Development
  • Recruitment Packages
  • Support Packages
  • Personal Record
  • Project/Uniti Project/Requirement Document
  • Risk Register
  • Project Plan Report

What project deliverables are deliverables that are important to your project?

  • Functional and technical requirements
  • Test Cases
  • Manuals
  • Product Documentation
  • Integration Plan
  • Technical Architecture
  • User Requirements
  • Conceptual Design
  • Rough Plan
  • SPFD
  • Test Plan
  • Working Test Plan
  • Phase Transition Plan
  • Sprint Plan
  • Quality Plan
  • Software Requirements Specification
  • Functional Specification
  • System Requirements Specification

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