8 reasons for professional requirements management tools

Guest contribution by | 08.05.2023

As a manufacturer of technical products, it is essential to keep track of all requirements and ensure that they are met. Office tools, wikis or ticket systems are often still used for this purpose. But these tools have their limitations when it comes to managing complex requirements, tracking changes and collaborating with multiple stakeholders.

Specialised requirements management tools can greatly facilitate and improve these tasks. Nevertheless, many companies are still hesitant to implement such solutions. Some believe that they already have sufficient processes and tools in place to manage their requirements. Others do not recognise the need and believe that using an additional tool does not offer significant benefits.

However, requirements management tools offer specialised features that enable organisations to manage, track and communicate requirements more effectively. These functions can help to

  • reduce the error rate,
  • increase efficiency, and
  • improve collaboration between teams.

In the following, I would therefore like to outline the most important reasons why it would be negligent to continue to manage requirements without specialised tools.

Better organisation and tracing

When requirements are managed in office products or wikis, it can be difficult to keep track of them. Not only can it become confusing which requirements have already been implemented and which are still open, but also which cross-dependencies exist between requirements.

With a requirements management tool, this becomes much easier. The software enables a structured and organised management of requirements and ensures that nothing is lost or overlooked. The corresponding technical term is traceability. Different types can be distinguished:

  • Pre-requirements traceability refers to the traceability between requirements and their source. Example: Which stakeholder is interested in which requirement?
  • Post-requirements traceability refers to requirements and their relationships to other artefacts such as design, code, test cases, etc. Example: Which test case tests which requirement?
  • Inner traceability refers to the relationship of requirements such as business, stakeholder or solution requirements to each other and to their documentation, e.g. in the customer specification.
  • Requirements-to-task traceability describes the connection of requirements to tasks in project management. Example: Which developer realised requirement X with what effort?

In short, a professional requirements management tool makes it easier to monitor requirements so that problems are recognised more quickly and can ideally be resolved more quickly.

Better communication and cooperation

Requirements management is not only a question of organisation, but also of communication in particular. However, if requirements are only recorded in documents, it can be difficult to share information with others.

Requirements management tools make it possible for everyone involved to see at a glance what requirements exist, what processing state they are in and who needs to do what. The possibility to hold discussions directly in the software on individual requirements, to leave comments or to document releases also facilitates the cooperation of all those involved.

Higher efficiency and quality in requirements management

The main goal of requirements management is to ensure that the right requirements are properly understood and properly implemented.

The use of requirements management tools makes this process much more efficient. Not only can requirements be documented in a central location, but they can also be checked for linguistic accuracy and completeness in particular. This leads to rework being reduced to a necessary minimum. The “usual” rounds of clarification on the content or status of requirements are usually eliminated altogether.

Improved scalability

As a product grows and evolves, so does the number of requirements, associated solution ideas and test cases. What may have worked in Office documents at a certain point inevitably reaches its limits at some point. Probably nobody likes to scroll through an Excel document with 5,000 lines or a Word document with several 100 pages, right?

A specialised requirements management solution, on the other hand, can easily scale with an increasing number of artefacts without sacrificing functionality or usability. This is especially important when a company launches new products, develops product variants or wants to efficiently reuse existing ones.

Support for compliance with standards and regulations

Many industries have specific standards and regulations that must be met when developing products.

A requirements management tool can help meet these requirements by ensuring that regulatory requirements are captured, considered and demonstrated. It can also, for example, suggest specific functions or tests that are required for compliance with standards, generate documents and reports at the push of a button or fully document the lifecycle of individual requirements.

Fast and seamless integration into the existing tool landscape

Today’s (technically) leading requirements management tools are designed to integrate seamlessly into existing workflows and tool chains without requiring significant changes to processes or workflows. Rollouts that often took months to years with earlier requirements management tools can now be accomplished in a matter of days to weeks. Many manufacturers therefore publish and market corresponding interface information or offer the connection to existing solutions.

Intuitive usability of current requirements management tools

Professional requirements management tools have been around since the 1980s, when the focus on software-based systems increased and the complexity and scope of requirements grew. However, early requirements management tools were often very simple text editors or spreadsheets that offered limited functionality and collaboration capabilities.

In the 1990s, requirements management then evolved into a distinct area within software development and the first specialised requirements management tools emerged. These tools offered advanced features such as requirements management, traceability, versioning and the ability to collaborate. However, it cannot be denied that early generations of requirements management tools appeared or were extremely complex and complicated. Unfortunately, many solutions still have this reputation today, and without justification.

Most current requirements management tools now offer a good user experience. They are very easy to use and have intuitive user interfaces. In addition, many providers offer close-knit support for the introduction of appropriate software.

Rapid amortisation

The advantages of using a requirements management tool, such as improved efficiency and productivity, transparency and communication, lead to a quick payback despite the necessary acquisition and implementation costs. In addition, if possible errors and ambiguities in the context of requirements are recognised and corrected at an early stage, expensive corrections can be avoided later in the project. This not only saves time, but also costs.

As a rule, a saving of only a few working hours per user and month leads to a positive ROI of more than 1; a value that experience has shown to be more than exceeded by typical product manufacturers.


The use of requirements management tools has become indispensable for manufacturers of technical products to maintain an overview, not to overlook important requirements and to improve the quality of their products.

These tools significantly increase the efficiency and quality of requirements management: both in the immediate development and maintenance of requirements and in the use of requirements during the actual development. In addition, they offer improved scalability and support companies in complying with and proving regulatory standards.

Due to the intuitive usability, seamless integration and fast amortisation of today’s requirements management tools, there are in fact no more reasons not to use such tools.

On the contrary, in view of the increasing complexity of technical products, it is downright negligent to continue to rely on “stepmotherly” tool support of requirements management in success-critical development projects.



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And if you want to exchange ideas with Dr. Sebastian Adam about requirements management or requirements management tools, cloud application development, project management or IT consulting, you can simply contact him via LinkedIn. It’s certainly worth it.

Dr Sebastian Adam has published another article in the t2informatik Blog:

t2informatik Blog: Smart Requirements Engineering

Smart Requirements Engineering

Dr. Sebastian Adam

Dr. Sebastian Adam

Dr. Sebastian Adam is the managing director of OSSENO Software GmbH and operationally responsible for the areas of product innovation and marketing. Before joining OSSENO, he worked for more than 10 years as a consultant, scientist and team leader for requirements engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE). Dr. Adam has already accompanied several dozen companies and has cross-industry best practices regarding the introduction and execution of requirements engineering.