Great Requirements Management Tools That Will Make Your Job Much Easier

Business Analyst Tools 2

A few tools to boost your business analysis potential

As many of you already know, tools and software for business analyst is NOT always a top priority for most companies. In most cases, MS Word, MS Excel, and MS Powerpoint are the only business analyst tools your company provides you along with an out-dated requirements template, that is most likely in MS Word. Unfortunately, our jobs as business analyst can become complex and when certain valuable aspects of our deliverables become "difficult"... in most cases we elect not to do them, and I can't blame you. So, until Microsoft Comes Up With MS Business Analysis (PM's Already Got MS Project!), here are some requirements management tools to bring some sanity to your everyday life.

Tools Your Company Might Already Have (Civilian Gear)

Sharepoint: I've said this before, but I'll say it again, "SharePoint is not a requirements management tool". HOWEVER. It does have a lot of powerful features that can bring some ease to traceability, approvals, collabaration and the organization of your requirements. Of course it will take some knowledge of Sharepoint, but your a smart BA, and you can do it. For tips, check out Sharepoint Requirements management. I personally have used it to make my job and life a whole lot easier.

Requirements Management Software for the Business Analyst Mercenaries Out There

businessanalysttools1If you are a consultant or contractor, than sometimes it's appropriate to bring your own tools to the fight and Gatherspace might be the right pick for you. The quality of requirements play an enormous role in the success of a project, and yet many companies still leave you hanging when it comes to providing tools specific to the requirements analysis activities. You, however,  should not wait for someone to else to get you what you need, sometimes you have to go out there and get it yourself! Gatherspace is the most affordable for a single business analyst and can be scaled to a larger group.

Enterprise Requirements Management Tools for Business Analyst Armies

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If you have the backing and the budget for an enterprise level initiative, then I would check out, Jama and Blueprint. There are plenty more than these two, but these are my top picks. Mostly for the user experience factor. They just look and work great. I even had a chance to play in the environments and get live demos. I was pretty impressed. The tracing capability alone sold me for each of these (one of the hardest things to keep track of). These tools really simplify impact analysis and change management. These tools not only ease the create and documentation of deliverables, but they also make the collaboration and approval process a breeze. 


 

11 thoughts on “Great Requirements Management Tools That Will Make Your Job Much Easier”

    1. Hello Angelo,

      Pictures are funny indeed. I do think, in most of the large size organizations, people prefers to use their own tools and there are several factors that determines which tool is chosen for the job.Since having the right tool is as important as your business approach, one need to put pay attention to those factors like compatibility with other tools that are used for design docs, QA team deliverables etc.That helps to maintain a repository as well as traceability. So, I would rather suggest to be familiar with a range of tools than just one or two of mine.Please share your thoughts.

      1. As a good business analyst, you should definitely be able to use any provided tool to maximize you effectiveness. I would say here though, my goal was to point out tools have been proven to actually increase our effectiveness as business analyst professionals.

  1. Great points and insight, Angelo.

    I have to agree with you on the Blueprint tool.

    They did a case study presentation at an Atlanta IIBA chapter meeting two years ago on its use at Southern Company and I was impressed as most everyone was in the audience. I particularly liked the re-usability of requirements and the ease of traceability but their license is at a price that most companies that do not believe in the value of the BA role in software development, balk at shelling out.

  2. Hi guys,

    I need your help…!!!

    Can any one suggest me the requirment management tool for free. As a individual contributor I cant affored my company to buy the product. Neither I can invest for personal use. Please suggest me.

    Thanks and Regards

    Hussain

    hussain786blr@gmail.com

    1. Sorry for the late reply Hussain. Totally free is difficult because even MS Word and Excel aren't free. Confluence might be a good start if you want to also collaborate online without having to email a bunch of documents. However, it is actually just a robust Wiki architecture (which is still better than MS Word in many ways). 

      In all honesty, if you don't have a specific tool, then you just have to get creative with what you do have to make it work. Google docs also has a variety of diagramming addons that might make it a viable option as well.

  3. hello, please help me.. i am doing requirement traceability for my final project degree, to do the RTM, i am just using the Microsoft Excel, but my supervisor ask me to use any tools for making the RTM, can u please suggest me one tool & how to use it – in a simple way…

    1. Hi Eim,

      Most tools that are more specific to BA work will likely be very expensive. This is because they are usually intended for entire enterprises and when you are trying to trace requirements enterprise-wide, excel might not be the easiest to manage. For you however, I think Excel is likely one of your best options because its easy to manipulate to be exactly what you need. 

      The only other option would be making a diagram (usually visually similar to an organization chart/hierarcy) that shows traceability in a more visual way. MS Visio is the power tool, but the same can be accomplished with draw.io (Free), Lucid Charts, or Creately

  4. Hello, great post and video. One question, can you create a tutorial to creating the Sharepoint Traceability module you created? I love the idea and will come back and check this post regularly. Thanks or email me stevej1238@gmail.com

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