9. Requirements baseline

A baseline is a starting point or a basic standard for comparison. So, a requirements baseline is what the project team and the client agree upon as a minimum deliverable in any given iteration. A requirements baseline represents an agreed-upon, reviewed, and approved set of requirements that have been committed to a specific product release. That iteration or release could be a milestone or phase of the product, a complete, delivered product, or any interim developmental increment of the product. Sometimes, a requirements baseline can be called documentation of certain requirement items, attributes, and artifacts at any given point in time.

Once the requirements are baselined, any changes proposed need to go through a rigorous process of confirmation. If there are any changes, those changes are further subjected to a process of evaluation based on feasibility; impacts to cost, schedule, and risk and then formally approved or rejected.

Baselining your requirements and getting the ‘go-ahead’ from all stakeholders before the project team begins the design and development phase ensures that everyone is on the same page about what the designers are expected to implement with their design. This helps the team stay focused and on track, reduces design inconsistencies, and keeps the big picture in view, ultimately meeting stakeholder expectations.

Most high performing organizations make use of project and requirements management software to manage requirements efficiently, produce the required artifacts and documents faster and better, and communicate with stakeholders.

But some organizations implement an even stricter and more controlled requirements approach with a specialized requirements management software that allows requirement baselining and version control as well.

The Xebrio requirements management software, for example, is expertly crafted, giving due importance to the difficulty of requirement change management. Xebrio follows your requirements right from the beginning all the way to when it becomes a full-fledged functionality as envisioned by the stakeholders. Every proposed change or progression that the requirement undergoes is communicated with the end-users or stakeholders and is implemented only with their multi-stepped approval.