What is requirements management?

Requirements management is an iterative set of activities in a project that includes eliciting, collecting, and capturing requirements from the clients and stakeholders, followed by documenting, refining, prioritizing, categorizing, and tracking requirements towards being fulfilled It also includes accommodating change, conveying the change to all stakeholders and clients, progressing with their approval, and change control. It is a continuous process and lasts throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Requirements management is a combination of activities such as requirements gathering, requirement documentation, requirements definition, requirements analysis, and requirement monitoring for ensuring traceability of project requirements throughout the project lifecycle.

Requirements management in simple terms is a sequence of the following activities: 

  1. Finding out features and functionality the clients want in the product
  2. Negotiating and mutually agreeing upon those needs
  3. Refining them to convert them into actionable requirements 
  4. Prioritizing those requirements and weeding out the non-feasible ones 
  5. Conveying these changes to clients and getting their approval on it
  6. Forming the requirements into tasks and assigning them to teams or teammates and
  7. Tracking those until they are completed and the product is ready to be deployed. 

In Agile and Scrum terminology, software requirements are called ‘user stories’. User stories or user requirements can be defined as informal, natural language and very high-level definitions of a requirement, containing a description of the software feature the user wants with just enough information so that the developers can create a reasonable estimate of the effort to implement it.

Requirements management involves constant communication for review between the project’s team and stakeholders, product owners, and clients to keep requirements traceable. It does not end with product release. Once the product is deployed, the insights and reviews about the product’s acceptability are consolidated and investigated for the next generation or release. The course of action derived from this data is a part of the requirement gathering and elicitation phase of the requirement management process that has begun again.