This Fortune 500 company’s products and services are powered by internally developed technologies that are designed to provide security, convenience, and a sense of confidence to its customers. With development teams, customers, and partners scattered across 100 countries, the customer’s software development process needs to run as smoothly as possible. An integral part of the company’s application development process is the elicitation, specification, and analysis of high-level business requirements submitted by its business partners. Requirements definition and management needs to be textual, visual, and collaboratively defined in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding branding, loyalty programs, service options, and more. The company had been using a variety of off-the-shelf technologies, including Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, to manage all of its requirements. One Excel-based document was extremely critical to the company’s development process: It was the common vehicle for capturing all key requirements, and it also fed the company’s downstream testing tools to verify compliance to requirements.
Although the company’s development teams had been managing requirements with Word, Excel, and other standalone tools for the past 20 years, the company realized that more stringent government regulations and the company’s own internal growth objectives made this approach unsustainable. Increased competition, new online rivals, and the threat of commoditization were also pushing the need to deliver new products to market much more quickly.
The way the company managed requirements presented a number of challenges:
- Lack of collaboration: It was difficult for multiple development teams and clients to collaborate over requirements since only one person could work on a document at a time.
- Ineffective change management: Because requirements were managed in Word and Excel, it was very time consuming and difficult to identify and assess the impact of change.
- Limited reuse: Storing “final” requirements in siloed Lotus Notes databases and SharePoint-based repositories made it difficult for teams to reuse requirements from other projects.
This Fortune 500 company is relying on Micro Focus to orchestrate its requirements management process across its employees, partners, and customers. Over a thousand employees are involved in the initial phase of the project.
- Process orchestration across a global organization: Millions of dollars each year in rework and lost productivity will be saved by orchestrating the entire requirements elicitation and management process. Instead of manual processes and siloed tools, the company will use a flexible yet standard process across all geographies and divisions for managing requirements. Micro Focus allows the company to capture business needs for all of its partners, and then clarify and further refine them through rapid prototypes.
- Change management with compliance: It’s only natural that changes happen as requirements get coded – the client changes its mind, new competitive offerings are launched, or economic conditions fluctuate. Whatever the reason for change, Micro Focus surfaces the change to all teams who are impacted, routes it for the necessary approvals, and ensures that everyone stays in sync. Because the Micro Focus solution automatically creates audit history and traceability trails, the company will also be able to demonstrate compliance to strict regulations and standards – no matter how many times requirements change.
In addition to helping project teams, partners, and clients collaborate on requirements, Micro Focus can help ensure that all development teams learn from each other. While Agile development is starting to help the company develop products faster, it has limitations for teams trying to share best practices. Instead of having Agile teams start from scratch and figure out what user stories make sense for a client, Micro Focus helps both Agile and Waterfall teams look at what other teams have done and reuse requirements more easily – helping accelerate delivery of new products and services.