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I'm a software developer in a growing SaaS Human Capital Management provider (Agile) and we only use Team Foundation Server (TFS) to keep track of our backlog, stories, acceptance criteria, work order management, etc.

Requirements for stories are documented as acceptance criteria in TFS but highly unstructured. It is very hard to quickly find how things should behave without having to dive into Work Items or even into code.

In my previous job we used Rational Doors software as a requirement repository and it did the job but people didn't like it because it was slow and maybe too complex.

In my opinion, it's hard to become agile when your level of business complexity grows exponentially and you don't have a quick way to get answers. Besides that, where i'm at we tend to shy away from writing extensive documentation which will rarely be read, and even searching through documents is not very efficient.

Options I see:

  • Using our Intranet
  • Using office/TFS integrations
  • Using a Business Rule Management System
  • Using a software for requirements like IBM Doors.

Among the features I think would be needed:

  1. To be fast for searches and entries by all stakeholders like developers, business analysts, domain knowledge experts, etc (structured data)
  2. Hierarchical nature (promoting/demoting items)
  3. Linkage between areas and functional requirements
  4. If possible integrated to TFS

Any other recommendations?

Thanks,

  • Naive question: how much of your current behaviour could you document through unit tests? – Jimmy Breck-McKye Aug 12 '16 at 12:39
  • @JimmyBreck-McKye we currently have thousands of unit tests and it is not easy to track either. We rely on them just to make sure we're not breaking functionality when refactoring or adding new. Maybe organizing all the tests in a meaningful way could help. – Adolfo Perez Aug 12 '16 at 12:46
  • There are dozens of systems for project management, requirements management and issue tracking (or combined solutions), see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_project_management_software, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_issue-tracking_systems, makingofsoftware.com/resources/list-of-rm-tools. But honestly, we cannot pick one for you which fits to your company. And tool recommendations are off-topic for this site, sorry. – Doc Brown Aug 12 '16 at 12:46
  • If you're asking for tool recommendations, that's off-topic here. However, if you want to better understand how to develop a process around the tools that you have, you'll need to better describe your current process and what the problems in that process are. – Thomas Owens Aug 12 '16 at 13:06
  • @ThomasOwens Yes that was more my intention. I'll add more details of our current process. Wasn't really asking for a particular tool – Adolfo Perez Aug 12 '16 at 13:10
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Doors... (shudders uncontrollably)

A well-organized wiki can serve this purpose very well.

  • Articles about "features" and "components" can be organized with any useful structure, and cross-linked for reference between requirements and their implementations.
  • Any stakeholder can edit articles to keep them up to date.
  • Use navigation templates at the bottom of each article to help readers move between articles and contexts.
  • Most offer ways to render specific articles or sets of articles in printable formats (including PDF).

I'm a big fan of MediaWiki for this purpose, with Atlassian Confluence a sort-of-close second.

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