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Requirements management in Jira - the basics pt.2

This is the second part of the article about requirements management in Jira. Read the first part to learn what exactly is requirements documentation, who is responsible for gathering them, and what are the top 5 qualities of well-defined requirements. 

Types of requirements

There are different types of requirements. Knowing the two most basic ones, functional and non-functional, should be enough to start building a complete structure. But usually analysts distinguish a couple of additional ones, presented below. Thanks to this, all the stakeholders can see the purpose of particular objects at a glance.

typesofrequirements.png

The model of grouping your objects can be chosen individually, based on the project's needs. There are quite a lot of possible ways to structure the requirements that you can choose from, and organizing them by type is only an example.  

Why use Jira for managing requirements?

Jira was originally designed for bug tracking, but it grew to become a fully functional project management tool. For this reason, we believe that there's no better choice than to continue using it for the purpose, especially if it really does the job well for your project. The Atlassian suite helps you and your team keep your project's requirements documentation in order and make sure they meet all the attributes listed above. On top of that, all the team members can work together in a highly customizable, user-friendly environment. What exactly Jira can do for you so you could tighter integrate your software development process

It supports collaboration inside and across teams

Jira helps to stay aware and makes sure the other team members do, too. The Agile software development processes tend to be dynamic, so we can be sure that there will be some unexpected changes. In order to avoid chaos across the stakeholders, it's essential to keep everyone informed about all planned and implemented modifications. There are different ways to do that: traditional or more automated. If you have your process scattered and requirements are written in Excel, developers track the user stories in their separate tools, testers have their own solutions to execute test cases, and in the end, all people involved have to present their results in specially prepared reports - there is no other way than to set up endless meetings, write numerous e-mails, or look over their shoulders for consultations.

It doesn't have to be this way. If you put your requirements and the rest of the testing process inside Jira, and your whole team will be able to use it, you get an environment where updates are visible for everyone. Jira 8.0 sends e-mail notifications about changes to people involved in the project, who we can define manually. If you modify your requirements in Jira, you won't have to do that in any more tools - the risk of forgetting about telling someone will significantly decrease.

summaryemail.png

Summary e-mail from Jira 8.0. Source: Atlassian Documentation

You get full traceability

Using Jira, you can track every stage of your process and verify if all your requirements are safely covered with related Epics, stories, and test cases. Whilst collecting requirements, designing features and describing user stories, it's easy to miss something, especially in the case of big projects. Searching for the initial statements or mistakes which caused possible defects can be a really tough nut to crack after the final release. This is not, though, a problem if your team has a consistent process implemented inside one tool, where all the relations are well-described. Jira offers you the possibility of building a transparent structure from tasks and sub-tasks alone, and what's more, you can always create custom issue types for your testing objects. If it's still not enough, testing apps for Atlassian suite extend this feature to the maximum with a flexible tree-views, dedicated tabs that displays all the relations, and special reports with charts.

Jira takes care of each team member's needs

For example, whilst working with the Atlassian tool, you can prepare the dictionary of business terms, available for everyone, from clients to developers. This tip can be extremely useful when we're working within a big team and have to ask for consultations before and after each sprint. Expressing the needs in requirements' description is not always easy, and related issues may have quite costly consequences. This is why it's worth an effort to prepare the dictionary of common business and technical terms which would explain basic concepts and definitions to everyone involved. It may seem to be unnecessary in the whole software development process, but you can be surprised by how a little bit of additional preparation speeds up the rest of the activities later. 

Key takeaway

The software development lifecycle is a complicated but logical process consisting of multiple stages. It strongly relies on requirements management and business analysis, as they initiate everything that's going to happen next. To maintain your project in top shape, keep in mind that none of the phases is independent, and all the team members work together for the successful final release. Jira Software is a popular project management tool, which can help your team achieve that goal. However, it can not be enough when it comes to more complicated projects. In this case, you may need extensions, like for example Requirements and Test Management for Jira by Deviniti. Without any doubt, this is the best way to seamlessly integrate your testing process with Jira. The app is feature-rich, and its plug&play configuration usually allows analyzing requirements and performing software tests right after the installation, without any additional training for your team.

If you’d like to read more on bringing requirements management into Jira, we invite you to visit our blog: 

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