What is Requirements Management?

Requirements management is the process of how companies define, manage, verify, and validate ideas and meet stakeholder needs at every step of the product lifecycle beginning as early as idea creation through product development and commercialization.

What is requirements management software?

Requirements management software is a solution that can help you map requirements to a concept design and determine early in a product's lifecycle if requirements are both achievable and provide the ability to capture and mitigate risks associated with requirement fulfilment. When done properly, companies can use requirements management software to ensure projects and product launches meet desired customer functionality and target objectives by making ideation to commercialization a collaborative effort across cross-functional teams and capture, enrich, and manage requirements and requirements traceability across cross-discipline detailed design and test cases.

By taking an outdated and manual approach to requirements management, you risk having substandard requirements definition, verification, and validation processes, which ultimately undermines competitiveness; wastes time, budget and resources; and increases the risk of failure to deliver critical functionality to your customers. By embedding lean systems engineering into your innovation, development, and commercialization processes, you can quickly assess the status of requirements fulfillment and product readiness, adapt and respond to markets more quickly, and improve business performance.

Modern PLM software embeds requirements management functionality to help you simplify and streamline your approach to lean systems engineering in a wide variety of business processes, roles, and industries. With Oracle Fusion Cloud Product Lifecycle Management you can clearly define, easily manage and quickly trace requirements through the entire product lifecycle and empower your organization to accelerate time to market, increase customer satisfaction, improve success rates, and reduce overall costs.

Read the ebook: Learn how PLM software supports requirements management (PDF)

What are the impacts of poor requirements management

Few companies have adopted a dedicated process for requirements management. Even fewer execute best practices of transformational lean systems engineering efficiently and effectively. Such companies are left capturing and communicating their requirements using a disconnected document-based approach, where critical requirements are spread across documents, spreadsheets, presentations, shared drives, email, and even paper. Visibility, traceability, collaboration, requirements change control, and impact analysis suffer accordingly, and the antiquated approach may result in slower time to market, failed products, increased costs from wasted cycles and lost revenue.

Requirements management with modern PLM software

As business and supply-chain complexity grows, lean systems engineering, enabled by modern requirements management, becomes a vital part of the ideation to commercialization (I2C) process. Manual methods for capturing, communicating, and managing the changes in requirements simply cannot keep pace with today’s business needs. Only fully integrated cloud-based solutions can simultaneously deliver decomposed, verified, and validated requirements linked to product information to all stakeholders throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Oracle Cloud Product Lifecycle Management takes a systematic approach to managing the entire lifecycle of a product, from selecting and translating the best ideas, requirements, and concepts into development portfolios and projects, through to the product-development and release process, and into the supply-chain and sales-commercialization processes.

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Integrated Product Lifecycle Management and Supply Chain Management software

Without end-to-end traceability, from initial requirements definition to final test results, projects go off-track and companies waste resources delivering the wrong solutions. Many companies find that homegrown solutions and spreadsheets (their traditional and default approach) are inadequate. With Oracle’s requirements management software, you can quickly associate and thoroughly evaluate requirements against conceptual designs to ensure projects meet target technical criteria. By digitally threading requirements management processes into the concept, design, development, commercialization, sustainment, and end-of-life, companies have a traceable system of record and can ensure each product’s objectives are met.


Crossing the chasm from ideas to requirements:

“We need a more efficient process for capturing and communicating/translating customer and market needs into technical requirements to ensure that each critical value-driver requirement has been achieved.”

Requirements/test traceability, verification and validation:

“We must have accurate and reliable systems-engineering traceability that validates and verifies test execution to better manage risk and achieve regulatory requirements.”

Lean systems engineering:

“We need to execute product design and development more efficiently by integrating hardware, electrical and software requirements using agile/scrum methods delivered with short, iterative design cycles.”

Requirements reuse:

“We want to leverage and reuse previous requirements, tests, and system architectures to shorten the time required to bring iterative designs or new products to market.”

C-level officers (CEO, CFO, CTO, and CIO):

“Help me to increase the probability of success and profitability for each new product offering. We need faster and better visibility into our ability to deliver critical market requirements to eliminate waste and reduce time to market.”

Design and development management professionals (VP engineering, VP development, chief architect and chief systems engineer):

“Help me to systematize lean systems engineering best practices across requirements management, test management, and system architecture in order to increase productivity and manage scope.”

Product or project managers (chief systems engineer and chief architect):

“Help me achieve a single source of truth for requirements capture, collaboration, scope analysis, change management, verification, and fulfillment to minimize waste and maximize use of our resources.”

Design engineers and team members:

“Help me provide a collaborative environment where teams can correctly interpret and dissect each requirement, communicate and capture risk, and scope decisions and relate each to the end design, so there are no downstream missed-requirement surprises.”

Life Sciences:

“Increasing regulatory requirements (spanning geographies) have created compliance challenges as companies develop new products to address unmet patient needs. Compliance failures can be costly, so it’s vital to identify and mitigate risks in the development process.”

High Tech:

“Ensuring the voice of the customer is heard and retained through the product-design process has become a prerequisite to remaining competitive, and to responding more accurately to increasingly complex customer, regulatory, and market-driven hardware and software requirements. In order to ensure consistent definition and execution of the engineering, test, and validation requirements lifecycle, unified requirements management is a must.”

Industrial Manufacturing:

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is playing an ever larger role in the Industrial Manufacturing market segment. To avoid recreating tools and devices that have already been specified and implemented, requirements and test reuse are an absolute must. As a result, advanced requirements and test management are now crucial to the integration layers.”

Consumer Packaged Goods:

“Customer & supplier co-creation shortens product cycles, improves time to market and reduces product failures. Centrally managing and reusing requirements, test, and product information improves product quality and customer satisfaction; the new products that are developed accurately reflect the voice and needs of the customer.”

Aerospace and Defense:

"Given the massive consolidation of the industry, overlaid on extended supply chains with long lead times, innovation has become even more challenging to bring to fruition. Without highly efficient and lean systems engineering throughout the requirements and test solution architecture, it’s much more difficult and time-consuming to achieve revenue growth and minimize scrap."

Requirements management use cases

Transform ideas from requirements to commercialized products

Technical requirements typically come from a variety of disparate sources throughout the enterprise. Given the amount of change and variability that can exist in translating a high-level idea or marketing requirement into technical requirements and design detail that endures throughout an item’s lifecycle, there is a high probability that incorrect system architecture will go unnoticed, causing longer time to market, inaccurate product information, and poor customer experience.

A simplified requirements, test-management and system architecture provides a unified and governed environment in which all key stakeholders, both internal and external, can engage in lean systems engineering. This is where an open-architecture cloud or web-based portal is ideal, because it enables data to be controlled from anywhere, at any time, from any device, and from any process. A single PLM repository will ensure product-requirements data is consistent with built-in controls and business-rule validations so that lean systems’ engineering processes and best practices can be governed in real time. This means that you’re ready to launch a new product more quickly into multiple sales channels, while having confidence that precise product information was utilized and will be delivered.

Requirements reuse

Today, between 60 and 80 percent of new products come as options and variants on previous designs. Depending on the industry, most of the new contributions come from software, while sectors such as mechanical, electrical, packaging, regulatory requirements and so on have a slower rate of change. The more efficiently an organization can reuse design and development artifacts, the more quickly new products are brought to market, and the less scrap and waste is created. Yet many organizations are not seeing the benefits they expected from reuse due to a lack of systems-engineering discipline.

A modern cloud-based requirements and test-management solution offers many ways for internal and external users to provide and receive data using a variety of devices and from a range of sources. Not only are these processes automated in the cloud; they also deliver continuous business-rule validations and verification of data so that all parties can validate the information they provide and ensure its authenticity. This helps your business leverage continuous improvement cycles because you’re not creating new requirements, test and system architectures when adequate ones already exist.

Requirements, Test Traceability, Verification, and Validation

With manual and inefficient systems-engineering processes, products often get to market late and are riddled with inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete requirements and test information. This leads to lost sales, customer dissatisfaction, and increased operational costs.

To empower a streamlined systems-engineering process that incorporates the ability to verify and validate, organizations need comprehensive traceability (from requirements to test). Having a modern lean systems-engineering solution in the cloud means that businesses can run their entire product I2C process using dependable, up-to-date requirements and test specifications—which means they can reduce latency. This results in a quick win by accelerating time to market and gives the organization a competitive advantage in a dynamic market.

Lean Systems Engineering

Today’s businesses are confronted with the challenge of providing customers with quality and accurate products in increasingly shorter cycles. To keep up with high customer expectations, companies need to engineer products in leaner and more efficient ways so that they improve time to market and control costs.

An effective lean systems-engineering capability enables complete, reliable verification and validation. How? Through more-efficient trade studies, impact analysis, purchasing decisions, and critical-path risk mitigation, which uses failure modes and hazard analysis.

How requirements management supports your job role

Requirements management for executives

To perform well, you need to rapidly digitize all aspects of your business. Executive leadership teams need accurate systems-engineering data to make key business decisions in dynamic environments to introduce new products and drive profitability.

Mastering requirements and test management will enable you to leverage product information to continuously adapt to changing market conditions—and increase revenue and profit. As you maximize your existing investments by picking the best ideas to convert into products (while quickly shedding the losing one’s), you empower your business to innovate and simultaneously enable meaningful business-process transformations.

Requirements management for product development and engineering

You need to enable new product development without business disruptions. One great advantage of an integrated requirements and test-management solution in the cloud is that it can establish a clean and accurate environment for requirements validation and test verification while capturing the key elements of system architecture. This means that technical engineering professionals can help the business derive immediate business value from lean systems-engineering practices that enable faster time to market while minimizing waste and scrap. When your business decides to transition its systems-engineering processes and best practices fully to the cloud, development teams can benefit from the shared schema/solution architecture data. In parallel, the cloud enables you to build any new integrations to run end-to-end processes on one integration layer. Design and development professionals will be able to uptake new functionality for requirements management without the need to upgrade existing software development or ERP systems—meaning no disruption to your business processes or best practices.

Requirements management for product and project managers

As a product manager, you need to quickly determine if your new products are commercially viable, and can be delivered within the budget, resource availability and schedules. Mastering requirements management will accelerate product development from ideation to commercialization, simplify the approach to new-product introduction, and increase the probability of successful product launches.

A unified cloud-based solutions platform for requirements, test, and system architecture aligns innovation and commercialization by taking a holistic approach to introduce the right new product or service on time and on budget. Streamlined processes like trade studies, impact analyses, make/buy decisions and critical-path risk management improve the efficiency and effectiveness of new-product introduction.

A requirements management solution in the cloud empowers product managers to collaborate earlier in the product design and commercialization process for maximum creativity, verification, validation, and optimization so that the best and most competitive product or service is released. With visibility into the business process, the best product-development decisions can be made, and pivots can be executed quickly when needed.

For those organizations that don’t have a dedicated PLM (product lifecycle management) solution, a requirements management solution can be the initial source of new product data, providing the level of governance, control, and visibility needed to define new products efficiently.

Requirements management for design engineers

Design engineers and team members must maintain the accuracy of product information to empower mission-critical systems. With potentially hundreds of attributes required to operationalize a product and thousands of places where errors can propagate throughout your system, what’s needed is a requirements or test-management and systems-architecture hub to maintain accurate information and reduce costly scrap from reworking projects.

With the strong foundation of lean systems engineering in the cloud, you can execute your key end-to-end business processes and best practices. With a modern single-solution architecture, you can maintain accurate views of release readiness that drive investment decisions into new products with the right timing for market intervals.

How requirements management supports your industry

Requirements management for life sciences

This industry faces unique challenges from heavy regulation and long product-development cycles that entail massive investments in research and development. As an example, the cost of bringing a new drug to market has increased exponentially over the last several decades. All requirements (pertaining to regulations, packaging, patient needs, the intended use, and design) need to be managed by a systems-engineering or requirements management solution that is auditable, traceable, secure, and reportable.

With lean systems engineering and requirements management, medical-device companies can define product requirements clearly. This enables them to track patient needs to resulting medical device and therapeutic design, and thereafter to test cases and test results. Requirements and test management serve as the central information hub for all of the development and execution of data collection, verification, validation, tracking, and traceability mandated in this highly regulated industry. The aim is to help produce better medicines and devices that help people live longer, healthier, more active lives.

With a modern requirements management solution, Life Sciences companies establish scalable and secure solution architectures that benefit from streamlined and global market-registration regulations. Lean product-systems engineering gives pharmaceutical companies a single view of how formulations’ ingredients will be sourced globally and regulated throughout the supply chain. To support global market registration and ensure that regulatory standards are maintained throughout the development process, pharmaceutical companies need to ensure primary packaging requirements are managed in tandem with global product requirements.

Impacts of lean systems engineering in life sciences

  • Structured process to monitor patient expectations
  • Improved decision-making around product design, needs, and wants
  • Reduced development cycles
  • Improved quality of device-development design documentation
  • Existing data leveraged to support platform strategies
  • Traceability streamlined by providing the framework for validation and verification

Requirements management for high tech

This industry faces intense pressure to drive rapid innovation cycles, quickly introduce new products and be right to market. Growth is driven organically through the release of leading-edge new products, via acquisitions, and/or by moving into new geographical markets. High-tech companies’ products are becoming increasingly complex and are being driven through the IoT, model-based enterprise, model-based systems engineering, digital twins, and other leading supply chain management (SCM) practices.

To keep up with higher consumer expectations, companies need to invest in a systems-engineering/requirements management solution in the cloud. Systems-engineering mastery enables more efficient execution of I2C, from innovation through product development, release and commercialization. A modern requirements management solution will seamlessly integrate with innovation and subsequent product-development platforms, software-development solutions, and PLM/PDM (product lifecycle management/product development management) solutions architectures that provide new product information very early in the product lifecycle. Modern requirements and test solutions ensure that enriched and accurate product information is delivered to all stakeholders. Data verification and validation are vital to prevent expensive engineering change orders, scrapped products, or (in worst-case scenarios) poor-quality products entering the marketplace, given that a single quality issue can cause an entire product line to fail.

Impacts of lean systems engineering in high tech

  • Structured process to establish requirements that can be tested and validated
  • Improved decision-making around product design, needs and wants
  • Reduced development cycles
  • Use of existing data to support lean design practices
  • Risk reduced through traceability, from initial requirements that are decomposed and fulfilled by design, and tied through to implementation and test

Requirements management for industrial manufacturing

This industry enables modern product development I2C flows that look to new models of interaction (cloud, mobile, IoT, social networks, analytics, and so on) to maintain leading-edge capabilities. Because of the inherent complexity of Industrial Manufacturing supply chains, innovation, product development, project management, and product commercialization must be seamlessly aligned from beginning to end.

Lean systems engineering (enabled by modern requirements and test management) streamlines industrial manufacturing processes by synchronizing information through innovation, product development, release, and commercialization. A modern requirements management solution can unify and standardize design processes. As products mature through the product lifecycle, an appropriate solution in the cloud ensures that the data is governed, verified, validated, shared, and enriched so that bad data can’t flow to downstream manufacturing and supply chain operations.

Impacts of lean systems engineering in industrial manufacturing

  • Structured process to monitor patient expectations
  • Improved decision-making around product design, needs, and wants
  • Reduced development cycles
  • Improved quality of device-development design documentation
  • Existing data leveraged to support platform strategies
  • Traceability streamlined by providing the framework for validation and verification

Requirements management for consumer packaged goods (CPG)

More than any other, this industry must deal with the large volume of options and variations in the products it produces. Increasing regulations and quality-control checks means that companies need a systematic requirements and test-management solution that provides strict change controls and governance, enabling higher customer satisfaction. The CPG industry must also be able to efficiently reuse previous requirements and testing, so it doesn’t reinvent the wheel.

A lean systems-engineering/requirements management application in the cloud helps centrally manage all aspects of requirements and test while distributing consistent and accurate data in channel-specific formats. With a modern lean systems engineering solution, CPG companies (especially fast-moving companies) define product requirements in a flexible and dynamic environment to ensure that market needs, packaging, and product requirements are being met. Speed and time to market are front of mind for this industry, and because requirements/test data is in the cloud, companies can access it from anywhere to ensure they get to market faster and reduce the manual processes and data entry that can lead to errors and increase overheads. This critical data can be reused to further decrease time to market and minimize the amount of scrap/waste.

Impacts of lean systems engineering in consumer packaged goods

  • Flexible and dynamic process to establish requirements
  • Improved decision-making around product design, needs, and wants
  • Reduced development cycles
  • Existing data leveraged to support lean design practices
  • Costs controlled by continuous monitoring of product data
  • Compliance risk reduced due to traceability from initial requirements that are decomposed and fulfilled by design, and tied through to production

Requirements management for aerospace and defense

This industry consistently drives design practices that look to new models of interaction (model-based enterprise, the IoT, digital twins, and so on) to maintain leading-edge capabilities. Aerospace and Defense companies are faced with increasingly complex electromechanical products that must perform in environments that cannot be easily serviced. The complete system being designed has many interlinked and interdependent parts that must be understood during the design and development process. Because of this, getting the right product to market means requirements must be clearly defined, managed, decomposed, tracked, and tested.

A lean systems-engineering cloud platform enables collaboration for system-level design through to subsystem definition, and into implementation and test across stakeholders from multiple disciplines (mechanical, electrical, software, and systems/test). Oracle’s platform provides unique traceability into and back from the PLM bill of material to the system-engineering processes and practices. The ability to manage early-stage requirements and their linkage and traceability through to their instantiation in PLM is critical in supporting systems-engineering best practices. Oracle’s cloud platform allows requirements to be tied into downstream processes, helping to shorten design cycle times, reduce costs, and increase product quality.

Impacts of lean systems engineering in aerospace and defense

  • Standardized and established requirements authoring
  • Increased product quality through complete product-readiness views to track requirements coverage
  • Existing data leveraged to support lean design practices and the reuse of IP
  • Risk reduced through traceability from initial requirements that are decomposed and fulfilled by design and tied through to implementation and test
  • Ability to analyze the impact of requirement changes against required artifacts

Get Started with Oracle Cloud PLM

Simplify and modernize your requirements management practices with a streamlined, efficient solution that helps your organization develop high-quality products and services. Avoid adding complexity to your IT infrastructure and supply chain, with a modern approach to requirements management that improves project success rates and delivers against customer and market expectations. Oracle Cloud PLM uniquely integrates requirements management throughout the system engineering process from ideation through concepts, product development, test, quality, sourcing, and supply chain product commercialization. Its embedded modern technology allows you to coordinate and collaborate with internal and external requirements development teams. You gain greater visibility across disciplines to optimize design trade-offs, perform impact analyses, and measure strategic value.

With Oracle Cloud PLM you can:

  • Improve time-to-market through streamlining definition, management, and verification and validation of requirements.
  • Decrease product development costs by reduced redesign, improved new product development efficiency, agility, and project execution, and ability to identify a failure fast.
  • Reduce product expenses and the risk of non-compliance, by avoiding lack of hand-off clarity between all stakeholders and by keeping everyone current on the latest scope.
  • Increase collaboration and productivity with a single, connected solution to manage the end-to-end requirements process.
  • Avoid missed product launches, brand damage, and poor market projections by delivering the right product at the right time.