It all starts with business requirements. However, there should be a better way than dumping them into a spreadsheet or a monster textual document. Requirements need to be managed, prioritized, actioned, and tracked. They need supporting information. They need collaboration. You may even want to enrich them and build out one or more User Stories in the context of your requirement.
You get all of this:
- you raise and manage requirements in the context of a Team Space* (not Personal Space)
- anyone can "raise" a requirement and then "submit" it
- a requirement has a number of standard fields, but can also can have notes, links and tags
- anyone can comment/collaborate on a requirement, and comment threads can be resolved
- only Business Requirements Managers can manage the status/lifecycle of a "submitted" requirement
*If you haven’t worked with Team Spaces or don’t have one yet, click here. There’s even a short video to introduce you to Spaces.
Anyone in a Space can raise and submit a requirement, but only Requirements Managers can manage the rest of the lifecycle. You set Requirements Managers in the users page of the Space Management app. You can also customize the workflow presented below.
Requirements linked to process steps
You can link existing requirements to activities in process diagrams. You can “copy link” in Requirements LINKS right panel, and “paste link” onto any process activity to relate many requirements to many activities.
This allows you to get up to date insights by reporting on requirements in the context of activities and processes – and vice versa.
When mapping processes, you can create a requirement from the right-click menu on process activities – just like adding an attachment.
Click on “Change Mgt” in the left panel to access the requirements .
Raising & submitting a requirement
Anyone can "raise" a requirement. They can add information (notes, URL links, tags). You can structure the "Details" entry as user stories to get people in the right mindset from the start, or leave them freeform as you wish. When ready, hit "Create".
When they are ready they "submit" by clicking on the “Change status” button in the right panel.
Filtering and ordering requirements
The list of requirements can be sorted by clicking on the top of the column name (summary, ID, status, priority), or can be filtered on using the filters in the top bar – text in a summary, status, priority, date range, and tags.
Note: if you want to list and filter on the statuses of closed requirements (i.e. – "implemented", "duplicated", or "will not Implement"), they are under the CLOSED tab. If you run a report on the ACTIVE/CLOSED tab, the results only reflect the open or closed requirements – not both in the same list.
Editing requirements and changing the status
Any user who submits a business requirement can edit it before they "submit" it. Once it has gone from "being raised" to "submitted", only a Requirements Manager can edit it and manage it through the lifecycle.
However, once requirements are moved to a closed status ("implemented", "will not be implemented", "duplicate"), they cannot be edited by the Requirements Manager. The stories attached to a closed requirement also cannot be changed. If you want to edit something in a closed requirement, you must first re-open it.
You can delete a requirement permanently by simply clicking on the "delete" button on the right panel in the requirement main list.
Making user a Requirements Manager
Setting user permissions is in the Space Management app. To open up the app, click on the Space name in the top bar.
Linking a requirement to an activity on a diagram
You can link existing requirements to activities within diagrams. You can click on “copy link” [see below in Requirements LINKS panel], and “paste link” onto any process activity to relate many requirements to many activities. This allows you to get up to date insights from reporting on requirements in the context of activities and processes – and vice versa. You can raise requirements from the right-click menu on activities – just like adding an attachment.
Having clicked on "copy link", the information is held in the paste buffer. On a Diagram in edit mode, you then right click on the activity you want to link the requirement to and select ‘Add attachment’, ‘Requirement’...
…which then opens a dialog to enable you to add a link description and edit the link title in relation to this specific link – neither of which impact the underlying requirement information.
Once you click on "ATTACH", you have set up the link. If you want to create the same link to other activities, the link stays in the paste buffer until you copy another link, so you can go to multiple activities on multiple diagrams and attach the link to the same requirement without having to "recopy" the link.
Be aware that the link details are taken at the time of the "copy link" action. This means that if you update the requirement details in the meantime, and then copy the link, the info in the ‘link details’ dialog is not current. You can still connect, edit link details, update, and work without issues. When you refresh the browser and open the link, the up to date details will all be there.
Seeing where this requirement is linked
If you select a requirement on the “Requirements” page, click on "Attachments" in the right panel. You will see any "Attachments" and "Activity-Requirements links" listed. Be aware that if this page was open while you were attaching links, you may need to refresh the browser to see the latest links, since it is a different tab to the diagrams.
Reporting on requirements across a scope of diagrams
You can run a report across a scope of diagrams by clicking on the "Reporting" icon (on a diagram), selecting “Activity attachments and links” as the type, and optionally checking the box to include lower levels.
In the report results (notifications – bell icon top right), you can filter on requirements and/or export to excel format as appropriate.
The benefit of running inside Elements rather than exporting is that you can use as a working list, update as you go, use the list to navigate the maps and maintain current information with no re-keying or duplication of effort.
Extending the fields in requirements
In Pro, you can customize your business requirements and user stories by adding fields that will appear on all requirements and stories in a given space.
In Free, you can add a data table to each individual requirement.
Pro - Add custom fields to requirements and stories.
These can be added and edited under "Space Management". Select the space you want on the Spaces page, and then click on "MANAGE SPACE" in the right panel.
Click on "Customizations" in the left panel and select "FIELDS" at the top of the screen. You can then select either requirement or stories and click on the "SWITCH TO EDIT" button on the top bar.
Click on the "Add field" button in right panel and select one at a time from the following options.
Once edited and saved, these fields apply to all new and existing requirements and stories. They can be searched on, reported against, and filtered within the requirements and stories list pages.
Extending fields with data tables - (Free)
You can attach a data table to a requirement to extend the fields FOR THAT INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENT. If you want to extend to all requirements, you either need to attach the same data table to every requirement and add a record, or coming soon, the PRO capability will allow you to extend the fields for all requirements in a space.
Here is an example of a requirement with a data table attached to add some useful fields that a Salesforce Partner routinely captures in the context of their requirements gathering spreadsheets.