Using Quality Methods and Good Requirements Management for Successful Projects

The use of quality methods serves to improve the characteristics of a product or process in organizations. Some of the methods can be widely used and can be divided into the "Seven Elementary Quality Methods (Q7)" and "Seven Management Tools (M7)". Other methods used are more complex and are mainly used in certain phases of the development process.

Using Quality Methods and Good Requirements Management for Successful Projects

Selecting the Right Quality Methods

Numerous attempts have been made in literature to categorize genuine quality methods. Quality methods have been broken down into systematic classes, as the division into consistent class types is useful to better focus problem solving techniques. The three main quality objectives (repair, improvement, design) are among the main problem categories for productivity and design objectives. Another researcher developed the distinction between the performance and design problems described by Nichols and divided the results of his extensive research into five types of quality methods.

Problem categories can be used to make problem resolution more systematic and efficient. Based on the relevant problem situation, problem-solving strategies and quality methods can be defined. The problem solvers can select the appropriate tools and quality methods. The assignment of quality methods to solve individual problems is formulated in the context of the roadmap quality analysis. The system approach within the relevant quality problems (efficiency problem, compliance problem, process design problem, product design problem) is based on the steps of the DMAIC method.

Information management as one of the quality methods

Information management means the management of information in common use. In the technical literature the term is defined differently. The reason for this is the dynamic development environment of information technology and various scientific disciplines (especially business informatics, which deals with information management and communication). Strategic information management in the military sector is defined by Carsten Boxtett as the design, planning, management, provision, coordination and control of information as a tool for the successful completion of missions. In general, tactical information management is described by various authors as the design, planning, management, monitoring and control of information and communication in organizations to achieve strategic goals.

Information management is the interface between administrative tasks and an operative function, which is called information function. The goal (task) is to create targeted information processing and communication and to ensure the information and communication capacity of the institution by maintaining, developing and operating the information infrastructure. The actual (main) information function is responsible for answering the question of who should do something to achieve the goal (organization, outsourcing, etc.). In the context of the information infrastructure, the problem of who is responsible for what at management and information resource level in the areas of information systems and information technology arises.

In larger companies, the top information manager is called the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Systematic procedures, more precise techniques, methods and tools for processing information management tasks are summarized under the title Information Engineering and serve as one of the quality methods. The boundaries between information management, communication management, complexity management, requirements management, development methods and the information economy and business informatics are not clear. The tasks in these areas often overlap.

Models in information management

Individual models presented in the literature can be divided into four groups. They all describe the activities in information management of systems from different perspectives:

  • Targeted approaches
  • Architecture models
  • Problem-based approaches
  • Process-oriented approaches

The main task of information management is to determine the "third production factor" for the company (after labor and capital) and to provide it in a suitable information structure. Based on the respective task, an IT infrastructure is required, i.e. information technology and human resources to provide information.

Requirements Management

Requirements management (RM) includes measures for controlling and managing requirements: change management, risk management and implementation management. Requirements management is used for efficient, low-error design of complex systems that are shared. Because requirements problems are mainly due to lack of governance. Creating requirements alone is not enough. A requirements management process is required to plan and implement a product or system. Requirements management is a subsection of requirements development and business analysis. Their other disciplines are for example the requirement definition, requirement analysis, requirement documentation, requirement examination.

A goal of the requirements management is it to reach a common understanding of the system which can be developed between the contractor and the customer. This collective understanding can be achieved by the introduction and implementation of requirements management techniques. With these techniques you can improve the relevance and quality of requirements documentation. Quality criteria for requirements documentation are clarity, comprehensibility, traceability, completeness, consistency and testability.

Quality methods include complexity management

The idea of mastering complexity through science and traditional planning is becoming more fragile and a barrier to innovation. Companies can be successful in the long term if they do not just know how to deal with complexity, but can use it to their advantage. Renowned authors from science and practice will present the current state of the art and forecasts for the future of complexity management in projects and companies. They demonstrate innovative approaches to solving the problem of complexity. The contributions relate to the theory and practice of decision making and self-organization, strategic complexity management and operational implementation within project and enterprise management. They outline the state of research and develop new perspectives for action that use the integration of complexity in science, business and society to the advantage of the company.

Development methods

Since there is no single development method system, the rough structure was created under three aspects:

  • Process optimization: The goal of these development methods is to optimize processes for the entire product creation process. This can include, for example, increasing the production speed or reducing the waiting time between production steps. Techniques of this kind are summarized under the general term quality methods.
  • Parallel development methods: The goal of this methodology is to shorten product development time by processing different development stages in parallel. This method is called concurrent engineering.
  • Cost optimization: An optimal result is possible if both the production costs and the total life cycle costs can be reduced to a minimum. The general term for these development methods are target costs.

Development methods in software development

Regardless of whether it is a game application or a business package, different phases of software development are defined. Each application must be programmed and tested from concept to release. The approach varies depending on the requirements of the software to be developed: The best known methods are the waterfall model (sequential development) and agile (iterative) development.

The choice of development methods depends on the software to be developed as well as the available resources and internal structures. While the waterfall approach is suitable for long-term planning projects where constant updates are difficult, an agile approach with entertaining iterations leaves more room for the continuous introduction of new features. Sometimes there are mixed forms, which are individually adapted to the requirements of the development object.