Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wiki for requirement management... Why not?!

Today I had a conversation with one of project managers. They need a tool that will help capturing existing system behavior in form of product requirements. I suggested using one of of-the-shelf solutions but he argued that they have good reason to stay within Wiki used for documentation management at the project. I doubted that Wiki is the right place to do this because of its limited functionality. So, it made me go to the Google and seek for the answer.

The result was better than I expected. I found out that many people did this and succeeded. All we need to do is following simple recommendations:

1. Do not let it become a mess

If several people are asked to write comments, change requirements suggesting variants it will soon become a mess. In order to avoid it, there should be strict rules and authorities to changes the requirements clearly defined within the team.

2. Keep it organized

Within time, Wiki description of requirements may deteriorate into amorphous, unstructured document. Especially when there are several contributors, each having own opinion on what it should look like. My recommendation is to keep the structure clear and understood by all contributors, so new articles appear in right place and connected to right pages.

3. Update it often

Do not wait until there are tons of changes to be done. Do it in small steps, immediately after a change comes up.

Wiki is a great tool for the collaboration. But as any tool it should be used wisely. As they say, a fool with a tool is still a fool. Don't be foolish. Find out about the issues before jumping into applying a tool to the process for which it is not intended to be used. Using Wiki for RM... Why not? But let's find out how for the beginning!

Happy requirement management!

No comments:

Post a Comment