When it comes to failed IT projects, just about everybody agrees that the original source of sin is inevitably the requirements document. What no one is quite sure of, though, is who exactly is at fault for specifying requirements that didn’t reflect the actual goals of the applications.
In reality, however, applications are so complex that it’s unreasonable to expect that any group of people, no matter how well intentioned, are going to understand all the implications and ramifications of an application development project. The requirements document created at the beginning of the project at best reflects the known state at which the application development project was launched.
What’s really required is a set of tools for managing the application requirements process that can be continuously updated in a way that allows developers to more easily comprehend changes in scope to any given application development project.
With that issue in mind, Blueprint created a requirements definition and management (RDM) application that is specifically designed to manage the application requirements process. This week, Blueprint upgraded the overall application to include a Blueprint Analytics module that makes it easier to identify projects that are at risk of failing, while adding the ability to integrate Blueprint with a variety of application lifecycle management (ALM) platforms including IBM Rational Team Concert, JIRA, Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Rally, and VersionOne. These new capabilities are in addition to Blueprint’s existing support for ALM software from HP.
Tony Higgins, vice president of product marketing for Blueprint, says that rather than relying on project management software that was designed to build, for example, airplanes, version 5.4 of Blueprint gives IT organizations a framework that was specifically designed for managing application development projects.
Of course, the success of any given application development project often comes down to the maturity of the organization. Higgins says the nice thing about Blueprint is that as an application, it provides a framework through which organizations that need to manage application development projects can rapidly mature. After all, if the majority of organizations had a process in place for managing the requirements process, millions of dollars would not be wasted every year on failed IT projects. But that’s not the case, yet, so it’s apparent that the processes currently in place are simply not up to the requirements management task.