Four ways to manage software requirements in Jira

Updated by Tatiana Glazkova on April 20, 2021

Product requirements management involves documenting, analyzing, tracing, and prioritizing requirements, crucial for Jira requirements management. Effective communication among team members and stakeholders, along with change control, is also essential. This initial phase significantly influences the later stages of software development. Organizing this phase is vital and should match other activities. However, requirements are often scattered across files, Excel sheets, or tools. For streamlined progress and a cohesive process, centralizing objects is crucial. This is where Jira requirements management comes into play, providing a solution to gather and manage requirements effectively.

Requirements management affects the whole project

Requirements aim to define the functions or capabilities of the final product, thereby solving user problems and achieving business goals. Once we have them specified, it becomes easier to plan the next steps of development and divide the roles and responsibilities. Many companies underestimate it without realizing that this omission contributes significantly to the potential failure of the final product.

Insufficiently organized requirements at the project’s inception can lead to a range of issues. These issues, in turn, may include delays, misunderstandings among team members, and, ultimately, wasted time and resources.

The graph below illustrates an example of an effective approach to requirements management. Analyzing in detail before implementation minimizes the risk of work duplication or the need to roll back.

Scheme of typical requirements management model
An example of an effective approach to requirements management

Bringing your requirements into Jira

Why choose the Atlassian product for your requirements management? The answer varies based on your specific goals, but Jira generally fulfills the expectations of even the most exacting team members as a testing tool. Initially designed for project tracking and management, Jira Software empowers developers to oversee the entire process and attain the project’s objectives. Its extensive customization options allow users to tailor the software to enhance efficiency and alignment with their requirements.

Jira facilitates the consolidation of requirements within the same platform as other project-related matters, and it also enables seamless linking between them. Thanks to that, you can seamlessly keep testing and executing the entire software development process together in a consistent interface. As a result, anyone with access to the data can easily track the changes that have been made. This means that developers, testers, and stakeholders alike can effectively monitor every step of the way.

There is a wide range of project types and structures; therefore, for each of them, an individual solution is required. With multiple options for documenting product requirements in Jira, you and your team members can choose the model that best suits you. We distinguish three main ways of collecting requirements in Jira, which are chosen at the very beginning and contribute to the success of the final release.

Four ways to manage software requirements in Jira

1. Requirements as issue types

This is the most basic way to manage your requirements if you were already using Jira to manage your projects, storing objects as issue types is intuitive to implement. A smart way to plan your workflow is to design a software development project based on previously established and validated requirements. This decision helps you decide where to go and assign specific roles and permissions to stakeholders.

Since Jira admins have permissions to create customized Jira issue types, all you have to do is to organize the customization of issues, specifically those dedicated to requirements, and then define each issue with the appropriate Labels and Components. Consistency in the description of the problem will not only make filtering and searching for specific requirements much easier and faster but also enhance the overall understanding. By storing items in Jira, you establish elementary connections between related requests. Moreover, when requirements are directly dependent, a functional structure can be built by linking the corresponding tasks and subtasks to each other.

2. Integration with Confluence

Confluence is also an Atlassian product that helps you get seamless integration of your requirements pages with Jira issues. It gives a possibility to develop the requirements structure built-in standalone Jira and allows to bring it to a higher level. Development issues and tasks can be created directly from requirements pages, so we maintain seamless integration between related entities. The main purpose of Confluence is to optimize documentation work. To do this, it can store and present much more detailed information than Jira custom fields. Confluence provides its users with a Blueprint template to make it easier and faster to describe requirements details on the wiki platform. When you decide on Confluence for requirements management, your team gains multiple options. They are the following:

  • you can build the entire requirements structure in Jira and write down the details of the requirements on dedicated pages;
  • instead of separating the requirements, you can put the entire specification in one Confluence document;
  • the third option is based on creating a tree structure of subpages in Confluence and connecting them to the project with requirements collected in Jira so that you can track progress.

Storing requirements in this space is surely more intuitive and efficient than gathering them in external tools or Excel sheets. All activities related to requirements management executed in two environments connected on such a high level encourages discussions and improve communication between the stakeholders.

A product requirements page in Confluence

A product requirements page in Confluence. Source: Atlassian Documentation

3. Dedicated apps from the Atlassian Marketplace

There are different tools designed for requirements management in the Atlassian suite. Requirements and Test Management for Jira (RTM) and TestFLO – Test Management for Jira are the ones developed by Deviniti that deserve to be highlighted.

Requirements and Test Management for Jira (RTM) allows structuring not only requirements but also test cases, thus completing a software project in Jira. RTM enables seamless integration with Jira and establishes a strong connection between requirements, epics, user stories, and test-related issues. Moreover, the requirements are presented in a well-structured format, organized into categorized folders and subfolders. This arrangement makes it clear to all stakeholders, facilitating efficient collaboration. This flexibility also empowers teams to establish a structure that can be seamlessly integrated into Confluence as needed.

Try Requirements and Test Management for Jira

To experience the capabilities of the application firsthand, you can explore the application on the Atlassian Marketplace!

The tool gives us easy and intuitive access to view the relationships between objects. Built-in reports like Traceability Matrix or Requirements Coverage also assist in ensuring that the appropriate features and test cases cover all requirements, preventing the oversight of any detail.

RTM for Jira lets you put your requirements in a tree-structured view
RTM for Jira lets you put your requirements in a tree-structured view, transparent for all the team members

TestFLO – Test Management for Jira offers a highly customizable test management solution, perfectly aligning with advanced team requirements and external standards. Seamlessly integrated within the Jira Issue view, TestFLO introduces dedicated custom fields and workflow extensions for efficient test management and execution.

With its adaptable features, TestFLO closely tracks progress at every stage, supported by transparent reports. The Test Repository accelerates test case creation, plan development, and precondition addition. It facilitates Jira-based software testing via REST API and interfaces with the CI/CD pipeline, fostering testing within the DevOps cycle. Elevate your testing efficiency with TestFLO’s comprehensive capabilities today.

Try TestFLO – Test Management for Jira

Curious about how TestFLO can enhance your testing process? Try Test Management for Jira with a free 30-day trial of TestFLO and optimize your testing workflow today!

TestFLO supports running automated tests in Jenkins and Bamboo and viewing their results in Jira along with manual test cases. To show how testing in TestFLO looks like, the developers offer an Online Store Application project with sample data on the demo playground (login/pass: testflo). Deviniti Support Center can help you to book a session to try the applications free and answer your questions.

TestFLO Test Repository: filter results, charts, issue statistics

4. Comparing Deviniti applications

Both RTM and TestFLO apps are integrated into Jira, consolidating software projects and enhancing team productivity. Their complete traceability from requirements to test cases and bugs ensures alignment with internal acceptance policies and external legal standards. RTM and TestFLO both support successively seven stages that are the following:

  • requirements analysis;
  • test case specification;
  • end-to-end traceability with a tree-structured organization of the tasks;
  • very customized test plans;
  • test execution directly from Jira;
  • defects fixation;
  • test result reports.

Below there is a table to compare the target audience and technical features of the applications.

TestFlo vs RTM: target audience and features

As you see from the table, some application features differ. By overseeing mature and complex software testing processes, TestFLO is suitable for large enterprises, highly regulated industries, requirements testing, Agile, and DevOps testing. However, RTM offers various customizable reports for progress tracking. However, you can install both apps without any additional training.

Storing requirements in Jira Software can significantly contribute to a substantial improvement in your projects. It’s not a secret that conducting all software development within a single tool not only accelerates the process but also enhances comprehensibility for all stakeholders compared to utilizing external solutions. This approach enables everyone to stay updated and track changes at every stage. Moreover, by choosing dedicated requirements and test management tools within Jira, your capabilities expand further. Testing apps provide features such as requirements coverage reports, thereby enhancing efficient workflows and mitigating potential bugs.

Katarzyna Kornaga

Katarzyna is a Content Specialist, responsible for writing on the Deviniti blog. As an SEO enthusiast, most of all she values helpful, unique content where users can find answers to their questions. When not writing, you can find her at the theatre, at home with a good non-fiction book, or passing on city streets on her bike.

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