Transitioning To Computer Based Requirements Management Tools For Railway Projects And Standards
Free (open access)
The concept of specifications and standards for railways date back centuries. The development and subsequent availability of desktop and laptop computers within the industry in the last few decades would seem to offer a number of possibilities to aiding the process. Modelling for example has an important role for checking requirements and is discussed in a number of papers in this conference. The availability of computers has resulted in the use of word processors to aid the specification production task. Increasingly, specialist requirements management tools are being used to provide more functionality. Unfortunately, the transition to using these tools for railway projects and standards development and management is fraught with difficulties as well as new opportunities. This paper describes the limitations of using word processors and the benefits (and problems) with using other types of tools: general purpose computer based spreadsheet tools and database tools as well as specialist requirements management tools. The paper explains why specialist requirements management tools may be an answer to a number of problems. Specifically, it is explained how they effectively combine features of word processors and Databases. This combination provides a number of functions. The paper describes the importance of each function and their typical implementation. The paper then describes the process planning required in transitioning to such a tool. The paper is based on the application of this type of approach to a number of Railway projects.