The Markets Department within a large German bank manages investment transactions, working in an international context and using a major treasury management application. Within the department, the product and project management team are responsible for developing and maintaining technology platforms.
“The treasury application is a very powerful and complex solution that supports vital decision-making processes in our bank,” says P.H., the product manager of business intelligence and data management, Markets Department. “When we first deployed an earlier version of this application, it was clear that we needed to improve our software requirements management. We lacked a uniform approach, and requirements were really only formulated in test cases.”
At that time, the documentation around software projects was too high-level and insufficiently detailed, which made it difficult to achieve a shared understanding of objectives among internal stakeholders, let alone communicate coherently with external partners. Whether developing software or procuring third-party solutions, the bank was delayed by a lack of clarity and cohesion in the business requirements. Without a single source of truth or structured processes to rely on, frustration and delays were common in software projects.
The Markets Department of the bank set out to create a coherent, digital approach to requirements management as a key element in the whole long-term software lifecycle.
With OpenText™ Dimensions RM, we have everything we need in a single system. The holistic view the solution gives us is a real must-have.
The Markets team first deployed a single, standardized toolset for managing requirements for certain software projects in 2007. “People were initially reluctant to go all-digital, but the very first project was a great success,” recalls P.H. “However, the solution eliminated all sources of conflict and misunderstanding, enabling everyone to work together in an efficient and constructive way since we also implemented coherent processes at the same time.”
To keep pace with newer approaches such as Agile development, the bank decided in 2021 to replace its existing solution with OpenText. After extensive market research, the team signed a deal to switch to Dimensions RM, completing the migration within the targeted seven months. This included switching from on-premises to a dedicated private cloud deployment.
J.S., IT project manager in the Markets Department of the bank, comments: “We had to migrate around 50,000 requirements and resolve a number of inconsistencies that had built up over 15 years in the previous environment. Working with the OpenText team, we beat the deadline and got everything working seamlessly in Dimensions RM.”
M.H., IT project manager in the Markets Department of the bank, adds: “Dimensions RM represents a significant step into the future. We can now build reports and put them on dashboards so they are immediately visible to users, and we can manage test cases directly within the solution, which is a big plus. Overall, we have much more flexibility today: we use Dimensions RM not only for requirements management but also for managing test cases and test runs, and in the future for change management and user documentation.”
About 200 employees currently use Dimensions RM to manage all software-related projects in the Markets department, including the ongoing development of a major SAP® BW/4HANA® data warehouse.
“The high level of integration means that there are lots of system dependencies and business dependencies to manage, which is why it’s so great to have Dimensions RM to keep everyone on the same page,” says P.H. “The solution is highly flexible, so we can add new workflows and build up new structures whenever we need. And because everything we need for full-lifecycle requirements management is in a single tool, it’s much easier for users to learn. This means that we use Dimension RM for test case management and test management as well as for user documentation. Hence, the tool needs to be underpinned by coherent—and preferably—simple processes.”
With Dimensions RM, the Markets department has a single standardized tool for requirements management in both classical and Agile contexts. The team is now spreading the word to other departments.
“We value the positive and responsive support from OpenText: the quality of service is very high, and this human factor is extremely important to us,” says P.H. “The solution gives us stability in requirements for development and testing so that we can create reliable products but also allow people to work in a flexible way.”
As demographics change, the bank needs to attract the next generation of talent to its workforce, which was another driver for modernizing requirements management, as P.H. explains: “Deploying modern technology is a significant element in recruiting young people. The OpenText software brings everyone together and gets them working in the same way. This also means that we build up a store of valuable knowledge within the system, so that we don’t risk losing information as people leave the business.”
“Managing requirements in a structured way requires more time and effort up-front, but it produces significant savings during the full lifecycle, including reducing the risk of errors in production,” says P.H. “I would estimate that we save 20% on development costs for each product that we manage.”
Dimensions RM provides a one-stop-shop for all requirements management activities, enabling the Markets team in the bank to keep project stakeholders fully aligned and informed at all times.
“With Dimensions RM, we have everything we need in a single system,” says P.H. “The holistic view the solution gives us is a real must-have; for quality management, you need reliable processes and powerful tools. To manage requirements, it’s no good just describing something in a classical ticket in one of the prominent systems somewhere. You need consistent product descriptions throughout the full lifecycle, which is where Dimensions RM comes in. For us, it’s the keystone of project management for the products we develop and the projects we run, decreasing both the risk and the costs. In the future, we will also use Business Process Modeling-features embedded in the tool.”
The Markets Department has formalized its project workflows within Dimensions RM, enabling tasks and responsibilities to be assigned to specific team members and tracked through to completion.
“To have this formalized workflow with responsibilities is a great benefit—in our previous solution, it was less structured,” says P.H. “We’re still refining the workflows, but already this is a big plus in terms of our ability to steer the requirements through the process.”
She adds: “The solution enables faster, cleaner, more efficient requirements management. Despite being Agile, we still focus on clear-cut requirements, because you have to think before you start working, especially given the complexity of the systems we are developing.”
While the primary use case for Dimensions RM in the bank is in the development and configuration of software, it is also helpful when it comes to procuring packaged solutions from external vendors. P.H. says: “We understood very early that it’s vital to have a complete description of the software you aim to develop or configure so that you can compare with products already available on the market. Otherwise, defining the requirements for procurement is a slow and painful process.”