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Case Study: Database Marketing RQM

Database Marketing: Product Requirements Management

Client

The client was a mid-size company providing engineering solutions to customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Challenge

The company wanted to plan product releases based on customer wants and needs, industry standards, engineering innovation, and marketplace competition. The business development team wanted to ensure that key stakeholders had primary input for product features and functions, and they wanted to be able to track and then promote the new products. Direct meetings with customers, sales managers, engineering managers, and product managers yielded informal notes that helped determine new features, but the company wanted to organize its product management.

Solution

An enterprise system that included a requirements management database provided a traceable path for a feature throughout the product development life cycle. The marketing team were the primary database users; each member logged into the Web-based system to enter product ideas into the database, which automatically assigned each entry a unique ID. A product manager maintained the database and prioritized requirements based on relevant criteria. When planning the next product release, the database user compiled selected requests and needs into a formal Marketing Requirements Document. The requirements would then be redefined into product specifications.

Results

The business development/marketing team provided the engineering team with traceable product requirements that were used for specifying product features and functions. The quality team created feature validation tests based on the requirements (expected results). By managing a development cycle based on planned and prioritized specifications, the company released a product that was first in the industry to meet a new quality standard. The product also included several customer-requested updates. The marketing team created product roadmaps that included requirements traced back to the database.

Key users were able to log in and add requirements, although the Web-based application was difficult to access for some users with poor Internet connections. By integrating the requirements database with the engineering enterprise solution, the company saved valuable development and planning time. The requirements database became part of the company's product management process.