This blog will be questioning whether ChatGPT can help software developers with requirements gathering and management.
The rise of OpenAI’s GPT-3 (Generative Pretrained Transformer 3), also known as ChatGPT, is a major development in the field of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. The model is one of the largest language models in the world, with 175 billion parameters.
ChatGPT has the ability to generate human-like text and perform various language tasks, such as answering questions, machine translation, and summarisation, with remarkable accuracy. This has led to a lot of excitement and interest in the AI community and beyond, and has sparked a lot of conversation and debate about the future of AI and its potential impact on society.
However, it is important to keep in mind that despite its impressive capabilities, ChatGPT is not perfect and has limitations. It can still make mistakes and generate biased or harmful output, and it is important to use it responsibly and critically. Nevertheless, the rise of ChatGPT marks a significant step forward in the development of AI and has the potential to drive a lot of innovation in the coming years.
Can ChatGPT Replace Requirements Gathering and Management Software?
We asked ChatGPT if it could gather and manage requirements and this was the response:
“No, ChatGPT is not designed to replace requirements gathering and management software. It is a language model that can generate human-like text based on the input provided to it. It can assist with requirements gathering and management by providing information, answering questions, and generating text based on patterns it has learned during its training. However, it is not a comprehensive solution for requirements gathering and management and should be used in conjunction with dedicated software tools.”
Although ChatGPT has many benefits and can aid software developers in writing simple code, read more on this in our other blog, ‘How ChatGPT Can Help Custom Software Development,’ it cannot replace a requirements gathering and management software.
There are several factors that a requirements gathering and management software can help with which ChatGPT cannot.
Improving discovery of requirements
The skill and expertise of the person or team acquiring requirements generally determines the caliber of the requirements capture. Due to the variety of persons working on the assignment, one project may be very well defined and detailed while another is unclear and poorly defined.
Someone accumulating requirements for a system and noting the next requirement item could serve as an illustration of this.
- The user should be able to login
- The user should be able to logout
This can seem easy to understand and uncomplicated, yet a “genuine” requirements document would undoubtedly include more information. However, a novice analyst would leave the conditions as is, whereas a knowledgeable analyst would include a third condition:
- The user should have access to a ‘Forget Password’ feature.
While Word checklists and templates can be used to increase the coverage of requirements, software can be more flexible in the workflow of requirements collection and offer functionality beyond a basic template.
Process and quality improvement
The requirements gathering procedure will be standardised through the use of software. Teams will produce requirements gathering specifications that are more successful and consistent if they follow a systematic method that is consistent throughout. The knowledge of an organisation may be largely restricted to its employees. An automated method of acquiring requirements helps streamline the procedure into a standardised process that less experienced staff can follow. This will help the organisation maintain a more reliable and high-quality requirements gathering process while making it more resilient to employee changes.
More accurate documentation and clarity
Even with the best templates, requirements gathering can occasionally provide ambiguous needs. For instance, the need “A user can establish a new job” might be universal for a system, but if the system includes many user kinds (such as system administrators, office staff, and field workers), the requirement might never be obvious that only specific categories of users can carry out this action. When this problem is uncovered, it may cause misunderstandings, delays, and project overruns.
Another advantage of requirements gathering software is improved requirements documentation. It is conceivable and simple for a member of the organisation to edit, amend, or delete certain sections of a document using basic document templates. Software can guarantee the production of a specific requirements document and the completion of each section. Some software can provide estimates, a list of the tasks necessary to develop the product, requirements documentation, and more.
Stakeholders and the development team will be less likely to overlook important requirements by having a clear and accurate document defining the requirements of a project. It has been demonstrated that improving the requirements will lessen the likelihood of inaccurate estimating, project overruns, and possibly project failure.
Multiple stakeholders can participate in the requirements gathering process in real-time thanks to requirements gathering software, which helps enhance coordination and collaboration. Some apps for requirements gathering may even enable non-technical stakeholders to finish the initial draught of requirements by posing the appropriate questions in the manner of a “robot business analyst.”
When requirements are gathered using software, it is simpler to track and trace the process, including who contributed what and when and who signed-off on approvals of specific features. This can assist guaranteeing that all needs are correctly accounted for and documented.
Version control features are frequently found in requirements gathering software, which can be useful for managing changes to requirements over time. When working on extensive, complex tasks, this can be extremely useful.
Ease of use
Since requirements gathering software is often user-friendly and simple to use, stakeholders—who may not be technical—who might not be familiar with the requirements gathering process may find it easier to contribute.
In comparison to using manual techniques, adopting software for requirements gathering can speed up the process and save time. Instead of the user having to manually type these criteria into a Word document or support ticket, an application can generate a set of specific requirements from a simple yes/no question.
Requirements gathering is a heavily overlooked area of software development. Read more on this in our other blog ‘Requirements Gathering is the Most Undertaught Area in Software Development.’ You will have a competitive advantage by adopting a requirements gathering programme because it will make sure that your projects are more successful. The typical software project overrun is 33%, with requirements problems accounting for a large portion of that. Organisations can become more effective and possibly cut project costs and timelines by better capturing requirements.
Overall, ChatGPT is a great tool which may change the world as we know it. It does have many capabilities to aid custom software development. However, ChatGPT does not have a use for requirements gathering and management.
Our new product Requiment, guides you through prepared questions to determine a full and detailed requirement specification and project scope based on outcomes. This application acts as a virtual business analyst, guiding users through the requirements process, whilst providing insight and recommendations to the user based on the type of application being designed as well as trends from other users. Ultimately, our mission with Requiment is to make the process of software requirements capture more accurate, agile and efficient leading to more successful projects.
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