The idea of a “requirements workbench” is one that the guys over at have been consistently socializing over the past few months, and one that I have been following with interest. has recently posted a Business Analyst Workbench Whitepaper and a Workbench Buyer’s Guide. To give the general gist of the workbench without stealing’s thunder, the workbench concept includes requirements management capabilities, but then goes beyond that to support the analyst through elicitation, elaboration and communication and validation activities.

I remember Keith Barrett’s presentation at an Atlanta IIBA meeting a few months ago where he explained that the next frontier in improving the requirements lifecyle will be to improve quality of articulating and and communicating requirements, and that to do so, focus will be turned to ways of visualizing and simulating requirements. While requirements management tools are important to have, we’re learning that more attention needs to be paid to the quality and understandability of the requirements we’re popping into these management tools.

My company’s search for a requirements management tool has done nothing but validate the concepts conveyed at A common denominator of the more reputable suites we’ve evaluated is that they are either providing stand-beside or integrated requirements elicitation and visualization capabilities in addition to their requirements management product.

Anyway, I’d encourage you to take a look at’s whitepapers and would be curious to get your thoughts on the business analyst workbench concept.