Can You Manage Requirements Using Bug Trackers Like Bugzilla and JIRA? The Surprising Answer!

I often get the following question when chatting with friends and acquaintances who work at high-tech startups here in Silicon Valley:

Why can’t we manage requirements using bug trackers like Bugzilla and JIRA?

This is a great question, and my answer may surprise you – knowing that I work for Accompa, a company that makes a popular requirements management software!

Here’s my answer to this question…

Teams *Should* Use Bug Trackers for Requirements – Until They Grow Out of Them

Most companies start out managing requirements using Word or Excel documents, as these are readily available tools. When they grow out of such “flat file” documents, they switch to bug trackers like Bugzilla or JIRA – as such tools are also readily available at most companies.

Most teams find that bug trackers are a far better approach to managing requirements than “flat file” documents. In my opinion, if a team’s requirements management needs are fully met by bug trackers, they should just keep using them. This can be especially true for very small companies and brand new startups.

When You Grow Out of Bug Trackers – Try Out Requirements Management Tools

What we find from our customers (Fortune 500 companies to growing startups) is that they eventually grow out of bug trackers – i.e. bug trackers simply do not meet their requirements management needs any longer. This is when companies switch to dedicated requirements management tools like Accompa – and find that their needs are met in a far better fashion.

This is why I tell my friends and acquaintances at startups to keep using bug trackers as long as they fully meet their requirements needs. And graduate to requirements management tools when they grow out of bug trackers…

FYI: If your development team is using JIRA or Bugzilla, but you’d like your PM team to graduate to a dedicated requirements management tool – I have good news! Accompa now comes with pre-built integration to JIRA, Bugzilla and many other popular tools. To learn more about Accompa – check out the product tour or request free trial.

I'm your author, Michael Shrivathsan, an expert in product management with successful experience at several innovative companies in Silicon Valley, USA over the past two decades. I'm also a USPTO patent recipient. For my day job, I'm the VP of Product Management at Accompa, we make the popular requirements management software used by Product Management, Business Analysis, and related teams.

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