About Me

I am an experienced V&V engineer with eight years of Requirements Engineering and Requirements Management experience in Rail and Aeronautical industry covering the full V&V cycle :

Researching and producing the correct set of requirements based on various factors like customer expectations, existing applicable legislation, economic factors, constructability/manufacturability factors and so on. This process will typically imply workshops involving stakeholders, discipline specialists and customers. The Allocation Process involves the identification of the respondents for each requirement, grouping by discipline or by contract with the purpose of producing the relevant V&V sets of requirements that can be allocated for an expected response. Typically, the allocation is a Top-Down process, with the top-level set produced from the source documents, then further detailed and developed using the “SMART” approach and allocated to sub-sets based on various factors like discipline, contracts, project organisational factors and so on. Having four levels of allocation and detailing of requirements is not uncommon.
When a project involves large sets of requirements, it is easy to end up with very similar or identical requirements in the same baseline (set). Using my specifically customised Excel tools, the duplicated or contradicting requirements can instantly be detected and removed. Additionally, the requirements that cannot be correctly traced to a source are to be reviewed and have appropriate traceability implemented by finding the requirement's correct source.
Once the set of requirements is agreed on, a Baseline is established to ensure consistency and to detect any future changes. A Baseline can also be used as a contractual document assigned to a supplier requesting a response demonstrating that the project meets the expectations. Any consequent changes are to be agreed on with and monitored by the relevant parties, with baselines created when enough change occurs. Tools to identify the change are essential, providing a robust audit. Changes will often have a commercial implication.
Consistent wording, attributes, requirements allocation, use of terminology and explanatory notes are important before a set of requirements is issued, often with commercial implications. This process ensures a good quality document is being produced.
A typical baseline is sourced from many documents, sometimes exceeding 100 sources. When one of the documents changes (gets up-issued, replaced or cancelled), this will have implications cascading from top level requirements down to the detailed level. This impact is to be analysed and understood. Changes must then be implemented from the Top-Down in line with the existing Change Process established by the project. Change can also occur from down to top, when a requirement implementation is agreed to be impossible in the presented form and the requirement needs to be updated or deleted all together.
If legacy work exists under various formats or previous baselines, specific tools will ensure no useful work is lost and data can be recovered and imported into the current/appropriate format. This can often happen when contract changes occur, or when a project changes ownership.
Once the baseline and the allocation are established, the V&V sets can be issued to the appropriate suppliers of V&V evidence (internal or external). This can be done using DOORS modules. However, an Excel format for the V&V sheets is often preferred due to simplicity and costs of DOORS licensing, management or training for the users and the delay of doing so. To ensure consistency and to facilitate traceability, the V&V sheets will need to be produced under the same format for all suppliers. Additional supporting functions are also available, like the facility to respond to sub-areas, review process tools, traceability for the review process and ensuring the data is entered in the correct format.
In order to ensure the right V&V evidence is produced, workshops and guidance is essential for both internal and external evidence providers. Guidance is needed to understand the appropriate level of responses likely to be accepted by the reviewer and to ensure the right quality is produced first time round, therefore saving time for both evidence producers and reviewers of evidence.
Once the baseline and the allocation are established, the V&V sets can be issued to the appropriate suppliers of V&V evidence (internal or external). This can be done using DOORS modules. However, an Excel format for the V&V sheets is often preferred due to simplicity and costs of DOORS licensing, management or training for the users and the delay of doing so. To ensure consistency and to facilitate traceability, the V&V sheets will need to be produced under the same format for all suppliers. Additional supporting functions are also available, like the facility to respond to sub-areas, review process tools, traceability for the review process and ensuring the data is entered in the correct format.
The reviewers of the V&V evidence are topically a very important resource within a project, often working under pressure and having limited available time. It is essential that a review is firstly reviewed by the V&V engineer/manager in order to ensure obvious issues are rectified, avoiding valuable time to be taken from the key reviewers. This ensures that all mandatory attributes are properly completed in accordance to the maturity expectations, that evidence is relevant and robust and that all referenced documents are correctly uploaded in the chosen document management tool.
Organising workshops where the V&V evidence (internally or externally produced) is presented to the appropriate reviewers in line with the established Requirements Management procedures. This involves the Reviewer, stakeholder, V&V Engineer and the supplier.
Maintaining the database of responded requirements is essential, ensuring that all data is available and that changes of document versions do not impact the validity of the requirements responses.
Ensuring that the level of completion is fully understood at any given time. This is facilitated by the specific reporting tools that can amalgamate hundreds of V&V sheets originated from tens of suppliers under one single roof. The Tracker (Burn Down tracker) uses Excel scripts able to display the burn down curve using various filters such as supplier, discipline or project area. This is also essential for detecting any gaps in contract allocation, where a requirement can be “out of scope” for all assigned V&V respondents. This can be distributed to all relevant parts on a weekly basis, each party receiving the data relevant to their work.
Compiled outputs are essential in order to demonstrate that the project is compliant, integrating all responses from all internal and external V&V respondents.
Once the GAP on compliance is identified, this can be better understood and mitigated in line with the existing contracts and project scope. If a requirement is responded to as “Not Applicable” or “Out of Scope” by all responding parties, the requirement was clearly not addressed and a contractual GAP might exist. Alternatively, the requirement might be outdated and will either need to be changed or updated.
In order to reduce costs, it is essential to understand and mitigate any risk of non-compliance as early as possible. Progressive assurance is essential in identifying risks that can lead to unexpected costs. This is handled in line with the procedures established by the project and monitored in the “Non-Compliance Report” document.
DOORS is still the preferred tool for requirements management by many projects, however if multiple parties are involved in documenting the V&V evidence, this can lead to additional costs and time spent for managing the DOORS platform, training and accounts management. Alternatively, an Excel based system can be used, making the exercise more familiar and easier for all respondents.
In repeat projects, it is essential that encountered difficulties are monitored and understood, leading to future improvement and cost reduction of projects. Given the integrated aspect of the V&V exercise, many aspects of the project can be identified and understood, often transcending beyond V&V.

Please contact me for more details regarding my services.