Various database systems are used during the product development process to store and retrieve data about products. For example product data management (PDM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and requirement management (RM) systems. All those might be needed to support the product development process. Earlier research has investigated the co-existence of PDM and ERP systems. This paper extends this question and takes a look on how requirement management systems fit into the picture and how these systems can be used together in order to support the product development process.
A comparison of functionality and product models of RM and PDM systems is made. A requirements driven product model of a car cockpit implemented in a RM tool is used as a theoretical reference. The actual situation at the company developing the cockpit is then described. Based on the comparison of the functionality and the product models, three strategies for how the systems could cooperate are presented. The strategies are discussed from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. The conclusions are that RM systems has functionalities for requirements management that do not exist in a PDM system, which calls for the use of both systems. This results in problems with traceability and duplicate data. A certain degree of requirements traceability can be achieved between the systems by applying the strategies presented, but this is not a trivial task.