Tool-supported requirements management in shipbuilding



To ensure the fulfilment of the complex scope of contracts in major projects, it needs a consistent, tool-supported requirements management, which structures the agreed delivery items and delivery dates, and thus creates transparency. The fulfillment of the needs and requirements of the ordering client have the highest priority here.

„The transparent derivation of the procedural requirements in this shipbuilding project helps us to set a consistent and structured basis ffor future projects, with the aim of being faster, more efficient ,and more cost-effective.”

Christian Weißenborn, Head of Design Concepts Surface Vessels (DCV), thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH

With around 6.000 employees, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) is one of the leading, global acting system providers in the design and construction of submarines and naval surface ships. Together with strategic partners, it offers worldwide customized solutions for highly complex challenges in a rapidly changing world.

At the beginning of 2019, a consortium led by tkMS could win an order to produce four corvettes for the Brazilian Navy. In addition to numerous technical requirements, various procedural requirements were also agreed in the contract. To ensure compliance with the requirements, 3DSE was assigned to expand the requirements management with a focus on procedural requirements.

Due to the two-year offer- and contract negotiations with various negotiators on two continents and to the iterative preparation of the contract documents in Portuguese and English, transparency and consistency of the scope of the contract were endangered on the ‘Effective Date of Contract’ (EDC).” (Source: tkMS (DCV Department): Robert Pfeiffer, Project Manager Systems Engineering)

Based on existing processes and Systems Engineering Best Practices from other industries, a methodology was developed to derive procedural requirements from the contract and to be able to hand them over to the corresponding process owners in the form of Statement of Works.

Methodology for deriving process-related requirements

Selection, application and training of the requirements management tools

For the tool-supported implementation of the methodology, various requirements management tools were compared and evaluated. In consideration of the desired application and the existing tool landscape, the “IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation” tool was selected. In a next step, the requirements for the tool configuration were defined and piloted. Through a customized training concept and an individual coaching approach, user qualification could be ensured.

Through support of 3DSE, the experts were able to derive 3,500 procedural requirements from the contract within a few weeks. With the help of IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation, the traceability between contract contents, derived requirements, and the verification management (incl. the necessary delivery items) is guaranteed at all times for those who are responsible for implementation. If necessary, selected requirements can be passed on to suppliers quickly and easily. With the transparency created about the agreed delivery items and their delivery dates, tkMS can ensure a compliant fulfillment of the scope of the contracts and an avoidance of penalties.

Patrick Marschollek
Patrick Marschollek

Patrick Marschollek is a consultant at 3DSE Management Consultants GmbH in Munich. With more than 5 years of experience in consulting technology companies, he has industry expertise in MedTech, shipbuilding, and plant engineering, among others. His competencies are in the areas of R&D optimization, systems engineering, and innovation management.