Previously, my colleague here at Jama, Dennis Hodge, wrote about the transformation he’s observed in our customers’ work as they transition from managing requirements in isolated documents to using a collaborative requirements management tool, and how it impacted their ability to accurately conduct impact analysis and get full test coverage and traceability in their development process. In this post, I’m going to go into more detail about how our customers have realized these gains and how easy it was to get their teams working in Jama.
Managing requirements for complex products requires that information be visible and accessible to all team members at any time. You also have to make sure that all of this information is connected in a way that is relevant and understandable to your teams, so you can ensure that what you are building in the end is not only what you intended to build—and what your customer wants—but that you can prove that it meets safety and other regulatory requirements. It’s necessary to build connections between the data, as well as the conversations and the decisions associated with each requirement, in order to get a full picture of what is being built and if it is on track.
With all that you’re managing day-to-day, the last thing you need is a difficult tool that takes just as much effort and time to learn and use as writing and managing the requirements themselves. An RM application should make your life easier, and should be easy for you to roll out to your team. Moreover, the tool should help you step back and look at your entire product as it is being built, see all of the connections, and easily identify where work is needed.
In my work as a Jama consultant the comment I hear most often from our customers is that creating and managing traceability in Jama is far easier then any other application they’ve tried. Many of these customers are handling very complex systems and were previously struggling with this process.
Here are ways that you can easily create relationships, account for full test coverage and manage traceability using Jama:
1. Give your team a framework for the proper linking between artifacts with relationship rules
Creating meaningful connections between artifacts is vital to having that all-important “big picture” view. With relationship rules not only can you specify for your team the proper relationships and how to implement them, but you also free up their time so they can focus on building and managing requirements rather then worrying about their connections.
2. Find out who is connected to an item and communicate with them easily using connected users in the Collaboration Stream
Say you notice that something is wrong in the way a requirement is written and you need to make sure that you not only get all the necessary information quickly but also notify those who may need to adjust for the change. Jama makes it easy to identify everyone who is involved with not only that requirement but also the impacted requirements. Then, using the Collaboration Stream, you can quickly post the change to those connected users, who then get a notification and can respond and react quickly—without a big meeting!
3. Determine gaps in your test coverage quickly and easily with Coverage Explorer
A critical piece of assuring quality in your product is being able to to see where gaps lie in your test coverage. Jama’s Coverage Explorer view easily identifies those gaps by utilizing the relationships your team has created, giving you a holistic view of where work is still needed.
4. Quickly identify impact at a high level across your project using suspect links
If a system-level requirement changes it could have dramatic impact on the quality of your product. Using the suspect links feature, you can identify at a glance what other items are impacted by changes and quickly assess whether additional changes need to be made downstream.
5. Understand how products features are connected or share IP using Reuse and Sync
With complex systems comes complex connections between individual systems and products. Jama allows you to not only share pieces of information across product lines but also to compare these connections at a glance, then align them with a click of a button utilizing the Reuse and Sync feature.
Traceability throughout a complex system is extremely important to delivering a product that is not only what was intended to be built, but also build with quality and speed. Managing that traceability is complex, but, fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult, with the right tool.
How do your teams keep requirement relationships in synch and account for full test coverage and traceability?