Tag Archive for: DO-254

Tailor Plans and Templates in Jama Connect®: The Value of Having Process and Tools in a Single Place

There are dozens of regulations, best practice frameworks, and corporate governance standards that all describe the value of documenting the processes used to design and develop systems upfront before development begins and suggest that evidence be collected to demonstrate that the documented processes were followed. The end goal is to effectuate process improvement and develop behaviors that decrease risks in service, product, and software development. To the engineers in the trenches doing the work, it can be daunting to keep up with following the right process, especially in aviation. Observations I have after working in the industry for over 25 years is that:

  • Engineers have difficulty translating what is in the process document to how to perform their work every day.
  • Engineers do not have the time to go searching for the latest process documents.
  • Engineers are not certain the content in process documents are enough or correct to satisfy critical audits.
  • Engineers wish that the process of documentation and evidence demonstration was captured automatically in the tools they use day to day.
  • Engineering managers wish that more time could be given for training in state-of-the art engineering techniques rather than process training.

Related: ARP4761A Introduction for Engineers and Managers

EASA and the FAA point towards industry standards which all call for a plethora of documentation that needs to be created to support the objectives. DO-178C (Airborne software), DO-254 (Airborne firmware/hardware), and ARP4754A (Aircraft/Systems) also require reviews, audits, and proof thereof. Some of the best “proof” is detailed and complete checklists covering the primary lifecycle activities and their generated artifacts.

Jama Connect® can provide engineers with a single place to author and read documentation without having to leave the requirements tool in which they are working and look in a file share. The process guidance need not be static but should also assist engineers to follow the process while performing their work. The Jama Connect workflow engine and process documentation can be tailored together to take advantage of streamlining the work that engineers do and assist in the automation of evidence collection and reporting.

The built-in Review Center in Jama Connect can also assist with review of process documentation in each stage of involvement (SOI) in addition to review of requirements, verifications, and risks. By taking an iterative and collaborative approach to reviewing lifecycle data in real-time, Review Center improves stakeholder alignment, reduces lengthy review cycles, and eases the path to compliance. Traditional review processes often stifle collaboration resulting in misalignment, long review cycles, versioning issues, and an abundance of unnecessary meetings. Having a centralized place to manage and collaborate on reviews eases keeping track of the findings and observations, making reviews more efficient and scalable.

Related: Afuzion Plans and Checklists for DO-178C, DO-254, and ARP4754A

AFuzion’s Aviation Compliance Templates and Checklists are now integrated within Jama Connect™. This proprietary content is used by 17,000 engineers worldwide in 25 countries for most certification agencies including FAA, EASA, NASA, ESA, TC, CAAC, CASA, DASA, STM, INTA, RNZAF, MOD, US ARMY, US Air Force and many more. AFuzion has spent 200 person-years of expert aviation engineering time to develop these full templates; this means you begin effective aviation development/certification work immediately instead of expending 10-16 person months developing inferior plans/standards/checklists on your own.

Using DO-178C and DO-254 templates for Plans, Standards, and Checklists ensures that you have an appropriate framework for successfully developing and certifying your system. These templates and checklists can also help in getting organizations to the goal of higher SEI CMM/CMMI ratings (preferably Level 3 – 4+). Usage of AFuzion’s process templates and checklists are intended to maximize the probability of project success and quality by:

• Reducing costs by using pre-built material from the most well-known industry experts instead of spending 2-3 person years typically necessary to develop these internally
• Eliminating tools silos by keeping your Process documents in line with your requirements data
• Enabling better communication of process requirements to your engineering teams


“The biggest risk is not taking any risk…In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

– Mark Zuckerberg, CEO & Founder of Facebook

Although this is true of many of today’s greatest product innovations and the people behind them, when it comes to aerospace and avionics systems and product development, winning is rarely about taking a huge risk and having it pay-off. In fact, most of the time winning is about building a safe, reliable, working product. (Extra credit is given for products that come in on time, under budget, and exceed your customers’ expectations for usability and durability). Of course, to Mr. Zuckerberg’s well-established point, innovation typically demands some level of risk. The secret lies in taking on only an acceptable amount of risk relative to your design assurance levels.

At Jama Software, we know for certain that the more efficient the requirements management process and the more you can define and approve (reach consensus) requirements upfront, the higher your likelihood of coming in ahead of schedule and under budget – and mitigating those risks. In his new “DO-254 Costs Versus Benefits” whitepaper, Vance Hilderman points out the more assumptions that are minimized, the greater the consistency of requirements and their testability is assured, and iterations and rework due to faulty and missing requirements is greatly reduced. One of the leading causes of project failure is poor requirements management. The benefit of DO-254 is the rigor it adds to your requirements management process, thereby increasing your odds of success.

DO-254 can also help save you time by reducing the number of bugs found during testing. Vance states: “Since DO-254 mandates thorough and testable requirements along with design / implementation reviews, far fewer bugs will occur and the test / fix cycle should be expedited.” Voila! Not only will you have a better functioning product, but you will save time and money as a result of the process.

In our ongoing work with heavily regulated industries like Medical Device / Life Sciences, Aerospace, and Automotive, we often hear companies immediately associating cost with regulation. And although that is true, the benefits far outweigh the cost. One is that the most significant cost escalation across DO-254 DALs occurs between Level C and Level B – the cost for Level B is the same as for Level A. It is important to realize that the most expensive design iteration will be when you initially begin designing towards a standard. As you become more familiar with the regulations and rules, it will become easier, and you will also begin to be able to reuse requirements that are reviewed and approved to fit the standard. In complex, regulated environments an investment in DO-254 is not only strategic, but can maximize time to value and save from costly rework and technical debt.

To read Vance’s whitepaper where he goes in-depth on these ideas and concepts, please download the paper here.

And to learn more about how Jama can help you adhere to and provide traceable proof of adherence to these standards, please start a free 30 day trial today!




The work of defining and developing products for industries that require demonstration of regulatory safety and security compliance – like DO-178, DO-254, or ISO 14508 – can feel like a burden, but it doesn’t have to! Jama is created for companies developing products with multiple safety-critical, complex subsystems requiring engineering expertise across systems, electrical, mechanical, and software.

This is an overview video of how an aerospace company might use Jama for developing a new variant on a tactical control system for an UAV product. This video shows how Jama can increase confidence that a product will meet regulatory safety and security compliance while reducing design and review cycle times and making it easier for the DER to audit your work.

To start a Free Trial of Jama, click HERE.