Tag Archive for: traceability

Convergent Dental

In this blog, we partically recap this customer story, “Convergent Dental Selects Jama Connect,® For Its Live Requirements Traceability” Read the entire story HERE.


In the medical device industry, proving that there are no unvalidated or unverified requirements is critical for compliance. While Convergent prepared to demonstrate compliance with De Novo Classification Request standards, they began to seriously consider the challenges of their documents-based requirements management process.

In this customer story, we examine how Jama Connect helps Convergent Dental increase efficiency and manage complex product development subject to regulatory compliance. Read the full customer story to find out how Convergent Dental has shifted from cumbersome document-based processes to a more modern requirements management solution, resulting in:

  • Audit preparation decreased from three weeks to one day
  • Streamlined review cycles
  • Plans for leveraging Jama Connect for test management

RELATED: Certification and the Role It Plays in the eVTOL Aircraft Market


Convergent Dental chooses Jama Connect to manage compliance through in-depth reviews and to save valuable engineering time.

ABOUT | Convergent Dental

  • Headquartered in Needham, MA
  • Expertise: Creating breakthrough laser technology that completely changes how people think of dentistry.
  • Awards: The Company’s flagship product, Solea®, was voted a Gold Winner for innovation at Edison Awards 2016.

Headquartered in Needham, MA, Convergent Dental, Inc., is the creator of Solea, the world’s first computer-aided hard, soft, and osseous tissue dental laser.

With an isotopic CO2 beam of 9.3 µm, Solea cuts significantly finer and faster than any other dental laser, with virtually no noise or need for anesthesia. Their unique system, with patented technologies and controls, nearly eliminates the need for the drill – the thing that many dread about going to the dentist.

CONVERGENT DENTAL CUSTOMER STORY OVERVIEW

CHALLENGES

  • Manual, cumbersome processes were slowing teams down significantly
  • Difficulty compiling necessary documentation for compliance
  • Proving all requirements are tested

EVALUATION CRITERIA

  • Easy-to-use platform with a low barrier to entry
  • Out-of-the-box configurations
  • Automated traceability

THE OUTCOME AND THE FUTURE

  • Audit preparation decreased from three weeks to one day
  • Streamlined review cycles
  • Plans for leveraging Jama Connect for test management

RELATED: Eight Ways Requirements Management Software Will Save You Significant Money


CHALLENGES

Manual, cumbersome processes were slowing teams down significantly

As a small team, the development team’s motto is that no one has the option to be “dead weight.” So, when their engineers were forced to spend hours manually editing requirements and tracking traceability using Word and Excel documents, it wasn’t great for team morale, or for their pace of development.

While using Word and Excel, they found themselves tracking across multiple documents, all with their own trace matrix tables relating to different requirements. The fallout from this process is that even a single word or letter change in a low-level subsystem requirement led to updating the corresponding requirements documents and their trace matrix tables. So, a single letter turns into not one change but potentially six changes across five different documents.

This manual method of digging through Word documents led to cumbersome requirements management and traceability tracking from engineers whose time should be devoted to systems engineering for product development.

We have a small team with a large amount of features and updates to perform on an ongoing basis. We all work really hard here, and there’s no option to be dead weight. Getting rid of that wasted time in Word and Excel, and getting our test engineers back to work, is the ultimate goal.” – Craig Woodmansee, Electrical Systems Engineer, Convergent

Difficulty compiling necessary documentation for compliance

In the medical device industry, proving that there are no unvalidated or unverified requirements is critical for compliance. While Convergent prepared to demonstrate compliance with De Novo Classification Request standards, they began to seriously consider the challenges of their documents-based requirements management process.

They knew their requirements were tested, but in order to show proof, they had to go through hundreds and hundreds of pages. They tediously combed through all their records, which took weeks, significantly impacted productivity, and slowed time to market.

“So instead of just being able to reference the reports and say, ‘Look, they’re here,’ I had to put together the list and then ask a team member to go dig down those. And that took him a couple of days to dig up all that testing. So that was the loss, time from our test engineers.” – Craig Woodmansee, Electrical Systems Engineer, Convergent

Preparing for the De Novo Submission was a catalyst for this in-depth review of their requirements. If they continued down the path of Word and Excel, an auditor — if they decided to pull on any small little string — would have resulted in more time trying to track down the requirements. This experience was the deciding factor that led them to understand that the Convergent team needed a better tool.


RELATED: A Guide to Good Systems Engineering Best Practices: The Basics and Beyond


EVALUATION

To solve the above challenges, and in order to save valuable time in the development process, the Convergent team knew they needed to move to a modern and proactive requirements management tool.

Many team members had shared their past experience with Perforce Helix, however, when they began evaluating new solutions, they realized they needed more robust configurations and a more intuitive interface than what those could offer.

“When comparing Jama Connect and Helix, ease of use and the interface played a large role in that decision. While Perforce has many strong applications, this specific area is one where Helix fell short.” – Craig Woodmansee, Electrical Systems Engineer, Convergent

The evaluation process for selecting a modern requirements and test management solution ultimately came down to Intland codebeamer and Jama Connect®.

The following capabilities and features were ultimately why Convergent selected Jama Connect:

Easy-to-use platform with a low barrier to entry

Throughout the evaluation process, it was important to the Convergent team that they found a platform that was easy to use, allowing all team members to easily get started without spending significant time learning a complex platform.

As a small team, Convergent needed a platform that would allow them to move quickly and be agile. They didn’t have time to waste when looking for the requirement management tool that would solve their challenges. After completing trials of both Jama Connect and codebeamer, they knew they needed to make a timely decision. They gathered as a team for an internal review where they asked each other questions such as, “How easy was it to learn?”, “How good and intuitive did it feel to use?”, and “How fast can we be onboarded?”

During their evaluation, Jama Connect’s online training videos demonstrated just how easy the platform was to use. After watching tutorials, critical team members felt they already knew how to use the platform and that Jama Connect would provide a good level of support. After their trial, they discovered that the low barrier to entry and quick adoption helped Jama Connect stand out from other platforms and made their team excited when they received approval to start using Jama Connect.

Out-of-the-box configurations

Implementing a new system is a big deal for any company, and while the team knew onboarding a modern requirements management solution would greatly improve the team’s efficiency, they knew that they were facing a relatively significant change. To save time for their quality team, they prioritized finding a solution with out-of-the-box configurations aimed at the design control process.

While evaluating Jama Connect, they found preconfigured design rules that closely matched what they currently used.

“You can’t beat it. It’s too easy. Using the out-of-box configurations, I can just click and view the trace matrix. That was phenomenal.” – Craig Woodmansee, Electrical Systems Engineer, Convergent

Automated traceability

When evaluating solutions, Convergent knew that a key component of their search revolved around a platform’s ability to automatically — and proactively rather than reactively — create traceability from design, all the way through to verification and validation.

What they found was that Jama Connect was the only platform that could create Live Traceability™, the ability to see the most up-to-date and complete upstream and downstream information for any requirement, no matter the stage of systems development or how many siloed tools and teams it spans.

The Convergent team knew that this level of traceability would allow the team to work faster, simplify their process, and improve the quality of their project management.

After importing user needs and requirements, creating relationships, and running tests in Jama Connect, the Convergent team realized that traceability became semiautomatic.

“We don’t have to manually maintain traceability because Jama Connect does it for us. Once requirements are in place, Jama Connect just says ‘if you make a change, then here are all the things it affects.’” – Craig Woodmansee, Electrical Systems Engineer, Convergent

To read the outcome from Convergent Dental’s choice of Jama Connect, read the entire customer story here: Convergent Dental Selects Jama Connect® For Its Live Requirements Traceability


Risk Traceability

Incorporating Risk Traceability into Manufacturing Production Software and Preparing for the Transition from CSV to CSA

Intro

Over the years, the burden of Computer Systems Validation (CSV) has resulted in medical device manufacturers avoiding implementation of automated manufacturing production systems or upgrading long-outdated versions of software. As part of the FDA’s ‘Case for Quality’ initiative in 2011 to study quality best practice in medical device manufacturing, the FDA found that the burden of compliance, such what is expected for Computer Systems Validation (CSV), deterred technology investments and as a result, inhibited quality best-practice.

As an outcome, the FDA is expected to release a draft guidance in 2022 that outlines their new approach of Computer Software Assurance (CSA) for Production and Quality System Software. The goal is to improve software quality by focusing on the software’s impact to patient safety, impact to product quality, and impact to quality system integrity. Using a risk-based approach, manufacturers can spend more time testing to ensure software meets its intended use, instead of ensuring test protocols and reports are fully scripted are error free.

As the key to right-sizing CSA activities is based on risk, managing risk, and risk traceability and incorporating is a key activity. And there’s no need to wait for the publication of the FDA CSA draft guidance, medical device manufacturers can incorporate these risk management and traceability practices now in their CSV activities.

Keep reading below for best practices on how to extend risk management and risk traceability from the medical device development to your manufacturing production software used to manufacture your devices.

Main Points for How

Consider the product risks and hazards

Even though we are discussing manufacturing production software and the software used on manufacturing equipment, the first step is to consider the product risks and hazards. Start with your master list of hazards, hazardous situations, and associated harms developed during medical device development and determine where and how failures in the manufacturing production software and production equipment can result in those risks and hazards. These are the areas to consider as the highest risks to control, mitigate, and validate.

Next, perform additional risk analysis from the lens of the environment and manufacturing personnel that will operate said equipment and software. It is important to also protect the environment and prevent injury and harm to those interacting with the equipment. You don’t want the unintended release of hazardous chemical reagents or equipment fires that could have been prevented with built-in high temperature shut-down feature.


RELATED: Managing Complexity in Systems Engineering for Product Development with Live Traceability


Create manufacturing production software intended uses and requirements

Just as one determines the intended use and design input requirements of a medical device, the same is to be done for the manufacturing production software and equipment. Incorporate the necessary features as manufacturing requirements (analogous to the design inputs of your medical device) that address the risks identified in the previous step.

One example is based on risk of the product and demonstrates how risk traces from the development of the medical device. Consider the design of a semi-automated assembly machine for a drug-delivery device. The machine aligns and press-fits together two plastic injection-molded halves of the delivery sub-assembly. One of the main product associated risks is ensuring proper flow efficiency to ensure the proper amount of drug is delivered correctly and to the proper anatomical location.

In this case the risk traceability and translation to the assembly machine design inputs is:


RELATED: Application of Risk Analysis Techniques in Jama Connect® to Satisfy ISO 14971


Perform software testing and equipment validation based on risk

Once ready to test the production equipment software and perform equipment validation, incorporate, you guessed it, risk. All manufacturing requirements then need to be verified, however, scale the amount and type of testing for each manufacturing requirement based on the risk. Aspects of the software and equipment that are of high risk, such as preventing severe harm to operators, or the end users and patients of the medical device will have more testing and documentation than those of lower risk.

Document risk traceability of testing and equipment validation

Just as documenting risk traceability for medical device is important, it’s also important for manufacturing production software and equipment. Using a tool like Jama Connect® makes it easy to link your master list of hazards, hazardous situations, and harms to your manufacturing requirements for manufacturing production software and equipment. This increases consistency and efficiency in the risk analysis and prioritizing efforts on where it matters for patient and operator safety. The interface of Jama Connect® also makes the traceability and documentation of the associated testing and validation easy to visualize, alerting teams to gaps and incomplete testing.

Closing

Extending risk traceability from your medical device development to your manufacturing production software and equipment brings focus to what can impact patient safety and scales the testing and validation work appropriately. Incorporate risk and you’ll also be well on your way for the upcoming FDA transition from CSV to CSA.



OSLC

What Is OSLC?

OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) is an “open” standard designed to facilitate communication between tooling primarily used in engineering disciplines. The initial work was done by IBM in 2009 and in 2013 governance moved to OASIS. The idea behind OSLC is to provide a common layer for tool vendors so that connection between tools can be created without having to write and maintain individual connectors between each set of tools. In theory, this reduces the burden on tool vendors and gives users confidence that tools that support OSLC will interoperate without issue.

What tools support OSLC?

Many tool vendors do not directly support OSLC. Jama Software® integrates with a wide variety of best-of-breed tools and most of them do not come with native OSLC connectors. Of the 25 most prevalent tools that we see in the market, 20% have some OSLC capability, and only 16% have a company- supported connector. Contrast that with the fact that 100% of these tools have a company-supported REST API and you can clearly see the direction of the market.

OSLC services a relatively small niche that often requires consulting and some technical assistance to setup. Given that many of the tools that utilize OSLC are desktop based, the IT environment becomes a challenge for integration. This has led many to rely on third-party vendors to broker the OSLC integration layer and provide the support necessary. At Jama Software we have partnered with MiD and their product Smartfacts to enable this connection. Jama Connect® has a robust REST API and through our partnership with MiD we can support those customers who need an OSLC integration, while extending our integration capabilities to the much wider systems engineering ecosystem.


RELATED: Jama Software® and Sparx Systems Enhance Best-of-breed Tools Integration to Strengthen Live Traceability™ Across Systems Development


Using the integration hierarchy to achieve Live Traceability™

Most companies who are considering an OSLC integration are doing so to improve requirements traceability across their product development process. Requirements traceability approaches range from rudimentary, manual approaches, to automated synchronization across tools. At Jama Software we’re focused on helping our customers achieve Live Traceability™  via automated synchronizations of best-of-breed tools to a common traceability model. For those desktop tools that do not fully support automated synchronization, a lower level of traceability is the best that can be achieved.

Traceability Level

OSLC sits squarely in Level 3.


RELATED: DOORS Next Generation or Jama Connect: A Side-by-Side Look at Requirements Management Platforms


Organizations that are heavily invested in a specific toolchain suite can leverage OSLC to reduce the interop challenge inherent in suites that have been created through acquisition. Embedding user interfaces into other applications and maintaining links allows a user to navigate through the “suite” without having to open each application. When dealing with desktop applications, this can reduce the need to load up each tool individually. It is certainly better than trying to sync information through manual efforts.

In desktop tool scenarios and with tools that do not have a web API, OSLC might be as far as you can go. In which case, Jama Software has you covered. For those who want to move beyond the single user context and achieve Live Traceability, we recommend Level 4 integrations. Utilizing easy-to-implement, universal web standards we’ve helped hundreds of organizations achieve the user-level benefits of contextual data while also elevating the systems engineer’s visibility to the process and organization level.

Contact Jama Software today to find out how we can help you with OSLC and further you on your journey towards Live Traceability.

What is DOORS



reqif

Supply chain collaboration: Interactive or ReqIF. Which is right for you?

There are two main types of requirement collaboration in the supply chain: Interactive and ReqIF. While interactive collaboration is on the rise and offers the most benefits, there are cases where it is not feasible. Jama Software supports both methods and, in this post, we will discuss each method’s use-case and pros/cons.

Interactive Collaboration: The High-fidelity Option

We all know that collaboration in product development helps improve quality, reduces risk and speeds up development. For this reason, Jama Connect® has context-based, interactive collaboration built into the platform. Reviews are a formal, effective collaboration method that guides teams in fulfilling regulatory requirements.

In addition to using these industry leading capabilities in-house, our customers frequently use these capabilities to collaborate with external stakeholders. For instance, Jama Connect allows you to invite reviewers simply by email (Jama Connect licenses include more than enough reviewer licenses for this purpose). This works extremely well in practice. In fact, one medical device developer, RBC Medical Innovations, was able to shed hundreds of team-member days during development to save $150,000 in cost savings per project.

As a fully web-based software as a service (SaaS) product, Jama Connect offers customers a standard and secure web interface for cross-department or cross-company collaboration. Inviting customers or suppliers into your Jama Connect system is as easy as sending an email. User security can limit what is seen and allows for granular control of permissions. Our full version tracking enables everyone to see what has changed, who changed it and all impacts on upstream/downstream traceability.


RELATED: The Limitations, Drawbacks, and Risks of Using Legacy Requirements Management Tools


The Alternative: Controlled Data Exchange via ReqIF

Data exchange between organizations is nothing new, and many organizations have collaborated for decades, typically by exchanging documents. While this approach technically works, it results in unstructured data that provides no traceability, no understanding of changes between versions and no easy way to provide structured feedback.

The automotive industry is a great example of complexity across the supply chain with OEM’s traditionally working with hundreds of suppliers. It’s not unusual to find tens of thousands of requirements in an automotive specification, so managing these requirements is a challenge. In response, the industry developed an international standard for the lossless exchange of requirements called Requirements Interchange Format (ReqIF) and the standard was finalized in 2011.

A requirements exchange with ReqIF has some similarities to the old (and dreaded) document exchange process: One party exports a ReqIF file and hands it to the other party. The transfer can happen via a portal upload, automated exchange or even as an email attachment.

But here’s where the similarities end: A ReqIF file contains structured requirements data consisting of individual requirements with visibility into structure, attributes, related elements, and traces. ReqIF also supports incremental updates. If one party creates another version and exports a month later, you could import that version into your environment and the tool would show you clearly which elements, attributes, and traces have changed. For instance, you could use suspect links to re-validate only those items that have changed. Compared to trading .pdf files, which yes believe it or not many organizations still do, this is an extremely significant time saver and error avoiding capability.

While the standard is certainly more advanced than simple document sharing, it does have drawbacks. Not every tool adheres to the standards in the correct way. Data exported can be missing embedded images, required fields in one system are not required in another and user information (meta-data) is not universally available.

 


RELATED: Jama Connect in the Digital Engineering Ecosystem


Collaboration via ReqIF

ReqIF is commonly used to solicit feedback from a supplier. A producer could export the requirements for a supplier, including attributes for providing status feedback and comments. The supplier would then import the ReqIF file into the tool of their choice, where they could fill out the supplier attributes and send the resulting export back.

In addition, they could start integrating the imported requirements into their own development system. For example, they could establish traceability from the customer requirements through to design while keeping the process invisible to their customer.

Image Source: IREB Magazine

There are other use cases that ReqIF supports as well, but for all of them, the foundation is a controlled asynchronous exchange of structured requirements that keeps individual items, attributes and traces intact. Jama Connect supports this workflow and we have many customers that are using it today.

Bottom Line: How to Collaborate?

If you are using Jama Connect, the built-in collaboration capabilities are the most effective way to work together. Having 100% Live Traceability™ has been proven to increase product quality while reducing time to market.

However, if you are working with people outside your organization, that may not be able to collaborate using your Jama Connect instance a ReqIF-based collaboration could be an acceptable alternative.

Learn more about the benefits of upgrading your requirements management process with our paper, “Getting the Most from a Requirements Management Tool.



requirements management software

 

Eight Ways Requirements Management Software Will Save You Significant Money

Requirements management software helps development teams eliminate manual compliance efforts and significantly reduce product delays, rework, and cost overruns. Some platforms, like Jama Connect®, also include frameworks and templates aligned to industry standards — and enable live requirements traceability through siloed development, test, and risk activities, providing end-to-end compliance, risk mitigation, and process improvement.

In this post, we’ll share the eight ways that a requirements management platform can save your company significant money, making it a wise investment at any time — especially during challenging economic times.

Requirements Management Software can help your organization save money by:

1. Reclaiming Productive Work Time

A modern requirements management solution (like Jama Connect®) can help your teams reclaim hours of unproductive work time, resulting in money saved across the organization. Without a modern requirements management solution, highly skilled – and often highly paid – employees can waste up to 40% of their time on tedious, unproductive activities such as:

  • Searching for siloed information in static documents and/or disconnected tools
  • Manual/or duplicative data entry to update status in multiple systems
  • Working off old data and outdated versions of documents
  • Reformatting and migrating data back and forth between tools
  • Reconciling differences between data sources
  • Trying to understand ‘what changed?’ and assess the impact

After implementing Jama Connect, our customers on average, quantify that they are reclaiming one to two hours of productive work time per day, some even more. The engineers at Monolithic Power Systems can now quickly and easily produce required documentation and no longer need to spend time in multiple time-consuming meetings and scrums to get a clear picture of what’s happening with their products. And with Jama Connect, they can automatically generate — at times — 70-80 pages of documentation (entered correctly one time, in one place) and efficiently generate any additional documentation they need, saving their engineers countless hours of documentation time.

Another customer, RBC Medical Innovations shared that on one of their state-of-the-art capital equipment development projects, Jama Connect saved them 123 team-member days with an average cost savings per project of $150,000. And medical industry innovators and pioneers in the field of plasma science, Grifols, reports saving 80 hours or more per project after implementing Jama Connect.

Interested in the numbers?

Let’s take, for example, this simple calculation.

If you have 10 team members engaged in core requirements management activities, and each spends roughly four hours on the above-listed unproductive tasks per weeks, the annual budget reclaimed with Jama Connect would be $94,118.

Note: The calculation assumes 237 actual working days per year (at an average salary of $100K) with each author in Jama Connect reclaiming a conservative one hour per day.

Test this out with your own numbers using the interactive calculator below!

2. Reducing Rework

How much money are you leaving on the table due to rework? See how much you can save by decreasing discovered and unplanned work due to:

  • Improperly defined requirements
  • Incomplete decomposition and missing coverage
  • Insufficient review and stakeholder alignment
  • Lack of rigor and impact analysis when managing change
  • Late-stage requirements churn

Again, let’s assume an organization has an average product development investment cost of $10,000,000. (Typical rework costs average about 30% of development costs, so in this case, it would be $3,000,000. And rework costs due to poor requirements management averages about 60% of rework costs, which, in this case, would be $1,800,000).

Our customer data shows that Jama Connect typically reduces requirements management rework by 40-60%. So, with these calculations, the organization can expect to reclaim, a not insignificant, $900,000 of annual budget with Jama Connect.

In one example, our customer, Arteris IP has seen not only seen reuse go up by 100%, and review times down by 30%, but also a significant 50% reduction in rework since using Jama Connect.

Test this out with your own numbers using the interactive calculator below!

3. Streamlining the Review Process

For product developers and engineers, reviews are a cornerstone of the development process. How much are inefficient requirement review meetings costing your organization? Is your review process cumbersome, manual, in disparate documents, and challenging for distributed stakeholders to collaborate? If so, it might be time to (forgive the redundancy) review your review process. Healthcare leader, Grifols shared that with Jama Connect, they have reduced their review cycles from three months to fewer than 30 days.

Legacy solutions that are difficult to use can make the review process incredibly cumbersome, diverting frustrated team members out of the tool and onto ineffective (often quickly outdated) versions of disparate documents. This is a story we’ve heard repetitively from customers who’ve moved away from legacy tools and processes.


RELATED: Why Migrate from IBM® DOORS® to Jama Connect?


If that’s one of your frustrations as well, it might be time to see how much budget you can reclaim through review optimization, including:

  • Virtualizing reviews for asynchronous collaboration
  • Focusing key stakeholders on the most relevant information
  • Adopting a more iterative approach
  • Increasing upfront rigor and version control
  • Tracking participation and progress

For this calculation, we’ll assume three variables:

  1. Total number of requirements review meetings per month
  2. Approximate duration of each review meeting
  3. Average participants in each meeting

Let’s assume six review meetings per month, each meeting lasting three hours, and an average of 10 people involved in each review meeting. Calculating with an average salary of $150K/per attendee, and with the above-defined variables, the annual cost of review meetings would be $162,000. The total number of people hours in review meetings would be 180 hours.

The calculated savings alone, by just reducing the time spent in meetings, would be $81,000.

Jama Connect typically reduces time spent in meetings by 40-60%. Notably, the Finnish Red Cross estimates that implementing Jama Connect has shortened their review cycles by an impressive 80%. What could you get done with all that time back?

With Jama Connect, you can simplify the review and approval process by capturing collaborative feedback from stakeholders, including voting for priority and electronic signatures for approver roles. In addition, Review Center in Jama Connect helps teams reduce risk, and save time and money by allowing teams to:

  • Increase participation in the review process
  • Retain a historical record of all decisions made and by whom
  • Provide visibility sooner in the review process
  • Generate approval-ready content for e-signature faster
  • Collaborate more often and capture tacit knowledge

Check out the potential savings you could realize with your own numbers using the interactive calculator below!

4. Identifying Defects Earlier in the Development Process

Does your organization build complex software and systems? How much can you decrease the cost of development by addressing software defects earlier? Using a modern requirements management software solution can help you identify and address software defects due to:

  • Lack of rigor early in the development lifecycle
  • Low stakeholder participation in requirements definition/validation
  • Poor visibility into requirements changes and impact analysis
  • V&V/QA teams remaining disconnected throughout the process

For this sample equation, we’ll take an average total number of requirements managed annually (we’ll use 4,500) and the average number of hours it takes to fix a defect (we’ll use six hours for this example). The average number of requirements with defects typically equals around 60% of the total number of requirements. With these test numbers, the annual cost of defects would be $850,000. Jama Connect can reduce the number of requirements-related defects by 25-40%. Identifying and addressing these issues earlier in the development process can significantly help to reduce risk and reclaim significant budget.

For this calculation, we’ve used 30%. The calculation assumes 237 actual working days per year (at an average salary of $100K) with each author in Jama Connect reclaiming one hour per day.

With Jama Connect, the annual budget that could be reclaimed is $255,150.

Test the numbers for yourself using this ROI calculator to see how much you can save by reducing requirements-related defects by up to 40%!


RELATED: Requirements Debt: A Medical Product Program Risk


5. Providing a Better User Experience

Let’s face it, if software is difficult to use and the user interface is challenging, engineers just won’t use it, or only a select few will. We all want life to get the job done, run smoothly and easily — and the software we choose needs to reflect those desires. So, the right requirements management software not only needs to be powerful and have robust capabilities, but it needs to be easy to use.

“Jama Connect lowers the complexity and burden of having to manually keep requirements, architecture, and specifications all in sync and traced to each other.  It’s a formidable problem that is virtually eliminated courtesy of Jama without the hassle of having to learn a clunky UI (IBM Doors).”​

Alan M., Chief Product Officer – G2 Verified Review

“Jama is being used as a test management tool in my company. I [have been] using Jama [for] 3+ years, and I can tell you that this was one of the best Test management tools I’ve ever used. Everything is so easy to understand, and the interface is user friendly — easy to use and can learn this tool quickly.”

Team Lead in Engineering, Software Company – Verified Trust Radius Review

A smooth user experience that provides a pleasant and recognizable interface (one that teams will actually use) is critical to the success and effectiveness of any product development process. Jama Connect is award-winning for its ease of use, and that’s something we’re proud of. Customers love using Jama Connect to optimize their complex product, systems, and software development spanning industries such as aerospace and defense, automotive, medical device/life sciences, financial, semiconductor, insurance, industrial, software technologies, and more.

“Our team cannot stop saying great things about Jama Connect! Its efficiency and intuitiveness have turned requirement workshops from a multi-day event to a 6-hour meeting. Teams adopted the platform so fast, we needed to go back to Jama to get additional licenses (twice)!”
Jim Bolton, Director of Methodology and Tools – Workforce Software

“I told the team it was a very easy-to-use solution. But people were shocked at how fast it came together. Within hours, we were going and setting up the structure for our requirements. There were many other people in the company who had used Jama Connect before and supported our selection. It was a clear choice for medical device innovators like us.”
Rama Pailoor, Vice President of Software Engineering – Proprio

6. Optimizing Communication and Collaboration

Modern, easy-to-use software can improve collaboration and communication across an organization, both for internal and external stakeholders. The right requirements management software will optimize communication and save money, frustration, resources, and time- across the board. One of our customers, the Finnish Red Cross, estimates that their testing team has improved their collaboration and communication by 50% with Jama Connect.

Legacy systems like IBM® DOORS® are notoriously difficult to use and often require individuals with specialized training to implement. This regularly forces engineers and other stakeholders to manage projects outside the software in disparate documents.

“Jama suited our need for collaboration and communication. Jama provides a very easy-to-use interface and communication system that brought in the buy-in from all stakeholders. Visure, Doors, TTA didn’t perform as well in the communication/ collaboration department where we really needed a boost.”​
Stephen Czerniej P. Eng, Systems Engineer – Allied Vision

With Jama Connect, broader teams and stakeholders can collaborate on reviews, test cases, verification and validation in real-time. This kind of in-situ collaboration dramatically reduces risk across the entire development lifecycle to reduce the chance of delays, cost overruns, and expensive recalls, and in turn increases the opportunity for successful outcomes.

[Jama Connect] has allowed us to get more people from our other offices involved in the collaboration process because we’re not all having to sit on a conference call at awkward times. People can come into the system at a time that suits them and review things. And we know their comments will be seen by everybody else.”
Alistair McBain, Sr. Business Consultant – SITA

The fact that it is easy to share information and execute processes even when the team is not co-located (geographically dispersed). Changes are properly tracked, and people notified. It is also easy to organize, review, and monitor the review progress. My organization involves several scientists from 31 countries and more than 200 institutes. Jama Connect gets remote and distributed people informed and involved on processes related to requirements.
Francesco D., Senior Systems Engineer – Verified G2 Review

7. Centralizing Your Requirements Management with Best-of-Breed Tooling

Managing requirements in a single platform speeds up the product development process by saving time (time=money), strengthening alignment, and ensuring quality and compliance. Teams can create, review, validate, and verify requirements in one solution. With Jama Connect, teams can:

  • Have an authoritative source of truth for clear visibility throughout the product development lifecycle
  • Iterate in real time for informed decision-making and consensus
  • Support multiple product development methodologies and engineering disciplines
  • Configure the requirements management software to align with industry best practices
  • Visualize how tests track back to requirements to prove quality and compliance
  • Reuse validated requirements to quickly replicate features across products
  • Not investigating how you can leverage software within your organization is costing you money

“We are using [Jama Connect] from the design specifications/requirements till the test case reviews… Since Jama can be used as a complete project management tool, complete details of a product /project can be tracked in one place easily.”
Suhas Kashyap, Senior Test Engineer, L&T Technology Services – TrustRadius Verified Review

“Jama Connect has brought some new life to our requirements management (and how we see the inter-connectivity of functional requirements with System Requirement Specifications), better dashboards and reporting for everything it supports from printing test plans, requirements, specifications, and test runs.”
Fred Sookiasian, Senior Quality Assurance Software Lead – Advanced Bionics

The #1 problem product engineering organizations face is complying with traceability requirements spanning siloed teams and tools. And one dirty little secret in product engineering is the plethora of traceable data stored in Microsoft Excel. Jama Connect Interchange™ is purpose-built to deliver end-to-end Live Traceability™ (see section below) across best-of-breed tools, including Microsoft Excel — and it’s the first requirements management platform to make Excel data live traceable through a point and click integration interface.

Now teams can leverage the power of Jama Connect’s traceability model to continuously sync traceable information from other best-of-breed tools with no change required for engineering disciplines to continue using their chosen tools to maximize productivity.

“Jama Connect is one of the vital and advanced tools of the modern era. It has a methodology that can ensure complete project tracking from the first step to the execution, test cases, rectification, quality assurance, project timelining, and much more in a streamlined way which has been increasing the overall ROI and efficiency of the project. The important factor of Jama Connect is that all board members can analyze and collaborate on the performance on the same stage, and this has been increasing trust between the clients and organizations while doing large-scale management.”
Engineering Strategist, IT Services – Verified TrustRadius Review

8. Measuring and Improving Development Success with Live Traceability™

Live requirements traceability is the ability for any engineer at any time to see the most up-to-date and complete upstream and downstream information for any requirement — no matter the stage of systems development or how many siloed tools and teams it spans. This enables the engineering process to be managed through data, and its performance improved in real-time.

“Right off the initial stage of just importing the data in Jama Connect and trying to create the relationships, we actually saw that we had traceability gaps, just based on what we had done before in the old system. Catching these gaps would’ve probably taken hours or days in our old system, while with Jama, it became obvious in a matter of minutes.”

Julien Guillaume, Program Manager – Össur

But you can’t improve what you can’t measure!

Jama Software® is the first to measure traceability thanks to our clients’ participation in a benchmarking dataset of over 40,000 complex product development projects spanning aerospace, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, medical device, semiconductor, space systems, and more.

“We have achieved: better requirement communication across departments; a better home for verification and validation test cases with traceability to the sources; and a detailed overview of traceability of requirements from regulatory requirements all the way down to risk items.”
Stephen Cxerniej P. Eng PMP®, Global Platform Systems Engineer – Allied Vision

If you’d like to learn more on how to measure your traceability to improve product quality and accelerate time to market — and get your Traceability Score™, check out our Requirements Traceability Benchmark (the first large-scale, empirical research to confirm that higher levels of traceability correlate to cycle time and quality improvements.) In it, we show how higher scores equal improved product quality and faster time to market. examine how traceability is measured, and the business practices that separate top-quartile performers from the rest.

“Jama Connect establishes traceability proactively from user needs, risk controls, all the way through verification.”
Rama Pailoor, Vice President of Software Engineering – Proprio


WATCH THE WEBINAR: Requirements Traceability Benchmark


When asked, “What do you like best about Jama Connect?” One G2 reviewer shared this:

” …Traceability and the traceability matrix. The ability to establish relationship rules, relate items and item types, and then see where you have gaps is really powerful. After your relationships are established, if you make a change to an item, you can see which related items might be impacted. It makes management of requirements extremely easy.”
Marshall K, Senior Vice President, IT Solutions – G2 Verfied Review

To speed time to market, with reduced risk of negative budget impact, now is the time invest in a modern requirements management platform

Jama Connect enables the delivery of high-quality products, faster, by improving the systems development process through unified requirements management and traceability across the V-model (or any product development process you utilize such as Waterfall, Agile, etc.).

“Jama Connect enables a requirements-driven, systems engineering approach for deploying the V-model in product development. It helps us manage the complexities of vehicle hierarchy; interdependencies between vehicle, system & component; and establish traceability between requirements to validations.”
Anirban Niyogi, Systems Engineering Lead, Vehicle Integration – Nikola

The platform’s robust features coupled with an easy-to-adopt interface aligns people, processes, and tooling in one place to provide visibility and actionable insights into the end-to-end product, systems, and software development process. The result — improved product quality and accelerated time to market with reduced risk of costly delays, recalls, rework.

“We save a lot of time and effort in development and product management by using the well-made collaboration functionalities, especially in these current COVID times, when actors cannot always meet in person. We also save time by making use of the item reuse capabilities of Jama. With Jama we always know who made changes to an item, when the changes were made and sometimes even why. That helps us tracking down and understanding those changes. The ability to link pieces of information together in a relatively easy way, help us to achieve full test coverage, checking for impacts of changes upfront and oftentimes understand a requirement’s rationale. Jama [Connect] also provides good filter and search functions and especially the weaved in collaboration functions constantly prove to be useful. It is also worth mentioning that Jama [Connect] provides powerful customization options, so we were able to customize Jama to our needs and way of working.”
Olaf P., Requirements Management Enterprise – Verified G2 Review


RELATED: See More G2 Reviews HERE


Is Now the Right Time to Invest in Requirements Management Software?

Understandably, being on the edge of a possible recession can motivate extreme fiscal prudence, but now is not the time to duck and cover. It’s the precise time to make proactive decisions that will save your organization measurably in the long run. If you’re dealing with any of the budget-swallowing inefficiencies mentioned above — and can see the potential gains a modern requirements management solution like Jama Connect will offer — it might be exactly the right time to strategically think about making a change to optimize your development processes, saving money for your organization in the long run.

“We have achieved a significant ROI with Jama Connect in risk reduction and productivity gains: reuse is up 100%, rework is down 50%, requirements review cycle time is cut by 30% and audit preparation time is down 75%. Jama Connect is our single source of truth. If it’s not in Jama Connect, it’s not happening.”
Kurt Shuler, VP Marketing – Arteris IP

Are you ready to reclaim some significant budget? Give us a call to see how we can be of help or get started today with a free trial of our award-winning requirements management software platform.


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requirements management software


Why Investing in Requirements Management Software Makes Business Sense During an Economic Downturn

Regardless of the state of the economy, organizations building complex products, systems, and software can always benefit from improved efficiency across the end-to-end development process. Making strategic changes that optimize processes and team productivity will undoubtedly save your organization significant time and money.

And, while it may seem counter-intuitive to invest in new technology during an economic downturn (dare we say the word recession), a modern requirements management tool like Jama Connect®, can provide a dramatic ROI in short order — making it a smart-sense move to invest in new product development software right now.

During economic uncertainty, spending capital on the right tools can improve product quality and increase productivity, well-positioning your organization to save time and money over the long term. But regardless of what happens with the economy, it is never going to be wasted effort to optimize your product development processes or begin to think about how to weather the impact of an impending economic storm.


RELATED: The Jama Software Guide to Requirements Traceability®


Invest in Requirements Management Software Now to Save In Both the Short & Long Term

Many of our clients come to Jama Software to help optimize their product development process after experiencing some of the following core frustrations:

  • Using cumbersome legacy requirements management solutions that have non-intuitive challenging UI/UX
  • Engineers spending valuable hours of tedious manual documentation across disparate documents and tools
  • Engineers wasting time on in-efficient workflows that can be streamlined to save upwards of 80%
  • Insufficient, ineffective cross-team collaboration across various stages of the systems development process starting from requirements, design, development to testing and validation
  • Inefficient and cumbersome review cycles
  • Difficulty in easily producing the necessary documentation to prove compliance
  • Siloed tools and processes that misalign teams and workflows, and leave visibility gaps
  • Lack of Live Traceability™ which results in finding errors late in the development process which can cost upwards of 100x or more to resolve than if they had been found earlier in the development process
  • And the list goes on and on…

Think about the corresponding monetary burden these outdated solutions and misaligned processes place on the organization’s shoulders.

Making an investment in a modern requirements management platform isn’t simply about the time and money that will be saved or improving productivity and efficiency for just a few months — it’s about the savings and reduced re-work that will be realized from the moment the application launches and for years beyond. Depending on the organization’s goals, they either save costs with the gained efficiencies or they use it to be competitive, win new contracts, and bring products to market faster and more cost effectively. You may be thinking that now is the time to pause on spending, not invest. To the contrary, we’d like to share how investing in a modern requirements management solution now is the right decision to help your organization protect itself from an economic downturn and increase your ROI.


RELATED: Accelerate, Measure, and Improve the Systems Development Process with Live Traceability in Jama Connect


For Startups: Build Your House on Bricks, Not Sticks

For startups, investing in a modern requirements management solution, like Jama Connect, is a smart idea irrespective of the state of the economy.

While long established large organizations may be able to withstand a period of lowered sales and slow development, startups may not have that option. A startup’s ability to get to market fast – and first – often is a great indicator of success, and on the flip side, failure.

Doing things right the first time is crucial.

While startups might be hesitant to invest in software initially, a great number are investing in Jama Connect in order to reduce rework, speed development, meeting regulatory compliance, and get to the market before their competitors.

And it’s paying off.

For medical device startup, Proprio, VP of Software Engineering, Rama Pailoor knew it was imperative to establish a requirements-driven development process from the very beginning. Pailoor recognized that their existing approach of using only a Quality Management System (QMS) was not capable of supporting the level of complexity needed to develop their product. Like many document and spreadsheet-based processes, the Quality Management System (QMS) Proprio had in place technically supported requirements management at face value, but when it came to complex engineering efforts, the system came up short.

“Establishing a requirements-driven development process helps to formalize the user needs, getting all the stakeholders to come to a common forum, to express the requirements from their perspective, and avoid confusion. The right requirements management solution can facilitate all of that.”
Rama Pailoor, Vice President of Software Engineering – Proprio

For medium to large organizations: Strengthen your foundation by investing in modern tools and digital transformation

While big enterprises have large teams spread across various geographies and different divisions working on multiple projects, there is a strong need to optimize processes and reduce inefficiencies to reduce costs — especially during challenging economic times. Putting resources towards digital transformation and modern software tools (which result in more ROI) will also reduce overall product development costs over the long term. Through these investments, companies can strengthen their foundation to remain competitive and be better able to weather external market forces.

It is also worth re-visiting how enterprises can improve the engineering efficiency of product development by investing in requirements management and traceability tools. Optimizing the systems engineering process by bringing in traceability across your development stages can immediately create a positive impact on cycle times, and faster execution of testing and validation.

Requirements management software, like Jama Connect, can help development teams improve product quality and accelerate time to market. The platform’s robust features coupled with an easy-to-adopt interface aligns people, processes and tooling in one place to provide visibility and actionable insights into the end-to-end product, systems, and software development process.

 

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jama connect interchange

Jama Connect Interchange™: Live Traceability™ Realized

The #1 problem product engineering organizations face is complying with traceability requirements spanning siloed teams and tools. Organizations are often encumbered by the highly manual and time-consuming review of information across numerous spreadsheets.

What is Live Traceability?

Jama Software defines Live Traceability ™ as the ability to see the most up-to-date and complete upstream and downstream information for any requirement, no matter the stage of systems development or how many siloed tools and teams it spans.

This enables engineering and product management processes to be managed through data and to improve performance in real-time.

How Can We Extend Live Traceability using Jama Connect Interchange?

Jama Connect Interchange™ is purpose-built to deliver Live Traceability across siloed teams and best-of-breed tools, including Microsoft Excel. By using Jama Connect Interchange, teams can simplify this process by linking data across multiple product development applications.


FREE Consultation: Requirements Traceability Diagnosis – Learn your current Traceability Score™


Best-of-Breed Tools That Plug into Jama Connect for Live Traceability

By utilizing Jama Connect Interchange, teams can now leverage the power of Jama Connect’s traceability model to continuously sync traceable information from other tools with no change required for engineering disciplines to continue using their chosen tools to maximize productivity.

To stay up-to-date on future integration tools available with Jama Connect Interchange, follow the Release Notes in our Community!

The Key Benefits of Jama Connect Interchange

Live Traceability

Overcome siloed information to support your product development lifecycle from user and market needs to verification and validation.

Data Integrity

Run complex calculations, logic statements, and other Excel operations from within Jama Connect. All standard Excel functions are supported, and values flow automatically, so you can utilize the full power of Excel without leaving Jama Connect.

Speed

Align teams, track decisions efficiently, and minimize rework to create high-quality products on time and on budget.

Adaptability

Easily adapt Jama Connect to your project and organizational workflows to create an intuitive experience so your teams can get up to speed quickly.

Requirements in a Single System of Record

Achieve and maintain alignment with real-time updates across teams and tools in a single location.

Common Jama Connect Interchange Use Case


Configurable Sync

One-way or bidirectional sync to match your workflows; set the sync frequency to match the speed of your business

Rich Data and Formatting

Supports text formatting, tables, bullets/ numbering, and text transformation

Simple Configuration

Quick setup wizard, control panel, and field mapping tools – all backed by auditable logs

Flexible Deployment Models

Available in cloud SaaS and on-premises


RELATED: Integrations for Live Traceability™


Conclusion

Unlike other solutions in the market, Jama Connect Interchange has been specifically designed and developed to work seamlessly with Jama Connect. It’s easy to deploy, configure, use, and expand – driving efficiency and further lowering your total cost of ownership.

To learn more about Jama Connect and the Jama Connect Interchange, download our Datasheet.


Customer Sucess


Jama Software® Enables Measurable Performance Improvement with Client-Specific Success Paths

We’re excited to announce our further advancement to our market-leading customer success program that has led to high levels of customer retention and award-winning customer satisfaction. Our customers are now able to define measurable success paths from a catalog of consulting offerings to derive optimum and continuous value from Jama Connect®. The new Jama Software Success Program helps customers accelerate the best possible business outcomes and realize long-term success.

With the Jama Software Success Program, customers can now select the success path that best maps to the level of collaboration required to meet their unique needs and desired business outcomes. These customizable success paths deliver the industry-specific expertise, guidance, and resources clients need to see a quick return on investment and achieve their goals.

The Jama Software Success Program has three primary offerings:

  • Essentials Success – A foundational self-guided success path with access to key resources, tutorials, and training to set customers on the road to success.
  • Guided Success – A guided success path with enhanced resource offerings including benchmark assessments, personalized training offerings, and technical services to help evaluate compliance and improve process and quality.
  • Strategic Success – A strategic success path which provides even more advanced offerings, premium-level support, and a close partnership in complex and ongoing enterprise deployments to drive continuous process improvement across multiple projects.

To learn how Jama Software enables your company to succeed in a competitive market, CLICK HERE


With in-house industry experts, extensive consulting, training, and data-driven insights to measure and improve outcomes, the Jama Software Success Program enables customers to accelerate development, improve product quality, reduce risk, and manage innovation in systems engineering.

“With this program update, Jama Software now provides best practice engineering process improvement,” stated Tom Tseki, Chief Revenue Officer. “While other software companies are focused on just implementing their solutions, Jama Software is focused on providing measured process improvement for our customers that goes way beyond just the implementation of software.”


Read the entire press release here



Live Traceability™ for Airborne Systems Development


Live Traceability™ for Airborne Systems Development

Airborne systems are incorporating more cutting-edge technology and becoming more complex with advanced embedded computing technologies, electric propulsion systems, sensors and data, and airframes. A major percentage of this complexity is handled at the software level. Any error in the avionics software of safety-critical airborne electronics could be catastrophic to the aircraft, its occupants, or persons on the ground. 

Airborne systems development requires developers to adhere to the most rigorous safety standards in the world. These extremely rigorous, plan-driven, development processes are unimaginable to developers who have not done it before. Certification is expensive. Delays in certification due to lack of evidence of following mandated guidelines could spell the demise of a new startup. Mistakes in design and development could cost lives. Manual documentation or the use of legacy tools introduce risk. Achieving certification for safety-critical airborne software is costly and time consuming. Once certification is achieved, the deployed software cannot be modified without recertification. 

Airborne certification bodies such as the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recognize international standards as “acceptable means, but not the only means, for showing compliance with the applicable airworthiness regulations for the software aspects of airborne systems and equipment certification.” The most common standards that are followed for airborne systems as a means of compliance are: RTC DO-178C (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-12C), DO-254 (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-80), and SAE 4754A (also published in Europe as EUROCAE ED-79) standards for Airborne systems.    


Related Reading: Better Product Development: Five Tips to Achieve Live Traceability™


Demonstration of traceability is fundamental to each of these standards as the evidence mechanism to demonstrate that safe design practices were followed.  Jama Connect provides an efficient way to capture traceability in a “Live” manner as artifacts (requirements, tests, risks etc…) are being created. Manual document methods and legacy tools will require engineers to create the trace relationships after the development has been done. This could introduce risk as well as lengthen development times.  

Traceability models assist users to create consistent traces between data, then query that data, and provide consistent trace nomenclature between different tools in the ecosystem. The standards are where to begin when defining a traceability model for airborne systems. For example, ARP4754A/ED-79 describes the identification of requirements at the aircraft level, system level, and at an item design level. These requirements interact and are “traced” to various safety related data as well as verification tests. In Jama Connect data artifacts called item types are defined to capture this data and a relationship ruleset is put in place to govern the traces and provide the facility to analyze and report on the traces. 

ARP4754A process interactions between safety and development.

In Jama Connect data artifacts called item types are defined to capture this data and a relationship model is put in place to govern the traces and provide the facility to analyze and report on the traces. In the figure below the relationship model that Jama Connect automatically draws for you, the item types are: Function, Failure Analysis, System Architecture, System Requirement etc. The traces relationships are depicted as the lines between the items types. 

The airborne systems software standard DO-178C/ED-12C requires a “documented connection” (called a trace) between the certification artifacts. In the figure below from DO-178C, users must document traces between system requirements and high level software requirements (HLR). HLRs must be traced to software low level requirements (LLR) as well as test cases and software architecture. LLRs must be traced to test cases and source code. 

For example, a Low Level Requirement (LLR) traces up to a High Level Requirement (HLR). A traceability analysis is then used to ensure that each requirement is fulfilled by the source code, that each requirement is tested, that each line of source code has a purpose (is connected to a requirement), and so forth. Traceability ensures the system is complete. The rigor and detail of the certification artifacts is related to the software level. 

DO-178 mandates requirements-based testing. Each requirement must have associated tests exercising both normal processing and error handling, to demonstrate that the requirement is met and that the invalid inputs are properly handled. The testing is focused on what the system is supposed to do, not the overall functionality of each module. In figure X the Jama Connect traceability model demonstrates this end to end traces from aircraft functions, to system level, and lower level software as well as the verifications covered in all of the standards 

In addition to requirements to test coverage demonstration, the airborne systems standards call for bi-directional traceability between code and requirements. The source code must also be completely covered by the requirements-based tests. “Dead code” (code that is not executed by tests and does not correspond to a requirement) is not permitted. Jama Connect’s Live Traceability allows for connections to other tools in the ecosystem that engineers are using to perform these activities such as testing tools such as LDRA Tool Suite and SW configuration management tools such as Git. The LDRA tool suite is a flexible platform for producing safety, security, and mission-critical software in an accelerated, cost effective and requirements driven process. The tool suite’s open and extensible architecture integrates software life-cycle traceability, static and dynamic analysis, unit test and system-level testing on virtually any host or target platform.  Finding the dead code using LDRA makes this an easy task. The figure below describes an example of a best of breed tool ecosystem facilitated by Live Traceability. 

Jama Connect’s Live Traceability supports capabilities to both continuously sync data between tools in the ecosystem or display the live linked data within the UI. Organizations may require one or both use cases to support their digital transformation efforts. Tools like Syndeia from Intercax can easily make use of Jama’s Live Traceability to perform synchronizations as well as provide services to author, query, visualize, and curate open digital threads. 

Live Traceability performs a crucial role when it comes to review. DO –178 calls for, and is required for the higher DAL levels, what is called “transition criteria.” Essentially this means that reviews of the traceability itself must be demonstrated. Jama’s Review Center streamlines this by displaying the up and downstream traces right in the context of the review. 

Airborne systems have far more onerous governance and compliance hurdles than other industries such as automotive, finance, or medical. The standards require evidence that traceability evaluations were performed. Traceability evaluations must also be independently assessed by four successive levels of traceability assessments:  1) engineering author, 2) an independent engineering reviewer, 3) a software quality assurance auditor, and lastly, 4) a certification liaison reviewer from FAA or EASA. 


Related Reading: [Webinar Recap] Lessons Learned for Reducing Risk in Product Development


At the end of the day, Airborne Systems developers must provide evidence of compliance to the certifiers. Live Traceability provides the ability, for the first time, to manage by exception the end-to-end airborne design assurance process across all engineering disciplines. The traceability model defines required data traces called for by the standards that can be compared to actual activity to generate exceptions. These exceptions are the early warning indicators of issues that most often lead to delays, cost overruns, rework, defects, and certification deficiencies.  

 

The benefits of using Live Traceability in airborne systems development within Jama Connect and across a tool ecosystem are as follows: 

  •  Proves Airborne Systems compliance articulated in the industry standards in real time without the need to create traces after the fact and enhances the visibility that the defined process is being followed. 
  • Provides simplified project estimates, reduces the risk of delays, cost overruns, rework, defects, and recalls with early detection of issues through exception management, and saves 40 to 110 times the cost of issues identified late in the process. 
  • No disruption to engineering teams that continue working in their chosen best-of-breed tools with no need to change tools, fields, values, or processes. 
  • Increase productivity and satisfaction of engineers with the confidence that they are always working on the latest version, reflective of all changes and comments. 

Click here to learn more about Live Traceability™ and get your free Traceability Diagnostic!

 




Systems Engineers Career Path

Most Systems Engineers we speak with have a common perspective on their role within their organization. Systems engineering as a concept is understood and supported by leadership. And, if systems engineering best practices are followed across all engineering disciplines, leadership also acknowledges the benefits the organization can realize. However, leadership will not force change on engineering disciplines (software, hardware, electrical, risk, verification, and validation) to remove barriers to systems engineering best practice adoption. This leaves most Systems Engineers in the challenging position of possessing responsibility for achieving systems engineering benefits without the authority to ensure engineers adopt best practices. 

The good news is that there is a way out of this situation. The first step to elevating your career is to realize that managing the product engineering process through data is the key and that the Systems Engineering role is the natural role to lead this. For most organizations, the product engineering process is the only process in the company that is not managed through data. No one can go to a system and see the status of all product requirements and where development, integration, risk, and testing stand at any point in time. There is no way to manage by exception. There are no alerts that requirements are not covered, test cases are missed or that hardware made a change that now impacts software. Most organizations have come to accept this state of affairs and try to manage the process through endless meetings, emails, and Slack messages.   

Until the product engineering process is manageable through data, Systems Engineers will be stuck in their current trap — endlessly trying to address issues after the fact, holding unwanted meetings, and the uphill battle of trying to persuade changes in behavior. Below is a 3-step approach that Systems Engineers we work with have used to solve this organizational challenge and have thereby elevated their careers. As with any process change, it is best to do it in stages. You can start with the following steps. 

  1. Baseline current process performance 
  2. Build the business case for change to gain support 
  3. Deliver quick wins

RELATED POST: How to Overcome Organizational Barriers to Live Requirements Traceability


Step One | Baseline Current Traceability Performance 

The first step towards moving the organization to manage the product engineering process through data is to baseline current process performance.  The best place to focus the baseline effort is on traceability since it spans the entire product development process, is a data management concept that is understood, enables systems engineering benefits, and is required by industry standards. To ease the baselining effort, we’ve developed a Traceability Diagnostic that you can use to assess your current situation. The Diagnostic inventories traceable data, the systems in which they reside, and your current Traceability Score™. This is a few-hour effort and forms the basis of the business case in step two.

In this no-cost, guided process, we’ll help you:

  • Understand the monetary risk of your current Traceability Debt™
  • Uncover the quantifiable ROI of moving to Live Traceability
  • Develop a clear plan of action, cost, and timing to achieve Live Traceability

To Get Started With Your Free Traceability Diagnostic,  CLICK HERE


Step Two | Build Business Case for Live Traceability™ 

Once you have established a baseline, it is now possible to build a business case for change that will resonate with leadership. Based on your baseline, the Traceability Diagnostic determines the probability of negative product outcomes (defects, delays, rework, cost overruns, etc.) and the magnitude of these events. This quantifies the risk of maintaining the status quo and doing nothing. In addition to the risk reduction potential of Live Traceability, the Diagnostic also calculates the engineering productivity gains from eliminating the need for time-consuming, manual, after-the-fact traceability efforts. 

Step Three | Start with Quick Wins 

Once you have secured support to move forward, it is common to be able to deliver some quick wins to the organization shortly after project kick-off.  The typical place to start is the painful and time-consuming after-the-fact traceability efforts.  For example, continuous syncing between requirements and software development task management in Jira or Azure DevOps can be set up quickly to automate traceability from requirements to user stories, eliminating a large source of risk and manual, after-the-fact traceability effort. Once quick wins are shown, organizational momentum increases even further and puts you on the success path to begin managing the product engineering process through data.     

Clients of ours that have taken this approach have received significant recognition, been promoted into roles with greater leadership, and have increased their external visibility through speaking engagements. Live Traceability is a unique opportunity to elevate one’s career. Don’t miss the chance.