Product development lifecycle management is the handling of the entire lifecycle of a product, from its earliest stages of concept development to its eventual production and use in the market. Effective strategy and execution across the lifecycle requires preserving quality while working within constraints on cost and time. A key component to successful product development is managing your requirements from start to finish within a system that allows for complete traceability and collaboration throughout the development process. A requirements management solution that enables live traceability, real-time collaboration, flexible development methodologies and hierarchical organization will ultimately lead to an improved product development lifecycle.
The Importance of Live Traceability
From the early stages of a product’s development all the way through its go-to-market execution, product development teams need to understand how their different requirements and tests are traced to each other throughout the process, in order to effectively manage compliance, track changes, and ensure product quality. The right solution should enable visibility across the product development lifecycle, so that team members can:
- See the impact of change before it happens and adjust as needed
- Automatically trace your requirements as you create content, reducing non-value time
- Keep track of test coverage one convenient place
- Automatically have guardrails that alert you to any gaps in your product development
- Easily view and navigate upstream and downstream relationships
- Create a clear audit trail to support the development of complex, safety-driven products
- Export your trace matrices easily to help with proof of compliance
So how do these types of features work in practice? Let’s examine how live traceability functions in specific ways within Jama Connect.
Navigating Change Management and Impact Analysis
Too often data in complex product development remains in siloes, creating misalignment, lack of visibility, and difficulty to assess the impact of change. With objects traced in Jama Connect, you have the ability to perform an impact analysis which enables you to review the impact of each change to a new or existing product before it’s actually made. Changes happen to requirements and other artifacts all the time, which is why it’s important to be able to create baselines.
Additionally, the platform can reactively and automatically mark items as “suspect” when they are downstream from a modified item. Teams can then review a running listing of items needing further evaluation that may need to be evaluated for impact.
Relationship rules also enable you to track items within the same project or across multiple projects, using a visual schematic for representing the different artifacts traced throughout your development process.
Jama Connect can take a snapshot that documents the detailed status of a project, or any subset of a project, at a designated point in time, also allowing you to maintain meaningful comparison and overall traceability.
Multiple versions of a product requirement can also be compared, side-by-side, to see what changed. Through such visualization, teams can easily see how requirements have iterated over time and what led to those changes.
Diving into Test Management and Traceability
QA teams need the power to trace test results back to their corresponding requirements. In Jama Connect, these teams can perform manual testing, create and organize test plans with groups of test cases, dashboards, and view test-related reports throughout the product development process. They can also:
- Organize testing information to support an iterative verification process
- Identify missing test coverage and take action to close gaps
- Reuse validated requirements saving time when testing across multiple product versions or variants.
- View real-time, consolidated data about test plans, associated test cycles, cases, and test runs to-date
- Perform all of these actions from the same interface
The end result is reduced risk throughout the product development lifecycle, along with increased product quality. For example, the ability to log failures and defects allows for the creation of trace relationships that make it easier to resolve the issue in question.
Meanwhile, out of the box reports and dashboards provide straightforward visualizations of the progress of the test management process, including how tests trace back to their requirements. That helps simplify industry compliance, as it is easy to show auditors the connections between requirements and tests along with associated results.
Adding Power Through Integrations
An RM, test, and risk platform ensures that no project-related stone is left unturned, not only through the test management capabilities above, but also through wide-reaching integrations.
In Jama Connect, you can integrate with industry leading solutions providing a flexible, scalable solution when automated testing is necessary in the product development lifecycle. Pull in automated test results from other sources using Jama Connect’s integrations with popular solutions such as Tricentis: qTest, LDRA, Vector, Testrail, and ANSYS, as well as its Open REST API.
The Role of Real-Time Collaboration
The product development lifecycle requires collaboration between multiple stakeholders and teams, along with the efficient capture of stakeholder feedback and other standardized data during the requirements review and approval processes. Teams must be able to share, confirm, and iterate on product requirements and specifications, determine acceptance criteria, and coordinate engineering responses in real time, including prioritization capturing electronic signatures for approvals – ideally from a common place.
In reality, real-time collaboration is hindered by disjointed processes and discrete documents.
Review Center within Jama Connect provides a streamlined alternative, allowing you to gather and incorporate feedback from the relevant project stakeholders, track a review’s overall progress and view team statistics to determine which requirements have the most issues to address.
Managing Approvals and Electronic Signatures
Reviewers can join in conversations and mark items as “Approved” or “Needs More Work.” Use electronic signatures to demarcate the different stages of the product development process, establish roles between “Reviewers” and “Approvers” and export approved reviews to more effectively prove compliance. Each signature captures the time and date for auditing purposes, making it very straightforward to tie them back to their corresponding individuals or stakeholders.
Effective collaboration and engagement throughout the product development lifecycle has numerous benefits. With the right platform and setup, you can shorten milestone phases and development cycles, help teams better identify risks and opportunities and improve overall time to market.
Stream Discussions and Assign Responsibility
Jama Connect allows you to stream discussions bringing both internal and external stakeholders into the conversation easily without needing to navigate deep into the requirements management platform. A conversation can be easily expanded to encompass the necessary users and stakeholders and communicate key actions items to them. A user can respond to a conversation without even accessing the application proper, allowing them to add to a threaded and contextual exchange with ease.
Along similar lines, Jama Connect helps you see who authored, edited, commented on, or was mentioned in any given item. These details allow for quicker, more targeted action, for instance if a requirement changed and needs to be updated right away. The responsible parties, whether a developer or QA lead, can be notified and supplied with the relevant context.
Reusing Requirements to Save Time and Increase Consistency
Products often share requirements, so why not reuse them once approved? Efficient reuse requires the right platform for cataloging all the specific requirements in question and keeping them in sync across the organization.
Traditional document-based product development lifecycle management is an obstacle to reuse. Adding in a modern platform is a good step toward greater consistency in how you reuse your requirements and in turn shorten time-to-market by eliminating rework and manual processes.