Previews

Explore like never before

Watch the brief “How Previews Work” video, then get valuable hands-on experience with various products and services that comprise the IBM® Engineering Management solution:


Build smart IoT products

Learn how the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management solution can help you design and deliver the next generation of smart, connected products.


IBM Requirements Management DOORS Next

Discover how managing requirements can help you develop the right features.


IBM Workflow Management

Learn how to improve agile planning and tracking, task management, and change and configuration management.


IBM Test Management

Improve quality by integrating test planning and management into your engineering lifecycle.


Jazz Reporting Service

Use Jazz Reporting Service to quickly consolidate data from a variety of sources into reports that are easily customizable.

AI-Powered Requirements Management

IBM Requirement Quality Assisstant


Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

What’s next?

We hope you’ve enjoyed exploring our products using our sample projects. To build your own project, use a free cloud trial:

More about our solution and products

jazzibmMarketplace
Engineering Lifecycle ManagementEngineering Lifecycle Management – Extended
Engineering Requirements Management DOORS NextEngineering Lifecycle Management – Base
Engineering Workflow ManagementEngineering Requirements Management DOORS Next
Engineering Test ManagementEngineering Workflow Management
Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Engineering InsightsEngineering Test Management
Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – PublishingEngineering Lifecycle Optimization – Engineering Insights
Jazz Reporting ServiceEngineering Lifecycle Optimization – Publishing
Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody – Model Manager
Engineering Workflow Management for agile teams
Enterprise Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®)

Webinars


View webinar recordings conducted by the IBM AI Applications Business Development Team

Connecting IBM Engineering Solutions with Simulink for an ISO 26262 Compliant Test Process

Date: November 12, 2020
Presenters: Nabile Khoury and Thabo Krick of BTC Embedded Systems AG

Standards like ISO 26262 for the development of safety critical systems in the automotive domain require to manage traceability between different types of artifacts in the development process. This traceability is in particular important when it comes to requirements and test cases, so that the following questions can be answered with confidence and accuracy at any project stage:

a. Did we create test cases for every requirement?
b. Which requirement(s) is/are covered by a particular test case?
c. Are there requirements which are not correctly implemented by the software?

One option to connect the different tools could be the use of exchange formats like Excel or ReqIf. But especially as todays embedded software development projects become more agile, these exchange formats are inefficient and error prone, as they introduce many manual import/export which can’t guarentee the consistency of the data.

To solve this problem, IBM has introduced the OSLC standard as part of the IBM Engineering solutions, which allows different development and verification tools to communicate directly with “IBM Engineering Test Management” and “IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next”.

We will show you how to efficiently perform an ISO 26262 compliant software test within a Model-based development process ensuring full traceability between requirements, test cases and test results.

Listen to November 12 recording here.

Shift left! Verify your requirements sooner using Model Execution and Model-Based Testing

Date: October 15, 2020. 2:30PM EDT
Presenter: Todd Dunnavant of IBM

Early verification of requirements “shifting left” is recognized as a key to delivering projects on time, on budget, with full functionality.  In this session, you’ll learn how you can shift left, proceed with greater confidence, and save time and money by leveraging IBM’s capabilities for animating system models and our unique capabilities for model-based testing.

Listen to October 15th recording here.

Build better requirements! Inject AI into your requirements engineering workflows

Date: October 15, 2020. 2:00PM EDT
Presenter: Rob Truban of IBM

A poorly written requirement is the earliest form of a defect and can be the most expensive to deal with if not caught quickly. Remove the risk of low-quality requirements by leveraging AI and RQA. With RQA, you can automate the requirements review process, saving considerable time while significantly improving your requirements’ quality. In this session we will present requirements management with AI utilizing IBM’s Requirements Quality Assistant.

Listen to October 15th recording here.

How the International Space Station insures reliablity and safety by unitilizing IBM DOORS Next Generation

Date: October 15, 2020. 1:30PM EDT
Presenter: Joveline Ollero and Sierra Matlock (NASA Contractors)

Methods for requirements management have evolved since the International Space Station (ISS) program began over 20 years ago. Requirements databases can provide improved traceability, visibility, and consistency of requirements data, however existing processes are structured around paper documents. The conversion to managing requirements through databases in existing document based projects can be difficult. Learn about how DOORS Next Generation is being leveraged within the long established ISS program as well as the developing Gateway program, and the unique challenges associated with both.

Listen to October 15th recording here.

Insightful Engineering at Enterprise Scale

Date: October 15, 2020. 1:00PM EDT
Presenter: Phil Bardasian of IBM

Teams facing the challenge of designing, developing and engineering sophisticated products that cost less, in shorter periods of time and with fewer resources, must not only engineer new technologies but also integrate new solutions that drive faster time to market at lower cost from trusted vendors. IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) is a comprehensive, end-to-end solution that integrates technologies such as the Watson AI-powered Requirements Quality Assistant (RQA) to improve the quality of increasingly complex requirements.

Listen to October 15th recording here.

Testing external code including Simulink code with IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody and TestConductor Add On

Date: October 1, 2020
Presenter: Dr. Hartmut Wittke – Software Engineer for the BTC Embedded Systems AG

In this presentation we show how the behavior of a system under development can be tested even if legacy code is part of the model behavior. The legacy code can be manually developed or coming froma Simulink workflow including auto-code generation with EmbeddedCoder. External code can be “unit tested” in Rhapsody with TestConductor, very similar to the testing of UML or SysML units.But also end-to-end tests can be executed where external codeplays a role as part of a bigger system or software model.

Our Presenter Dr. Hartmut Wittke studied Computer Science at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He finished 1997 his Diploma. From 1997 to 2005, he worked for OFFIS in Oldenburg and finished with his PhD Thesis on compositional specification verification of complex embedded systems. Since 2005 he develops UML based testing tools as software engineer for the BTC Embedded Systems AG

Listen to October 1st recording here

Streamlining Aviation compliance with IBM ELM

Date: September 24, 2020
Presenter: Eran Gery – WW A&D Industry lead for IBM ELM

Airworthiness certification is becoming more demanded by customers today, way beyond just civil airliners. Today there is growing demand for Airwothiness certification for civil and military UAVs, eVTOL and also military aircraft. It is also well known in the industry that airworthiness certification might incur very significant additional engineering cost – up to doubling the cost of the project.

In this webinar we will briefly discuss the airworthiness compliance stack starting with the SAE ARP 4754a, with a special focus on the most common one DO-178C. We will describe and demonstrate how an effective engineering practice and toolchain can dramatically reduce the cost overhead of the compliance work. We will show how the various certification objectives are streamlined with the IBM ELM solution resulting in significant cost reduction, as well as improved quality and time to delivery.

Listen to September 24th recording here.

Test Driven Development with IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody and TestConductor Add On

Date: September 10, 2020
Presenter: Dr. Hartmut Wittke – Software Engineer for the BTC Embedded Systems AG

In this presentation we show how the behavior of individual components can be developed with a test driven development approach in a model based development context. Given are architecture and sequence diagram specifications referring to the interfaces defined by the architecture. The sequence diagrams are reused as test cases for the component under development. By successively taking the specifications into account, behavior adhering to the specifications is developed and tested in an incremental work flow.

Listen to September10th recording here.

Higher quality and less cost with IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody ‐ TestConductor Add On

Date: August 28, 2020
Presenter: Christian Wachtendorf – Project Leader at BTC Embedded Systems AG

How to achieve and maintain quality by model based testing? In this presentation we show how Rhapsody TestConductor helps verifying the system or software under development meets its requirements with a high degree of automation. Model based development and testing enable traceability between requirements, design and test, allowing impact analysis, coverage measurement, efficient reviews, and reuse of specification data for testing.

Listen to August 28th recording here.

Requirements Based Testing for Rail Projects

Date: August 4, 2020
Presenter: Jim Herron – CTO of Island Training

In this session, you will not only see a demonstration of the IBM capabilities, but more importantly hear from a large rail industry power user speak about how they have benefited from this testing methodology with numerous major rail projects around the world.

Whether you are currently using DOORS/DOORS NG or other tools to manage your requirements, you will learn the benefits of requirements-based testing and how using a test management solution can significantly streamline your testing process

Listen to August 4th recording here.

How Model Based Systems Engineering Can Assist With a Move To a New Product

Jul 30, 2020

Date: July 30, 2020
Presenter: Marty Stolz and Pierre Bentkowski of IBM – Technical Sales

How we reused assets for one design and transformed it to a new product. We identified similar requirements, blocks and Use Cases and used these as the starting point with discussions with our customer. Once we discovered the new requirements, we built the mockup control panel and ran simulations on our Analysis and design to verify our model to validate with the customer. Model-based systems engineering is a systems engineering methodology that focuses on creating and exploiting domain models as the primary means of information exchange between engineers, rather than on document-based information exchange.

Listen to July 30th recording here.

Formal Code Reviews in Engineering Workflow Management

Jul 23, 2020

Date: July 23, 2020
Presenter: Jim Herron of Island Training – IBM Certified Technical Specialist

Use one tool to collaborate across teams, manage code, run standup meetings, plan sprints and track work. Available on premises and on the cloud. IBM Engineering Workflow Management acts as the critical link between required and delivered work by enabling teams to manage plans, tasks and project status. It provides the flexibility to adapt to any process, so companies can adopt faster release cycles and manage dependencies across both small and complex development projects. This webinar you will see a full code review cycle in action.

•Submit code for review
•Open the review to view changes
•Create associated issues
•Make required code modifications and resubmit for review
•Approve modifications and deliver corrected code

Listen to July 23rd recording here.

Leveraging Human Intelligence to Access the Power of Intelligent Systems

Jul 9, 2020

Date: July 9, 2020
Presenter: Dr. Larry Kennedy – President of the Quality Management Institute

Technology applications are trending rapidly toward encouraging dependence upon AI and ML to supplant human responsibility and leadership. “Smart” machines are providing analytical advantages that can forecast trouble, rapidly matrix a response and execute a solution with precision. But is human intelligence keeping pace with the demands AI and ML place upon us for terminal decision-making? What have we learnedfrom the Spassky/Deep Blue challenge? We’ll discuss how to leverage human capacity with the Machine and the human requirements associated with intelligent systems.
Listen to July 9th recording here.

Validating Requirements in Engineering Test Management

Jun 18, 2020

Date: June 18, 2020
Presenter: Jim Herron of Island Training – IBM Certified Technical Specialist

Increase efficiency and quality of systems and software delivery with test planning, workflow control, tracking and metrics reporting. IBM EngineeringTest Management (ETM) is a collaborative, quality management solution that offers end-to-end test planning and test asset management, seamlessly integrated with requirements, requirement coverage, workflow, and test defects.Teams can seamlessly share information and use automation to speed complex project schedules and report on metrics in real time for informed release decisions. In this webinar you will see examples of the four test case execution scenarios available in ETM.


Listen to June 18th recording here.

Requirements Management with DOORS Next and DOORS Classic

Jun 11, 2020

Date: June 11, 2020
Presenter: Richard Watson of IBM – Product Manager for Requirements Management

IBM® Engineering Requirements Management DOORS® (DOORS) is a leading requirements management tool that makes it easy to capture, trace, analyze, and manage changes to information. Control of requirements is key to reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and improving the quality of your products. In this webinar we will present what is new with DOORS Next and DOORS 9.0. Highlights will be on ELM v7.0 of new product names, new banners, and new launchpad.
Listen to June 11th recording here.

Transportation and Construction – Optimizing Requirements Collaboration

Jun 4, 2020

Date: June 4, 2020
Presenter: Eran Gery – Distinguished Engineer of IBM and Jim Herron – CTO of Island Training

No industry sector requires more efficient adherence to Requirements Management than does the Transportation and Construction sector. Today more than ever, major projects must be executed through complex teaming arrangements between business partners, contractors, sub-contractors and providers of systems and subsystems. Requirements flow from customers, be they public or private sector entities, and must be further decomposed, tracked, managed and validated throughout the lifecycle of the project. Failure to comply with critical requirements is a guarantee of project cost overrun.

This webinar will show you several best practices and new capabilities to enhance collaboration, improve project performance and mitigate overall risk.

Listen to June 4th recording here.

Digital Engineering in Practice: Transforming the Engineering Process for Aerospace & Defense

May 26, 2020

Date: May 26, 2020, 12:00 pm
Presenter: Eran Gery of IBM – Distinguish Engineer, A.I. Applications

Today’s products and systems in the Aerospace and Defense industry around the world are becoming more complex with new technologies rapidly disrupting the traditional norms. Disruptive innovations are creating an environment of “art of the possible”, which unfortunately also creates new threats to maintain compliant and safe systems. On this front of A&D there is a call for “digital engineering initiative”, looking at these suppliers to adopt digital techniques that enable a leap in speed and efficiency of bringing new systems from concept to operational state. Similar concepts are being sought in other industries like automotive and medical devices. The IBM engineering lifecycle platform (ELM) offers a set of capabilities that enable such a transformation of the engineering process along the line of the digital engineering initiative. In this talk we will present the core capabilities of the ELM platform and demonstrate how it supports digital engineering practices along the product engineering cycle. We will look at an “end to end” practice from early stakeholder needs to verification and validation, involving advanced approaches such as model based engineering, agile systems engineering and AI to realize the digital engineering vision.
Listen to May 26th recording here.

IBM Engineering Reporting v7.0 (JRS, PUB, ENI)

May 14, 2020

Date: May 14, 2020, 2:00 pm
Presenter: Fariz Saracevic of IBM – Sr. Offering Manager

This session provides an overview of what’s new in IBM Engineering Reporting v7.0 (Jazz Reporting Service (JRS), IBM® Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Publishing (PUB) and IBM® Engineering Lifecycle Optimization – Engineering Insights (ENI). JRS is an IBM Engineering reporting solution when users want to create traceability and statistical reports. It allows you to quickly and easily consolidate data from a variety of sources across your applications and project areas. PUB automates the generation of document-style reports across your deployed IBM Engineering and third-party tools, whether these reports are needed for formal reviews, contractual obligations, regulatory oversight, or ad hoc use. It allows the creation of high-quality documents in formats like PDF, HTML, Word, Excel, or XSL. ENI helps users visualize, analyze, and gain insight from your engineering lifecycle data. Engineering teams can improve their understanding of the relationships in complex lifecycle data and demonstrate compliance with regulatory and industry standards.
Listen to May 14th recording here.

What’s New in IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management 7.0 Enterprise Deployments

May 7, 2020

Date: May 7, 2020, 2:00 pm
Presenter: Tim Feeney and Paul Ellis of IBM

In addition to all the significant functional enhancements IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) v7.0, the release also includes many important changes and improvements related to enterprise deployment. In this session we will highlight these changes and other best practice and guidance updates. With the DOORS Next replatform being one of the more significant architectural changes in this release, we will review the new scale limits and highlight best practices to ensure a successful migration.
Listen to May 7th recording here.

Let IBM Watson Assess Your Requirements with IBM RQA

Apr 30, 2020

Date: April 30, 2020
Presenter: Jim Herron – Technical Professional of Island Training

Your engineering requirements drive development – if they contain errors, so will your products. Add IBM Engineering Requirements Quality Assistant to DOORS Next or DOORS 9 to increase requirement quality during creation. Using Watson Natural Language Service and pre-trained AI, Requirements Quality Assistant has built in quality indicators designed to be consistent with guidelines from the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) for writing complete, clear and testable requirements to accelerate your review process, increase requirement quality and reduce training for junior requirements engineers. This webinar will show you how IBM RQA will you allow you assess your requirements with Watson AI.
Listen to April 30th recording here.

IBM ELM – What’s New in 7.0 – performance enhancements- features, UI, Reporting

Apr 23, 2020

Date: April 23, 2020
Presenter: Amy Silberbauer – IT Specialist and Solution Architect at IBM

This webinar will introduce the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management solution version 7.0 and its performance enhancement features including user enhancement features and reporting.
Listen to April 23rd recording here.

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Presentations

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management
Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

What is the Requirement Management for Infrastructure and Public?

When we speak about Infrastructure and Public, we are typically referring to Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) companies, as well as Federal, State and Local Governments. This includes, but is not limited to, rail, subway and other large complex public/private works projects.Use of Requirements Management in the AEC industry is very limited in comparison to use in the system and software world. There is a lack of identification, management and traceability of the requirements during the project development process in construction projects. AEC firms are seeking ways to improve client satisfaction and improve project performance. Much like our typical client, AEC firm requirements are the basis for every project, defining what the stakeholders need and what the end product must meet in order to satisfy those needs. Requirements are the basis for project planning, risk management, acceptance testing, and more.

Also Checkout:

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Aerospace/Defence

Embrace transformation and start leveraging the Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) portfolio for the Aerospace and Defense (A&D) industry. A&D clients struggle to deliver more function in their products while also responding to the market needs, all while releasing on time, ahead of the competition. In addition to these pressures, they must leverage a solution that allows for better reporting to meet regulatory compliance and sparks collaboration with their suppliers.

https://www.ibm.com/internet-of-things/learn/mbse-smart-paper/

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Medical Devices

IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) is the leading end-to-end engineering solution on the market. ELM aids Medical Device companies with their everyday challenges by reducing their compliance risks. Using the ELM solution allows clients to be fully integrated in their engineering approach so predictability of problems is increased. Medical Device companies use ELM to know what works and what doesn’t, ultimately allowing for them to move more seamlessly, cost effectively and progress in the development lifecycle.

  • Offer products to the market on time by leveraging strategic reuse to drive innovation
  • Ensure compliance with design controls, internal company’s SOP and regulatory/ quality requirements (ISO-13485, IEC-60601, ISO-14971, IEC-62304, IEC-60812, ISO623660)
  • Can easily create, trace, analyze, validate, automate, and deliver products quickly to the market
  • Audit ready: traceability with lifecycle disciplines
  • Build products that are engineered with integrity
  • Leverage software automation
  • Effectively collaborate with the team

IBM Engineering helps medical device companies:

  • Strategically reuse assets and identify changes between variants
  • Collaborate among teams
  • Maintain traceability
  • Faster Time to Market
  • Increased Product Quality for High Complexity
  • Better Reporting and Documentation to Meet Regulatory Compliance
  • Transparency and Visibility across Development teams
  • Shorter Development Cycle Due to Reuse

Blog

Categories
Design Requirements Testing Workflow

Getting requirements right: avoiding the top 10 traps

Don’t get caught

A trap is a position or situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape. Getting caught in product or software development requirement traps can be problematic. The traps of bad requirements definition and management result in cost overruns, missed deadlines, poorly designed products, and a failure to deliver what the customer needs.

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Unfortunately, requirement traps are common. The State of the IT Union Survey explored the development management practices that teams applied to either stay out of trouble or address problems after they are discovered. The online survey of respondents reveals how often product development teams anticipate that they’ll fall into traps. They pad budgets and schedules. They change initial estimates to match actual results. And they request additional resources. Figure 1 reveals the lengths teams and team leaders will go to deal with these traps.

Imran Hashmi Canadian Hub for Requirements Management

Poor requirements management results in inconsistent project outcomes.

Products today depend on software to deliver their value. A brake sensor on a car, a home appliance, a medical device—all contain software that plays an increasingly important role. The products are becoming smarter, and they involve more people and teams outside the typical value chain. Smarter management of the requirements process— the foundation of effective product and software delivery— is increasingly important for delivering these products.

This article presents 10 common mistakes that project teams make in defining and managing requirements. More importantly, it discusses how to avoid these traps so you can get your requirements right and develop the right product on time and within budget.

Trap 1: scope creep

Scope creep usually involves features being added to previously approved product designs without corresponding increases in resources, schedule, or budget. The potential causes vary, but creep tends to occur when project requirements are not defined and managed properly.

Creep can also occur when development teams create solutions before determining what the business needs. The business requirements of a project are typically seen by development teams as being too high level and vague and not applicable to them. They want to focus on detailed product requirements. However, business requirements are real requirements and they need to be sufficiently detailed to avoid scope creep. By meeting the product requirements and not the business ones, teams fail to develop solutions that provide value and may overcompensate by adding features.

Avoid the trap

  • Map detailed, real business requirements to product features that satisfy those requirements and provide value.
  • Manage change, be vigilant about focusing on business requirements prioritization.
  • Identify and work with stakeholders early and often to understand the business requirements, stakeholder priorities, and the effect on stakeholders when changes occur.

The payoff: Avoiding scope creep makes planning easier, helps keep budgets intact, and helps keep projects on schedule. Most important of all, it helps generate the desired return on investment.

Trap 2: asking customers what they want

This seems counter-intuitive. Teams are supposed to talk to customers and give them what they want in a product. But customers tend to talk about features, not what they truly need. The truth is that people often don’t know what they want. And when customers don’t know what they want and developers don’t understand the problem, poorly conceived solutions— and products— can result.

Avoid the trap

  • Ask customers why they need a particular capability. It may lead to a better understanding of their expectations and better discussions about specific requirements.
  • Guide the discussion away from focusing on features— ask customers what they want the product/software to do. Create a separate discussion for how the resulting products will be used.
  • Identify the right stakeholders. The target audience or end-user may not be the person who is responsible for the project or invested in its success. Find— and listen to— the right mix of users, customers, executives who fund the project, government representatives who impose regulations, project teams, support teams, and others.

The payoff: Asking customers what outcome they are seeking helps you determine the true and realistic product requirements that will deliver value to them.

Trap 3: inability to adapt to change

Setting requirements in stone early in development can be a recipe for disaster that results in an enormous waste in resources and an inability to stay on schedule. As recent changes in the global economy illustrate, outside influences can quickly change project requirements. Organizations have quickly changed their focus to doing more with less. Speculative or experimental pet projects are off the table, replaced by those with strong potential ROI. Yet in any economy, there are always new requirements to contend with as business priorities change, new government regulations are enacted, and new stakeholders are identified. Project teams need to accommodate those changes.

Avoid the trap

  • Expect and plan for requirements that change throughout your development process.
  • Re-prioritize requirements based on shifting circumstances such as business needs, customer importance, estimated effort, and cost.
  • Have a fine-grain plan that you adjust at regular intervals.
  • Keep your stakeholders informed as changes occur— get their input for prioritization and the rationale behind it.

The payoff: Accommodating and planning for change in project requirements helps mitigate risk and decreases costly rework.

Trap 4: failure to communicate effectively

Ineffective communication is often a root cause of project failure. The perspective of development teams, customers, end-users, and executives are different for each group, as are their needs for communication. If you don’t express requirements using methods your stakeholders can easily understand, you can’t possibly gain consensus on requirements.

Avoid the trap

  • Know your audience and communicate in ways that help them understand the information. Make use of diagrams, user stories, sketching, and storyboards.
  • Create glossaries, document templates, and feedback forms that are clear, concise, and easy to use.
  • Use prototyping to help stakeholders visualize the solution. This can either augment text or completely replace it depending on the level of detail required.
  • Elicit feedback from all of your stakeholder representatives. Remember that one or two people tend to be the most vocal. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking others’ feedback.
  • Always respond to feedback, preferably with some clear statement of status such as, “will incorporate,” “placed on a wish list” or “unable to accommodate” If you ask for input, acknowledge it.

The payoff: Effective communication makes the most efficient use of everyone’s valuable time and helps avoid misunderstandings that derail projects.

Trap 5: failure to communicate frequently

Failure to communicate with stakeholders early and often leads to one primary problem: rework. Developing a product for customers without consulting them while that product is being developed is just asking for trouble. The biggest reason it happens is that we often think we know what our customers want well enough that we don’t need to consult them. And stakeholders usually have different priorities.

Sometimes teams don’t communicate with stakeholders because they prefer to avoid confrontations. But if you want a positive result and minimum risk and rework, it is important to collaborate with stakeholders not just at the beginning of a project but throughout the entire process, from start to finish.

Avoid the trap

  • Identify key stakeholders, including customers. Choose a representative from each group to communicate with regularly.
  • For large, in-person stakeholder workshops, consider using skilled facilitators. Good facilitators are worth their weight in gold in keeping everyone on track for attaining the meeting objectives.
  • Establish regular checkpoints with your stakeholders. Determine at the beginning of the project how often you need to check-in.  Schedule time for keeping stakeholders up to date as unexpected changes occur.
  • Make it easy for your stakeholders to provide feedback. When they do, let others see their feedback to generate better discussions.

The payoff: Regular communication reduces risks, increases team productivity, and avoids rework. Ultimately it helps deliver the product the customer wants.

Trap 6: unwieldy documents and too much information

Do you have time to review and give feedback on a 200-page document? Probably not— and most likely, neither do your stakeholders. Doing more work than necessary and adding unnecessary detail to documentation costs both time and money. It is unproductive for the person creating it and a hindrance to the people looking for information they need to get their work done. Two common missteps include adding too much detail to requirements too early in the process and requiring more traceability than is necessary to facilitate effective lifecycle management.

Think quality, not quantity. Better to add just enough detail to your requirements and identify just enough traceability to get the job done— not the entire job, but the next piece or iteration that needs to be completed.

Avoid the trap

  • Large, dense documents are not very consumable by stakeholders. Invest in communication tools that efficiently gather and disseminate requirements information.
  • Use visual techniques to model business and product requirements. Business process diagrams and use case diagrams, storyboards, and sketches can help cut through text-heavy clutter.
  • Provide a glossary of industry terms, acronyms, and domain-specific terms to facilitate communication.
  • Create transparency of feedback. When your stakeholders can review each other’s feedback, the discussion is richer, problems come to light, missing requirements are identified and necessary details get filled in.
  • Add just enough information to your documents so the rest of your team members can complete their work.
  • Remember that requirements management is an ongoing process. There will be other opportunities to add more detail to requirements and to capture more traceability later when it may be more appropriate.

The payoff: Focused documentation and feedback loops increase the efficiency of all stakeholders. Reduction of extraneous details in both requirements and traceability increases quality by focusing on the most important information— while postponing further detail until it’s needed.

Trap 7: hidden project artifacts

Engineers, developers, and testers often aren’t aware of the project vision or can’t locate the documentation for the architecture or the business requirements— that is, if they’re created at all. Without easy access to these foundational documents, how can we possibly expect them to deliver models, code, and tests that solve the right customer problems? We can’t. Transparency to all project artifacts is critical to the success of any software project.

Avoid the trap

  • Keep all project artifacts in a central repository that is accessible by project team members. Having to search multiple sources for relevant documents is frustrating and time-consuming.
  • Make sure documents are categorized and managed in such a way that they are easy to find.
  • Ensure that when changes occur, the team is informed. Automatic notifications can help deliver this information.

The payoff: Accessibility and management of information and transparency of project artifacts reduces rework, diminishes waste, and promote reuse because it makes collaboration and communication easier.

Trap 8: Ambiguous requirements

Ambiguous requirements are the result of unclear or missing information. This leads to confusion and rework. Project teams spend too much time trying to get clarification so they can design, code, and test. It’s very difficult for engineers or architects to develop relevant models, developers to write defect-free code and testers to develop the right test cases without clear requirements. Unfortunately, reworking requirements are so common that it can become an accepted practice— rework is just built into the schedule and budget.

Ambiguity also tends to push risks into the next phase of the project. Requirements then have to be reworked, and that poses problems to project schedule and cost. This trap is especially damaging to fixed-cost projects.

What causes ambiguity? Poor writing, inaccurate information, and the assumption that the audience understands just as much as you do.

Avoid the trap

  • Use a writing reference, such as Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White— which has long been considered the authoritative reference on writing crisp, clear text— before and during requirements creation.
  • Create a glossary, and make sure every acronym and technical term is included.
  • Pretend you are writing for a student just out of college or someone who recently joined the organization. Don’t assume the audience will know every term and understand every concept.
  • Augment text with visuals. It’s a great way to express both simple and complex concepts.
  • Step back. After writing any draft document, put it down for a while and read it later. A fresh perspective can reveal ambiguities.

The payoff: Clear, understandable requirements are the foundation of your software project.

Trap 9: failure to measure and assess requirements processes

Defining and managing requirements can be a complex task. Missing and ambiguous requirements can easily result in missed schedules, cost overruns, and decreased productivity and quality as downstream project deliverables fail to provide value to stakeholders. Don’t wait for disaster to strike— assess your project status regularly.

Organizations must have the ability to review, assess, and improve their requirements process. Having accurate insight into data, processes, and practices is a key component of success. Measuring project and process outcomes allow for continual process improvements across the software delivery lifecycle, which reduces project failures and lowers business costs.

Avoid the trap

  • As part of your process, conduct a “lessons learned” feedback session at the end of each development iteration or release.
  • Also, do a “lessons remembered” session before starting a new project. To encourage continual improvement, you need to not only capture lessons learned at the end of an iteration or release but also reinforce those lessons as you move forward.
  • Define and collect metrics that ensure your success. For example, measure the impact of changes to your requirements, test case coverage, priority, cost and effort of business, and product requirements. As you become more experienced with measurement, you’ll find just the right combination of metrics that allows you to continually improve your requirements process.

The payoff: Ongoing measurement of project performance reveals small problems before they become big issues.

Trap 10: Isolating your requirements

Viewing requirements as isolated entities, failing to capture relationships between requirements and other artifacts, and failing to recognize dependencies between requirements leads to increased project risk and rework. Re-prioritizing one requirement without considering its effect on other requirements results in increased project risk and costs.

For example, a risky trap that organizations often succumb to is not capturing the relationship between project requirements, business requirements, and other downstream deliverables such as models, test cases, and defects. When you fall into this trap, you deliver a product that doesn’t satisfy stakeholder needs.

Avoid the trap

  • Identify relationships between requirements and then manage them together.
  • Create the right level of traceability between requirements and downstream deliverables that balances the traceability needed for effective lifecycle management with support for productivity.
  • As you make changes to requirements and re-prioritize them, consider the effect of these changes to related requirements and your downstream deliverables.
  • Use tools that allow you to easily visualize the relationships you’ve identified.

The payoff: Identifying and managing relationships between requirements and other artifacts mitigates project risk; helps ensure alignment between your business requirements, product requirements, and downstream deliverables; and results in lower development costs.

IBM requirements solutions can help you avoid common software development traps.

There are many traps in software. Some of the most expensive ones occur in the requirements space because that is where the foundation for your project is laid. Lack of planning, lack of communication, and collaboration with stakeholders, ineffective requirements elicitation, and requirement management techniques all lead to problems. When we don’t measure how we’re doing and continually make improvements, the risk escalates quickly and the project gets out of control— something you may never recover from.

IBM software requirements solutions incorporate many best practices that help you avoid these common traps and enjoy the payoffs.

IBM’s requirements management solution enables you to capture, trace, analyze, and manage changes to requirements in a secure, central, and accessible location. These capabilities strengthen collaboration, increases transparency and traceability, minimizes rework, and expands usability. IBM solutions make it easier to adhere to standards and maintain regulatory compliance.

Key capabilities include:

  • Requirements traceability – Link individual artifacts to test cases for full visibility of changes in requirements as they happen. Capture all annotations, maintain them, and make them easily accessible.
  • Variant management – Manage the entire version and variant process while monitoring the progression of the system through a shared dashboard. Store data in a central location and present it in document format.
  • Compliance – Incorporate industry standards and regulations into your requirements to achieve compliance early on. Building compliance into the end-to-end engineering lifecycle makes achieving compliance less complex.
  • Quality – Using Watson Natural Language Service IBM provides the capability to evaluate requirement quality using guidelines from INCOSE for writing complete, clear, and testable requirements – to accelerate your review process and increase requirement quality.

For more information

To learn more about IBM requirement solutions for software or product development, contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit IBM Requirements Solutions.

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1, 2 Scott W. Ambler, “State of the IT Union Survey,” Ambysoft, July 2009, http://www.ambysoft.com/surveys/stateOfITUnion200907.html