For an engineer facing the daily challenges of complex systems and software engineering projects, the perfect world probably looks like this: an engineering project starts from scratch with a crystal clear, non-ambiguous documentation of the complete scope of capabilities and characteristics which have to be delivered by the system to be developed.
Project teams are focusing on one product variant, without re-using existing components. All relevant data and artifacts are available and accessible for all project team members collaborating with no organizational or geographical silos.
Upon delivery of the new product into the market, all project and engineering assets are securely stored for documentation and future reference and never touched again.
However, if you are an engineer working on one of the advanced systems that determine the capabilities of intelligent devices disseminating the world around us, you know very well that reality looks quite different.
The challenges of managing engineering projects
In the automotive industry, engineers developing infotainment systems for a new car model will most likely reuse components from previous or parallel models, and they will incorporate subsystems provided by suppliers (e.g., maps, sound equalizer, mp3 player, etc.).
Furthermore, the engineers will have to manage variants for different countries with different customer preferences, and potentially different regulatory requirements.
Second and third-tier suppliers will increase that complexity, and those suppliers may also deliver subsystems to other OEM’s with additional variations, adding another set of dimensions to the picture.
Finally, initial development for a subsequent generation of the infotainment system may already start while development on the previous generation is still ongoing.
Intrinsic to such a multi-dimensional scenario are various challenges:
- How do you demonstrate and provide sufficient documentation that a particular set of functions or characteristics has been implemented throughout all modules involved, as required, and successfully tested for correct implementation?
- How do you avoid spending a significant amount of time identifying current and correct versions of artifacts, synchronizing data, and administrating relationships between change requests, requirements, test cases, etc.?
- How do you prevent the loss of valuable project assets and artifacts in a distributed project scenario with engineers collaborating across organizations and geographies?
There are certainly many more challenges to be mastered by engineering project teams depending on the industry and specific project environment.
In this paper, let’s focus on the issues that are most common for system and software engineers delivering high-tech products into various markets with different demands and dynamically changing customer needs.
Mastering Change Management in Complex Projects
Successfully managing a whole space of change requests for different versions and product generations require more than a couple of point tools and goodwill. As a Change Manager you need to:
- Have full control of how your change requests are processed.
- Know precisely which requirements have been added or modified to accommodate a specific request or a set of requests.
- See the contents and other details of those requirements.
- See changes or updates to requirements in real-time.
- Have the modules implementing those requirements linked to your request.
- Know which test cases are applied to verify correct implementation and see the test results.
Ideally, this whole wealth of relevant information is brought to you where it logically belongs, in your Jira user interface.
So, how do you make sure you have full control of all requirements related to your implementation and change requests?
Jira DOORS Next integration with OSLC Connect for Jira
Seamlessly connect Jira with IBM DOORS Next for optimal control of how your change requests are processed. Using OSLC technology, OSLC Connect for Jira provides all team members along the lifecycle with access to the original unique artifacts.
For Jira users, all DOORS Next artifacts are available as logical enhancements within the Jira user interface. Engineers are looking at and working with the original unique assets. Your Jira epics and stories can easily be linked to requirements and onwards to implementation.
With the OSLC-based integration of Jira and DOORS Next you will benefit from:
- Real-time access to requirements at any time within Jira, including real-time visibility of updates, changes, and enhancements.
- Automatic communication of implementation status and test results of DOORS Next saves time for Jira users.
- Accurate data: OSLC ensures the accuracy of data at any point in time (no copies, no different versions)
- Accelerated delivery: iteration cycles and time-to-market are shortened. No time is wasted for synchronizing data and administrating relationships between change requests, requirements, test cases, etc.
Users will see native links in Jira, as well as native configuration and administration. The solution is compatible with other Jira Plugins and provides full support for JQL queries.