Ranger4 DevOps Blog

Requirements Driven Quality Management with DOORS Next Generation

Posted by Tejinder Sehgal on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 @ 11:08 AM

What is DOORS Next Gen?

IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation offers a smarter way to manage your requirements. Designed for collaboration, Rational DOORS Next Generation provides a single platform for managing requirements so that your teams can work more effectively across disciplines, time zones and supply chains.

What are the benefits of using DOORS Next Gen?

IBM Clients have said that using DOORS has helped:

Benefits of DOORS resized 600

There are 5 main benefits of using DOORS:

  1. Live collaboration

  2. Consistency

  3. Traceability

  4. Understanding change

  5. Making your data work for you

Live Collaboration

When multiple people are using the same file (this could be a spreadsheet, document, wiki or other) it could mean that one file could have many varying versions. This leads to the owner of the document having to spend time searching for the latest information, reviewing that information before combining changes to have the most up to date document. This can be very time consuming especially considering that this process has to carried out a number of times to keep the document synced with the latest changes - once this has been done the document owner has to distribute and inform teams about the new document.

DOORS Next Gen allows several people to work on the same document and collaborate from wherever they are located. Stakeholders can discuss by commenting directly in the document and make important decisions as a team - this saves time wasted replying to similar comments and emails. The Commenting feature allows users to direct comments to a specific team member and classify them as major or minor. Email notifications including a hyperlink to the required information are sent to users.

When logging in, users will see dashboards where the first thing they will see is the most important information. Dashboards include the team members, project timelines, changes that have been made and any ongoing reviews and comments. 

Consistency

Many of the current requirements management tools do not allow users to annotate requirements without affecting the original structure or context and when these requirements have been annotated it is not possible to sort or filter documents based on these annotations.

Using DOORS Next Gen it is possible to set up templates that outline the basic structure of the information; each type of information can be “templated” with the appropriate annotations that must be collected.

DOORS Next Gen has the option of displaying annotations, such as priority, risk, status and category, in columns: “The contents and annotations can be sorted and filtered. You can also save views, which enables you to change the perspective of your data quickly and display just the information you need. Analysis is quicker and the information you use is more consistent and accurate.”

Traceability

Teams often use spreadsheets to record relationships between requirements, which can be time consuming to sort through. In DOORS Next Gen, users can create relationships between new requirements and respond to higher level information simply by using a drag and drop feature.

These relationships can be displayed in columns, along with the requirements and annotations. Views can be saved, which enables the team to once again quickly change the perspective of the data to fit the needs of the stakeholder.

The real value of traceability is evident when teams must respond to an audit request or most understand the impact of a change request.

“Traceability in DOORS is dynamic. As soon as someone else makes changes in the tool, an update is immediately created. If a downstream requirement changes, it automatically shows up in traceability columns for the upstream requirements. Users have access to an up-to-date traceability matrix whenever it is needed and can also see what impact the change has.”

Understanding Change

No matter what project you are working on, changes are going to occur and when these changes occur it is important that you manage these changes effectively as possible. This can be done by taking these two steps:

  1. Understanding the impact of the change before it is made
  2. Ensuring that all impacted areas have been changed as necessary

Documents and spreadsheets do not allow you to easily understand the relationships between requirements and if a change goes wrong the knock on effect could take an individual weeks to repair.

DOORS Next Gen can create a view of the data that shows where the relationships between requirements and other information (such as test and design) exist, which allows users to explore and understand the impact of making a specific change. Every time a change is made it is documented and this information can be accessed by the team so that they can see what changes have been made, by whom and when this change was made.

“Suspicion profiles alert users of a change, so they can review and act accordingly. After they assess the change, they clear the suspicion. If they make another change, a new suspicion is raised. With a minimum of effort, changes propagate down the levels of linked information in the project.”

Making your data work for you 

Documents and spreadsheets limit the amount of views you can create with data; it is not possible for one team to look at the information in a tabular layout whilst another team views it in as a document. If both teams wanted to view the data they would have to create two versions of the document and then merge them to show changes.

DOORS Next Gen stores data in central location in a document where users can filter views and sort information without changing the original structure. It also automatically maintains cross references and relationships between information and alerts users of a change they may need to act on.

A new glossary feature is included where users can search and update words, acronyms and terms.

Why DOORS Next Gen?

Although there are many free products out in the marketplace, as stated in many of the benefits described above, maintaining these products can become very costly. 

For a more in depth view of the IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation download this "Ditch the documents and spreadsheets - Manage requirements efficiently and more accurately with IBM Rational DOORS Next" whitepaper.

Topics: DOORS Next Generation, IBM