Requirements management using RDNG

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Strongback Consulting

In addition to the Rational Team Concert (RTC) product, which is part of IBM’s CLM solution, which we covered quite extensively in our previous blog posts, CLM includes other products such as Rational DOORS Next Generation (RDNG), whose typical user is an Analyst, and a Quality Management product named RQM, whose typical user is a quality management professional.

RDNG focuses on the Requirements Management aspect, which is at the front end of the DevOps pipeline.  Many Enterprises usually start from identifying a business need, doing a rough sizing of this business need and then assign a team of analysts to write a detailed specification of how this business need will be implemented.  This specification is usually in the form of spreadsheets and/or rich text documents which are usually iterated for months and then handed off to development and test teams that then go off and implement the specification.

Unfortunately, this process is very costly and isn’t very agile.  It delays the time to value for the end user of your system while the specification is reworked and usually, by the time the user gets the implemented solution, it no longer matches their current need.  Furthermore, if a section within the specification needs to be referenced in another specification, it’s usually copied to the other specification and if a change needs to be made to the first one, you’ve created a maintenance nightmare for yourself.

What IBM did to solve this issue is provide a requirements management solution that manages requirements as reusable standalone artifacts (e.g. use case diagram, process flow, text requirement, storyboard, wireframe),  that can be composed together to create any number of different requirements documents (modules).  These requirements are hosted in a repository on a server which allows teams of analysts, developers and testers to collaborate on them in context and make sure that everyone is onboard while the requirements are being elaborated.  All of the discussions are captured in the repository for future reference so that future implementers can reference the previous conversations and understand how the decisions were reached.

Storyboard

Use Case Diagram

 

You can also manage groups of requirements (a requirements collection) which identifies a set of requirements that should be implemented together for a particular iteration or release.  The requirements collection can be linked to a corresponding Release Plan artifact in the RTC product or a Test plan artifact in the RQM product.  Lastly, you can also have global configuration management (i.e. version control) across the above three products that allows you to manage related requirements, code and quality artifacts that comprise all of the related artifacts for a product version.

Links between artifacts in RDNG as well as RTC and RQM

The requirements management solution allows you to create a knowledge base of information about how your system works.  You can then reuse and update components of this knowledge base for future releases by simply referencing the previous requirement rather than reviewing all of the old specification documents and cutting and pasting sections from those that may not have been updated to reflect the actual system that was eventually produced.

If you’d like to learn more about RDNG, here’s a link to the documentation.

Let Strongback be your implementation partner for CLM/RTC/RDNG/RQM and any of your DevOps needs.

 

 

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