Considering DOORS® for requirements management? There is a more modern solution.

July 21, 2022 Jama Software

DOORS for requirements management

Considering DOORS® for requirements management? There is a more modern solution.

If you’re considering IBM® DOORS® for requirements management, it might be because it’s considered a “safe” move, you’ve used it in the past, or because you’re unaware that there’s a significantly more modern and easier to use alternative to DOORS requirements management.

IBM DOORS was an amazing tool – when it was originally published in 1991, over 30 years ago. DOORS for requirements management has many capabilities for working in regulated industries, but the limitations far outweigh the benefits. It does not deal well with increasing complexity or the need for collaboration and seamless integration in existing tool ecosystems. Let’s have a look at some of the limitations of DOORS:

Traceability: DOORS has powerful traceability capabilities, but they are hidden behind a cumbersome interface. This leads to outdated traces. Users find traceability maintenance to be difficult with DOORS, and sometimes traces are created “after the fact” for compliance audits and nothing else. This is a missed opportunity. Having a more modern tool, like Jama Connect® with an easy-to-use traceability matrix creates transparency and confidence when reacting to change. Traceability also enables agility.

Related: What is Requirements Traceability and Why Does it Matter for Product Teams

Change Management: The traceability of DOORS does support change management, e.g., via suspect links in principle. Unfortunately, this information is hidden and hard to utilize. Compare that to the actionable traceability of Jama Connect, which proactively points out issues in the traceability matrix and suggests how to fix them, instead of doing this reactively, after-the-fact.

Compliance Reporting: DOORS requirements management allows you to report on virtually everything – but almost everything requires custom scripting with its proprietary scripting language, DXL. Unless you have a responsive (often costly) programmer on your team, you will have a hard time getting the information you need, when you need it.

Best Practices: Every “module” (document) in DOORS has its own fields, and without an in-house expert, users sometimes find themselves with little guidance on how to use the tool. This results in inconsistencies, which in turn results in confusion and lack of transparency. Consider two “system specifications” with inconsistent data values for “priority.” Likewise, standardized workflows guide users through their daily work. In DOORS, you need a programmer to provide this functionality.

Related: Requirements Traceability, Does My Data Matter?

Market Drivers Are Pushing Engineering Teams and Technology to Evolve Past IBM DOORS’ Capabilities

Today’s products and software have become more complex. This complexity, combined with rapidly evolving customer and market demands, is forcing engineering teams to change the way they work. Now, far more stakeholders need to get involved in the requirements, driving the need for requirements tools to be more collaborative and have functionality that is applicable to diverse users.

Organizations that successfully transform to support this new way of working understand that effective and optimized product and system development requires highly collaborative solutions and methodologies.

To reduce risk in product development while still accelerating system design and delivery, teams need access to real-time data and alignment across disparate teams as well as across engineering, business, and product management lifecycles.

Leading-edge companies who are successfully supporting transformation of their engineering teams:

  • Invest in new technologies and agile processes to continually improve product development: Engineering teams prefer to make their own decisions about which best-of-breed solutions support their specific discipline and optimization of their activities – one single tool will not fit all users’ needs. It’s no longer possible for a Prime Contractor or OEM to mandate a single product or vendor across supply chains, and in fact, standards such as ReqIF (Requirement Interchange Format) and OSLC (Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration) have come about to help products work better together. Modern development solutions prioritize integration across the ALM-PLM ecosystem.
  • Take a data-driven approach to product development: An organization’s investment in their data is far more than the investment they make in tools, and the primary focus now comes down to availability of data and how that flows across an engineering community (integration) and the value chain (exchange). What is required is a loosely coupled approach that ties together the necessary metadata across disparate tools in a way that connects the desired outcome (user and system requirements) to downstream activities – the digital thread. The digital thread is the best approach to reduce the risk of negative product outcomes while preserving engineering autonomy and productivity.
  • Support more formal processes to address increased regulation: As product complexity increases, so has the need for more formal processes and compliance with industry standards. Best practices for systems engineering have been prescribed in many industries. This formal process adoption started with the need to comply with aerospace standards such as DO178 or ISO 9001. Now we see engineering regulation or compliance needs increase across automotive, medical, finance, and other industries, which require the same level of rigor in their development process. Investment in tools that support the generation of the necessary proof of-process compliance to standards, most commonly: requirement validation, verification, traceability, risk assessments, and test results, are critical to supporting efficiency while reducing risk.

Related: What is DOORS and Why Does DOORS Software Fall Short for Requirements Management

IBM DOORS for Requirements Management vs. Jama Connect

Today’s product development teams must innovate and adapt quickly to changing market demands in order to remain competitive. Many find legacy solutions like DOORS are unable to adapt to support these needs. The following are the top reasons why some of the world’s most forward-thinking companies are electing to switch to Jama Connect:

Easy to use, intuitive modern user experience

Jama Connect supports multiple development methodologies and engineering disciplines to drive cross-team collaboration and alignment.

Flexible, scalable, and secure deployment models that provide manageable total cost of ownership (TCO)

Jama Software offers flexible license and deployment models with unlimited licenses for reviewers to promote collaboration across product development teams. Deployed in the cloud or on-premise, the solution ensures flexible access for distributed teams anywhere.

Open architecture to integrate with the tools teams want to use

Jama Connect enables integration with best-of-breed tools across the entire product development lifecycle. We provide a powerful network of options to get the right technology stack aligned to meet each client’s unique business needs.

Are you considering DOORS for requirements management or considering making a switch? Check out this webinar, Moving from Modules to Models – Is it finally time to leave IBM® DOORS® behind? Watch it here

DOORS for Requirements Management

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