Jama Connect® vs. IBM® DOORS®: Industry Templates: A User Experience Roundtable Chat

January 19, 2023 Cary Bryczek

DOOR Vlog Episode 7

Jama Connect® vs. IBM®DOORS®: Industry Templates: A User Experience Roundtable Chat

Increasing industry challenges and complexities are pushing innovative organizations to consider modernizing the tool(s) they use for requirements management (RM). In this blog series, Jama Connect® vs. IBM® DOORS®: A User Experience Roundtable Chat, we’ll present several information-packed video blogs covering the challenges that teams face in their project management process.

In Episode 7 of our Roundtable Chat series, Cary BryczekDirector of Solutions Architecture at Jama Software®– and Danny BeerensSenior Consultant at Jama Software®– discuss the importance of industry templates in requirements management.

To watch other episodes in this series, click HERE.

Watch the full video and find the video transcript below to learn more!


Cary Bryczek: Welcome to part seven of our vlog series. I hope you’re enjoying the series so far. My name is Cary Bryczek, and I’m from Jama Software. I’ve been working here at Jama for over nine years, and I’m the director of aerospace and defense solutions. You’re in for a really special treat today. And I’m excited to be joined by my colleague Danny Beerens, who is a longtime IBM expert. Danny, tell the audience a little bit about yourself.

Danny Beerens: Hi, Cary. Thanks for this introduction. Yes, my name is Danny Beerens. And within Jama, I am both a solution architect for pre-sales and a senior consultant for post-sales. So I’m not going to sell you anything I can’t deliver myself. I’ve been in the requirements management field for the last 15 years, starting with DOORS Telelogic, and after the acquisition by IBM, I moved to IBM Jazz, the ELM Suite, and I actually started out with implementing Rational Requirements Composer. It was the prelude to DOORS Next.

Cary Bryczek: Oh wow. That’s awesome. So today’s topic of industry templates, I think, is a really interesting one. Requirements tools have been around for decades and were originally designed to be just a database. They had some rudimentary capability to control versions and add attributes, and that was about it. There were very few concepts, and still today there are very few concepts of a pre-configured template that were specific to the processes of a particular industry such as automotive or medical devices. When there are no templates and organizations start adopting a new tool, they’re forced to then configure the requirements management system to match the processes to be able to generate reporting information and documentation. Now, this just takes a lot of time, and it forces organizations, in many cases, to have teams of workers whose job it was to just engineer and maintain the tool itself. Danny, what’s been your experience with IBM tools with regards to templates?

Danny Beerens: Well, in general, IBM does offer some industry templates, what they call solution process assets. And for those, there is not a lot of templates available. So you have system software engineering templates. You have a template to support DO 178B and ASPICE ISO 26262.

Cary Bryczek: So in your experience in using DOORS, is there even the concept of creating a template? Is that hard?

Danny Beerens: Yeah, you can create your own templates, but yes, like you mentioned in your introduction, it takes a lot of time and effort from your own organization to implement your own templates to support your own industry. So setting up everything to get ready to start using the application, it takes a lot of effort for your own organization to be set up.

RELATED: ASPICE 101: What is Automotive SPICE?

Cary Bryczek: Oh gosh. Well, it’s so easy in Jama. I think maybe I should let the tool talk for itself. Our templates come right out of the box pre-configured. Let me show you maybe what the building blocks look like. In Jama, totally web-based, our pre-configured industry templates come with item types that represent the nomenclature very specific to the industry. So in A&D and space defense, you’re looking at different types of element requirements, different failure analyses, functional requirements, high-level and low-level requirements for avionic systems, parts. All of these are pre-configured with the most common types of attributes ready for you to use right out of the box. And then where we start talking about how to interconnect all of that kind of data is where we have, in Jama, our relationship rules. And our relationship rules, we have relationship rules for the NASA product breakdown structure.

So if you are following the NASA systems engineering handbook and you’re going all the way from stakeholder expectations to component level requirements, we have this pre-configured for you with all of the correct relationship types. We have one for avionics development that matches all of the DO 178 and ARP 4754. We have templates for MBSE. We have templates for defense system V. We have templates for automotive as well. So all of those are basic automotive framework. If you’re having to do ASPICE or ISO 26262 or both of them together, we have these pre-configured data models for you to start just creating and authoring the requirements right away.

If you’re doing automotive development within the semiconductor industry, we have a template that is developed by industry experts. So we at Jama have hired people that have worked in these industries and know what are the types of compliance reporting that you have to do and then put together these just easy and ready-to-go templates that allow you to get started right away. If you need to do functional safety in automotive or cybersecurity, our templates are built right in, letting you do the safety and cybersecurity right away along with your design development of your requirements. Danny, doesn’t that look like it’ll save organizations time to get started and eliminate the army of DOORS admins?

Danny Beerens: Oh, definitely. If I look at that, your type system is already there. Your relationships are already defined. It saves a world of work there.

Cary Bryczek: So what, Danny, about DOORS NG? What’s the state of industry templates with that tool?

Danny Beerens: If you look at the entire IBM ELM suite, the main focus nowadays is automotive, ASPICE ISO 26262, cybersecurity. And although there are many other multiple templates for different industries like aerospace, medical devices, rail end, they mostly seem to focus on EWM or RTC, as it was called previously. So there is hardly any good templates to support industries endorsing NextGen.

There is an additional application that would allow you to have specific templates or to configure your templates and migrate those to DOORS Next. It’s called Method Composer, but then you also need to know how Method Composer works because you get your templates out of the box. You need to adapt those templates in Method Composer to suit your business processes, and then from there, export it to DOORS Next. So you need an additional application. You need to know how that additional application works to customize it to your processes. Then you need to make sure that DOORS Next gets those templates.

So you need another application, additional infrastructure, and there’s a lot of knowledge in Method Composer. So you need either an IBM expert like I was, an IBM business partner to help you out with that. And in my experience, there is hardly any company that also acquires Method Composer. So you are stuck with setting up your templates in DOORS Next Gen yourself, again.

Cary Bryczek: Wow. God, that just sounds so complicated. So there really aren’t any really ready-to-go templates made for an industry. You still have to do a lot of work.

Danny Beerens: You need a lot of hand work yourself, so you take time away from your own engineering team, from your own process engineers implementing everything in DOORS Next Gen or, like I mentioned previously, in traditional DOORS. So it takes a lot of time away and costs a lot of effort to get you started.

Cary Bryczek: Wow. Is there any process documentation that the end users would use? Anything like that? Or you just have to make that yourself too?

RELATED: Eight Ways Requirements Management Software Will Save You Significant Money

Danny Beerens: Well, you look at your own process or the customer’s process documents, and you try to translate that into a configuration of DOORS or DOORS Next Gen. So there’s really not an easy way to set things up for your industry.

Cary Bryczek: Jama Software, we’ve hired, like I said before, industry experts to put together, not just the templates themselves, but also put together the process manuals that guide users to follow their required industry standards such as the automotive ASPICE and ARP 4754 or IC 6304. Maybe we can take a look at and look at that from a user’s perspective. Let me share my screen here.

Our templates are not just pre-configured in Jama itself, which is very nice. It also comes with a user guide. How do you use Jama itself to follow? This one is a airborne systems process guide. How do I make sure that I really am following ARP 4754 and DL 178? How do I use the system from a high-level process standpoint? So we have these process guides that make it really easy. And then from a user’s perspective, I jump in, I really like the automotive project, we have fantastic sample projects that you can look at, as well as a bare bones skeleton template that you can just start filling in. We have places where you can implement your planning documents in addition to the requirements. We have the dashboards that show you processes that are taking place within your requirements. It’s very easy to follow from the user’s perspective at all.

So I can see what are the different types of requirements, what are the different types of validation testing, or what are the risks that you’re following, and even how the particular system that you are engineering is subdivided from a systems engineering standpoint. So if I want to define the mechanical engineering or the software, I can dig right down in. And this configuration of how the information is organized, how the information is related to one another, it’s all part of the solution, so users don’t have to spend time studying the standards that you have to adhere to or the organization’s process. That’s already built for you. You can just start using it right away, which I think is really cool and a huge time saver and what really differentiates Jama Software from IBM itself.

Danny Beerens: And if you look at your type system and then the documentation that comes along, I must say in my 15 years, I’ve learned that having industry templates is a really great stepping stone to getting a customer quick up and running and achieving their industry compliancy goals. They don’t have to figure it out themselves. It’s already there. You will have guiding documents that explain to you why those templates are set up like they are, what the purpose is, and it comes fully guided with Jama experts. They are experts in the industry, so they can also talk you through the templates if you have any questions. It just simply helps you adjust the framework that comes out of the box to your specific situation within your industry. So you’re already there. You just need to apply rough tweaks to make it your own, and that’s it. And that’s what I love about Jama, working for Jama. How about you?

Cary Bryczek: I love that too. If I’m an end user, I just install Jama, tweak it a little bit here and there and give a minimal amount of training to my users, and then they’re ready to use it. And working at Jama in the aerospace and defense, I really enjoy putting together these solutions and seeing the companies not have to work so hard at using the tool, but actually spending more time innovating on the products and the systems that they’re building. Thanks so much, Danny, for your perspective on the IBM side. That was really insightful. I learned a lot.

Danny Beerens: You’re welcome.

Cary Bryczek: This concludes our vlog on the industry templates and its significance within the requirements management domain. We truly hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far. Stay tuned for our next entry in our series. We look forward to seeing you then.

Danny Beerens: Thanks for having me.

Cary Bryczek: See you next time.

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Thank you for watching our Episode 7, Jama Connect vs. IBM DOORS: Industry Templates. To watch other episodes in this series, click HERE.

To learn more about available features in Jama Connect, visit: Empower Your Team and Improve Your Requirements Management Process

We hope you’ll join us for future Jama Connect Jama Connect vs. DOORS topics, including: Industry Templates; Reuse and Variant Management; Requirements-Driven Testing; Total Cost of Ownership; and Why Did We Move to Jama Connect? A Customer’s Story.

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