Jama Connect® vs. IBM® DOORS®: Review and Collaboration: A User Experience Roundtable Chat

November 16, 2022 Mario Maldari

Review and Collaboration

Jama Connect® vs. IBM® DOORS®: Review and Collaboration: 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 4 of our Roundtable Chat series, Mario Maldari – Director of Solutions Architecture at Jama Software® – and Vincent Balgos – Director of Medical Device Solutions at Jama Software® – walk us through reviews and collaboration in Jama Connect vs. IBM DOORS.

To watch other episodes in this series, click HERE.

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


Vincent Balgos: Hi, welcome to part four of our vlog series. I hope you are enjoying the series so far. My name is Vincent Balgos, and I’ll be representing Jama Software today. In terms of experience, I’ve been working at Jama for over nine months now, but before joining Jama, I was a systems engineer in the medical device field working on requirements, reviews, risk and collaboration. I’m actually a former Jama customer and have been using the tool in practice for over six years developing complex medical products. I’m joined today by my colleague, Mario Maldari. Mario, would you like to introduce yourself and provide some background?

Mario Maldari: Yeah, thanks Vincent. My name is Mario Maldari. I’m Director of Solution Architecture at Jama. Spent about 20 years working in various requirement solutions, started with Requisite Pro back in the day and started working on the DOORS family. DOORS, DOORS Next Generation, so a lot of history with requirements management software in different industries.

Vincent Balgos: Great. How long have you been working at Jama?

Mario Maldari: Just about a year now.

Vincent Balgos: Oh great, so similar to myself. Welcome to the team and look forward to the discussion.

Mario Maldari: Thank you.

Vincent Balgos: As part of this series, we will be discussing actually the requirements, review and collaboration across different various tool sets. As many of you know, working and reviewing requirements are essential tasks that requires a significant effort sometimes from drafting the initial spirit of the requirement to the solidification of the final language. It’s an iterative and collaborative effort that usually requires lots of different teams across different function groups. There are many tools that can help with review and common ones that we’ve seen are generally emails, Word, Excel, PowerPoint to more complex tools, which is our focus today. Today we’d like to actually talk about the Review Center, a review and collaboration within the DOORS and how’s that compare to Jama, with Mario’s experience at DOORS, what’s been your experience with performing these tasks under the DOORS?

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Mario Maldari: Yeah, it’s been interesting. I think some of the challenges that our customers faced at the time were difficulty with the tooling itself, the way that the collaboration and the review was done within the tool or facilitated within the tool. What would happen is they’d often go outside the tooling. They’d start using Word or documents and they’d email this back and forth. Besides going outside the tool, you’d end up losing a lot of history in terms of auditability, who made the decisions, and how the requirements evolved. It diminished the purpose and the value of a formal requirements tool. When it’s difficult, people just go outside the tool and that’s what we were seeing a lot with DOORS.

Then as DOORS Next started evolving, things didn’t get much better. It was very difficult to use the reviews within DOORS next. I was a test lead at the time trying to review requirements and test cases. I found that the UI itself was very difficult to use and facilitate. Again, it was just people going outside of the tooling to go with whatever was easier for them. It was quite a challenge from a usability point of view.

Vincent Balgos: That’s really interesting and that’s a little bit different workflow that we have actually natively within our Jama tool. Let me actually walk you through that. As you can see, Mario, here is actually the review center within natively within the Jama tool itself. This is actually a review that I just held with my team and we were reviewing actually five different requirements. We were able to collaborate, live and provide comment, feedback, approval, rejection or needs a revisit, and as a moderator, I can actually see and manage the whole review center within a single tool right through here.

For example, we highlighted this particular area and Carleda had some interesting comment here, but that’s a single point of comment. A more interesting one is one that we actually had here. We were talking about tolerances for a particular gain field requirement and I asked Jakob @Jakob, Hey, is this enough? What about X, Y, Z? Jakob responded as we had here. You can see this kind of maintains some of that audit trail traceability that you kind of mentioned that tend to get lost in different emails and different tools and stuff like that. But you can see that this is all collected in a single tool within the Jama space.

What’s also nice, as you know again, as you’re going through the review, you can see what the status of the review is in terms of the number of comments that we have here on the left, the number of approvals that we have, and then somewhere we may actually need a little bit more time. For example, this one here, I had a lot of conversation that I may want to have to go back with my team and kind of resolve that we have here. With that said, what do you think about Jam’s workflow?

Mario Maldari: Yeah, I think Jama’s workflow in terms of the review and approval, I think the usability is key here. When the tool itself facilitates a certain workflow and it makes it easy for the customers to use, I think that’s key. What I like about this is it stores everything within Jama. A year from now I can go back and look and say, who made the comment to get this approved and what was the discussion around that? I can easily see that. At the same time, I can easily get that information out of the tooling should I ever need to send it to an auditor or send it to management. The key is it’s all kept within the tool. I like that a lot.

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Vincent Balgos: We just really just covered a very small snippet of the capabilities and power of the review center, but we can do exports, we can moderate this. There are additional capabilities here, but it’s great to hear that this is a more seamless flow. As you can see in the short demo, collaborating within Review Center is as easy as posting on social media where you can see comments, tag people, continue the discussion of the requirement or whatever you’re reviewing all within a single place. Jama allows live collaboration natively within the tool. Gone are the days, as you describe, Mario, about handling which email, which Word versions that we should be looking at. It seems a lot more efficient process than you described at DOORS.

Mario Maldari: Yeah, and it’s one thing too, you could formally manage your requirements in a tool and that’s great, but if you cannot have a workflow that facilitates a proper review and approval, then the tooling itself is very diminished. This kind of rounds off that whole workflow of requirements management. I like that a lot.

Vincent Balgos: Yeah, right. While I may have shown you a medical example, this tool is actually agnostic to any industry that you have within. This could be applied to aerospace, auto, semiconductor, other areas of the business. Again, just want to kind of share that tidbit.

Well, thank you for this discussion and your perspective, Mario. This kind of concludes our v-log on review and collaboration and the significance within the requirements management domain. We truly hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far. Stay tuned for the next entry in our series and we look forward to seeing you then.

Mario Maldari: Thank you, Vincent.

Thank you for watching our Episode 4, Jama Connect vs. IBM DOORS: Review and Collaboration. 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: Document Generation; Migration & Data Mapping; 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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