Author Topic: Who uses EA for requirements management?  (Read 1799 times)

bknoth2

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Who uses EA for requirements management?
« on: May 18, 2007, 08:54:56 am »
Has anyone used EA to manage requirements on a project that has  several hundred requirements and several analysts? How well does the process work? I'm a fan of UML and EA, but I'm concerned that there is not strong enough support for trace matrices and data entry for it to be an advantageous tool for collecting and managing requirements (especially when some of the users won't have UML knowledge.)

BTW, we're working toward a CMMI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_Maturity_Model) level 3 in our organization.

I do like the idea of being able to relate requirements to the development phase of a project, which EA can do very well.

Thanks for any info, including lessons learned...

Bruce
« Last Edit: May 18, 2007, 08:55:53 am by bknoth2 »

new2uml

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 09:11:53 am »
I'd like to use EA for requirements but I find it very inflexible. For example, I've created a requirement for resource utilization following the manual by dragging the requirement onto the Requirements Model diagram. I later decide to move it further down into the tree to the Performance requirements. When I double click on the Performance diagram in the Project Browser, I see my resource utilization requirement but it's not in the diagram. When I drag the requirement onto the diagram, a requirement does not appear in the diagram rather an Unamed Entity appears in the diagram. Further, there's now an additional object - the new unamed identity in the Project Browser. It's all very confusing in the trite documentation doesn't give any assistance in this area. It's for reasons like this that I just don't think that EA is a solid tool.

Simon M

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2007, 01:13:33 pm »
Just a comment for new2uml.  The contents of any diagrams and the contents of the packages they are contained in are necessarily different.  This is necessary in order to create a lot of useful diagrams.

As for what is happening when you drag your requirement onto your diagram.  I can give you instructions to fix that.  Drag it onto a diagram again, and this time hold Ctrl as you do.  A dialog will come up asking how you want it to be displayed.  Select 'as Simple Link', and either set it as the default or set the dialog to always come up.
Simon

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bmioch

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2007, 02:50:56 pm »
You might find this whitepaper useful.

Realizing CMMIŽ using Enterprise Architect and UML for Process Improvement
http://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/whitepapers/index.html

I think it's for Level 2, but it might have some good information in it.

flux

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2007, 11:21:01 pm »
We tried to use EA for requirements management starting with using EA for documentation of the requirements.
It helps to structure the requirements and to trace the requirements during analysis, design and coding. Which is one requirement of our requirements management processes.

But: My experience is that it is quite cumbersome to exchange requirements with tools outside EA. E.g. initial loading of requirements from the customer documents, Loading requirements from EA to project specific documents, etc.
My understanding is that using RTF reports to extract the requirements documented in EA is very unlikely to be the way that makes you happy. You will have to go to the mdb directly, which I think is not a good practice to do. At least I don't encourage our customers using the database schemas of our products directly :-)

Beside this identification of requirements might be a problem when you don't have one master system that is used to document requirements. It is very likely having your customers using excel, word, or one of the requirements management tools.
Btw. we did not try EA's gateway to DOORS. My understanding of this tool is having DOORS as the master system and connecting EA to DOORS for tracing of the requirements along the development process within EA.

FLUX

liquidray

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 11:38:33 am »
I am working on several projects with hundreds of requirements and use cases and several analysts. By mandate we are using EA since its also used during other phases of the project. I find the issues of history, tracibility and ownership really difficult to deal with in EA. What I mean by those is as follows :
while gathering and analyzing requirements, requirements change (naturally) or grow in detail and I find it difficult to impossible to document the change which is necessary for our review process.
Also with requirements I always like to address the basics of Who-What-Why-Where-When-How in order to assure that there is an actor who is responsible for the requirement and is a stakeholder on the project. Presently I 'break' the requirement notes into 4 sections: Purpose, Specifier, Details and Analyst notes but I find it cumbersome to upkeep this pattern since its a pretty manual process. I am looking into custom tagging to solve some of these issues but I would have preferred another solution.  Also when our team is working on a project I find it difficult to coordinate analysis work in EA, again due to the issue asking whats new and where has it been entered.
Finally I find that reporting on whats in EA to the stakeholder - basically documentation - is rather difficult.
The best way to organize things in EA for Analysts and Business Stakeholders seems to differ than that for the Technical Team and I often find that balancing between using EA for design and coding and serving the business users difficult because you cant easily group the same information in different ways.
As I work more with EA and our team I will report on our progress and solution we may discover which would aid our tasks.

bknoth2

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2007, 01:33:28 pm »
Thanks for your insights. My team of five is going to use it, at least for a while. I looked at other possibilities and didn't see anything compelling within my budget. We've created use cases and now we're moving into requirements.

- Bruce

peter.zrnko

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2007, 08:08:54 am »
Usually stakeholder requirements are first and use cases come after. Use case are able to realize requirements.

What kind of requirements are you writing, when use cases are already done?
Peter

bknoth2

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2007, 10:15:51 am »
We're modeling a complex hardware/software system. We have identified the actors and many high-level use cases (we still have to detail the scenarios) and from those we are deriving functional requirements, as well as the occasional performance requirement.

As I think about it, I realize we still have to work out detailed scenarios for the use cases. I'm finding this process of using use cases as a tool to identify requirements pretty useful.

- Bruce


Quote
Usually stakeholder requirements are first and use cases come after. Use case are able to realize requirements.

What kind of requirements are you writing, when use cases are already done?


Hans

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 10:49:13 am »
Hi Bruce,

I guess, what you're doing is a requirements refinement which comes when pinning down the use cases.

As to the history of changes, an author before mentioned, no UML tool is about keeping track of changes, but to keep track of the current state of the software being produced. In the end, that gives a view of what is, and not what has been changed.

Regards
Hans

liquidray

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2007, 10:55:06 am »
This is a personal observation but I believe that what has changed is as important as what is.
Oftentimes on large teams there are decisions made that are, in  retrospect, poor,whether its because of lack of understanding of the problem, lack of information at the time of the decision or some other issue (such as office politix.) I think for development of requirements and use cases its nice/necessary to capture those decisions and changes. I cant express how many times I had a group of users ask " Why the h+ll did we decide to do it this way?" or "What was this before?" Also with large teams of developers and analysts its pretty nice to see who touched which element in the tree and the changes that they made.  I know this verges on change control but if EA is to be used as a primary source for requirements then I believe it does need change control to succeed in that task, especially at an enterprise level.

KP

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2007, 02:00:15 pm »
Quote
This is a personal observation but I believe that what has changed is as important as what is.
Oftentimes on large teams there are decisions made that are, in  retrospect, poor,whether its because of lack of understanding of the problem, lack of information at the time of the decision or some other issue (such as office politix.) I think for development of requirements and use cases its nice/necessary to capture those decisions and changes. I cant express how many times I had a group of users ask " Why the h+ll did we decide to do it this way?" or "What was this before?" Also with large teams of developers and analysts its pretty nice to see who touched which element in the tree and the changes that they made.  I know this verges on change control but if EA is to be used as a primary source for requirements then I believe it does need change control to succeed in that task, especially at an enterprise level.

You might want to investigate the new auditing feature of EA 7.0
The Sparx Team
support@sparxsystems.com

liquidray

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 02:06:35 pm »
I will take a look - thank you for the suggestion.
Is v.7.0 in beta or is it the final build?
We just had 6.5 distributed at work

KP

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2007, 02:28:18 pm »
Current version is 7.0.811 Beta 2.
The Sparx Team
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AxNut

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Re: Who uses EA for requirements management?
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2007, 03:55:15 pm »
Has anyone used RaQuest to solve some of these issues? If so what has your experience been so far?