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Potential Issues with Global Configuration Management that inexperienced users may encounter


Mary Miller (875) | asked Jan 27, 5:05 p.m.

Good day,


In our organization, they are considering turning on Configuration Management for the CLM suite of tools (RTC, DNG, QM).  I have advised against this given that this seems to be a capability best suited for more experienced users.  

The situation we have is that the majority of the organization has not been trained in DOORS NG with the except of maybe 2 people.  Anyone who wants to use RTC or QM would be considered on their own.  There is also no methodology in the utilization of any of these tools although we hope to provide some recommendations for a methodology in using DOORS NG going forward.  We also do NOT have a test environment.  Any testing would be in a Project which would be on the production suite of CLM tools.

What issues have people encountered from the implementation of Global Configuration Management especially from inexperienced users attempting to use it?  I am looking to build my case of the requirements needed before moving forward with a Global Configuration Management solution.  I am aware of the documentation of considerations before turning it on, and I have passed this on.

V/R,

Mary

5 answers



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Jessica Collyer (442) | answered Jan 28, 9:48 a.m.

 Mary --


It is my experience that you need both CM and GCM in order for either of them to work properly.  I wouldn't say either of these are for experienced IBM CLM users -- but just informed IBM CLM users.  You can use roles to prevent team members from modifying the setup using GCM between RTC, DNG, and RQM.  

I would suggest asking for IBM to come to your workplace to have an open lab.  They offer training that has been incredibly valuable to my team and I.  

These tools truly do work better together, and you add more functionality as you use them correctly (which, in my opinion, is when GCM and CM are turned on for the projects).  

Good luck with the tools! They really can make your job easier.

Jessica


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Mary Miller (875) | answered Jan 28, 9:43 a.m.

 Okay, this is all very helpful.  I think really getting the impacts of not implementing this in a well thought out manner, will help me list what is needed and the impacts if this is not done.  This will help me present recommendations on a pathway forward as well.


My biggest concern was artifact re-use and the impacts that can have across multiple projects and requirements lifecycle if done incorrectly.  I was also concerned about the streams as well, and I think you have clarified some of the issues people can run across if the process is not considered carefully.

My experience has been more with the legacy Configuration Management system of Change/Synergy which has similar concepts although it does not have streams.  You can definitely mess things up there as well, but the system is different, and I wasn't quite sure how to map that experience onto Global Configuration Management.  I would definitely insist (at a minimum) that I get training myself if this is implemented as I would need to ensure I know how to resolve any trouble tickets that come in.

Thank you!

Mary


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Adrian Haw (223132) | answered Jan 28, 9:16 a.m.
edited Jan 28, 9:23 a.m.
In addition to previous answers, also consider that some functionality is lost/changed when you turn on config management, eg the (configurable) link validity functionality, data warehouse/reporting, reqif data exchange (no info for cross-component links),...

If you don't use the affected functionality (and don't have plans to use) then it may not be an issue for you.

There are of course benefits to enabling config mgt.

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Kathryn Fryer (48347) | answered Jan 28, 8:51 a.m.
Hi Mary,
You are wise to carefully consider your configuration management adoption. You'll want to start with the reason for adopting - what problems will it solve, and how does it benefit your organization?

There are a lot of considerations related to process and workflow, and you will need to clearly define your usage model. Users will need to understand the concepts and how those affect their usage of the tools.
It's not necessary to use the full ELM suite, but we definitely recommend some kind of test environment - once you enable the capabilities, you can't disable them. You'll likely want to experiment with your implementation as well.

If you skip all those steps - you can end up with (for example) users making changes in the wrong stream, mismatched type systems that cause issues with reporting and linking, links that appear to be missing or don't resolve correctly, and user confusion and frustration.  It depends somewhat on your implementation.

Rather than get into all the details here, we have a number of resources on jazz.net that I'd recommend:
As Matt suggests above, you can check the Jazz.net Preview for DNG, which has CM enabled and sample data you can explore (it is read-only), or try a Jazz.net sandbox (which you can modify, but has no sample data).

If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at fryerk@ca.ibm.com.

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Matt Muller (54812154) | answered Jan 28, 3:09 a.m.
Good Morning Mary,
It would be good for you to have a structured DOORS NG training/user community/introduction guide.
(however I guess you know that)
It is important that you consider the usage/configuration for RTC and RQM.  Also the data model.
I would have a look at using the Jazz.net sandboxes as they are useful for understanding all the applications, a configuration and also the usage for Global Configuration.
Yes you are correct the impact of introduction of Global Configuration does change lots and you need to consider these impacts before you continue;  projects / structure / managing change / reporting.
But in my view it has massive capability.
I found that with a simple introduction of one stream still caused users from a traditional DOORS background some problems.  I would suggest you trial this in the Jazz.net sandbox if necessary.
Good Luck
Matt

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