Getting started with project areas and lifecycle projects

In each of the IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management (ELM) applications, teams perform their work within the context of a project area. A lifecycle project groups multiple project areas whose members collaborate with each other so that you can manage the project areas and their members from one central location.

Project areas

A project area is an area in the repository where information about one or more software development projects is stored. A project area defines the project deliverables, team structure, process, and schedule. You access all project artifacts, such as plans, work items, requirements, test cases, and files under source control within the context of a project area.

Each project area has a process, which governs how members work. For example, the project area process defines:
  • User roles
  • Permissions assigned to roles
  • Timelines and iterations
  • Operation preconditions and follow-up actions
  • Work item types and their state transition models
The ELM applications include predefined process templates, which you can use to create project areas. Examples of predefined process templates include Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). You can also create custom process templates. Each ELM application (Change and Configuration Management, Requirements Management, and Quality Management) uses project areas to organize teams' work. Project administrators are responsible for creating and managing project areas. A common administration task is to add users as members of a project area and to assign roles to those members. Because permissions are assigned to roles, a member's role assignments determine what operations that member can perform within the project area.

Linking artifacts across project areas

The power of the ELM applications is that you can link artifacts across application project areas. For example, you can link a requirements collection defined in a Requirements Management project area with a release plan defined in a Change and Configuration Management project area, and you can link both of those artifacts to a test plan defined in a Quality Management project area. This cross-application linking supports traceability throughout the application development lifecycle. To enable artifact linking between project areas, you configure associations for the project areas.

Lifecycle projects

You can create and manage project areas in each application by using the project area editor. However, a more efficient method is to use the Lifecycle Project Administration user interface to create a lifecycle project. When you create a lifecycle project, you select a template that defines the project areas to create, the process to use for each project area, and the associations to establish between those project areas.

For example, the following graphic shows a lifecycle project that contains three project areas, one from each ELM application. The associations are configured so that testers, working in the quality management (QM) project area, can create defects and quality management tasks and store them in the change and configuration management (CCM) project area; and analysts, working in the requirements management (RM) project area, can create requirements change requests and implementation requests and store them in the change and configuration management project area. In addition, testers working in the quality management project area can create requirements that are stored in the requirements project area.

This picture shows three project areas (Quality Management, Change Management, and Requirements Management) linked together within a lifecycle project.

After you create a lifecycle project, you can use the Lifecycle Project Administration user interface to add users as members to one or more of the project areas that belong to the lifecycle project. You can also assign roles to those members for each project area.

Next steps

Learn more about lifecycle projects and project areas by following these links: