Engineering Insights impact analysis workflow

The information becomes richer when you gather and view it in a useful context. Analysis helps teams trace the relationships among artifacts. You can follow child work items back to the parent work item, test cases back to requirements. You can explore what artifacts are associated with a specific artifact.

Artifacts are useful record your work, but artifacts with relationships to other artifacts are rich data. For example, at the start of a product release, you create an IBM® Engineering Workflow Management work item. As the project moves forward, other work items are created and are linked to the original work item. The original work item and all the work items with relationships to it can be retrieved by the index. Relationships among work items are preserved by the index. If you add one work item, you also have access to all the rich data that comes with that work item. Use impact analysis to take advantage of this rich, linked data.

Sometimes even linked data is hard to manage in an index pool. With impact analysis, team members can access the linked data in a smarter way. Users can create impact analysis profiles and filters to restrict the data results, so that users see only the relevant artifacts for their projects. Users can create custom impact analysis diagrams to show artifacts that link to or from the focus artifact, and to explore how changes impact related artifacts.

Impact analysis helps you find answers to questions, such as What is the requirement behind the artifact?. An artifact has child links. So even though you run an impact analysis on a change request, if the change request contains links to requirements, you receive that data. If your team must replace the V8 engine in a car with a V12, your team might want to find the requirement for a car with a more powerful engine (the artifact).

By giving the information context, analysis also pares down the artifacts gathered. However, if the analysis still gathers too much or too little data, you can change the depth of the analysis, add artifacts, remove artifacts, and apply filters until you obtain the right information set.

The following workflow is typical for working with impact analysis:

  1. Find the focus artifact that you want to analyze.

    If the focus artifact must be fixed or replaced, you might want to analyze what other artifacts must change if the focus artifact is fixed or replaced. Use the results to view the impact of the change on other products so that you make smarter decisions on scheduling and cost-to-market impact.

  2. Run the impact analysis.

    Use the Default impact analysis profile, in which the analysis flows away (downstream) from the focus artifact. Your team might have impact analysis profiles and diagrams that are created by a team lead, a team member who understands the data, or an IBM services representative. If so, choose the profile and diagram for the results you want.

    For steps, see Analyzing the relationships of an artifact to other artifacts.

  3. Discover relationships and dependencies between the focus artifact and the gathered artifacts.

    Team members can read information in the original lifecycle tool by right-clicking on an artifact and choosing Preview. Team members can also set quick filtering by choosing Hide Artifact, Hide Type, and Expand.

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