When INFODAS GmbH (infodas) started to work with a large client in the European defense industry, the organization had no comprehensive requirements management capability in-house. To increase quality and efficiency for the development of large, complex systems, the organization wanted to gain more control over its requirements-gathering, tender, procurement and delivery processes.
Elisabeth Lux, team lead at infodas, said, “A better overview and more control over all aspects of a project from start to finish were becoming increasingly important as the complexity of systems and services grew. Our client needed to manage a wide range of requirements across many different fields and specializations. The kind of large-scale systems they were working on included for example naval vessels, where many different manufacturers, suppliers and partners worked together to provide all kinds of physical components, maintenance services and digital systems.”
The organization wanted a scalable solution that would enable the management of smaller, simpler projects such as software upgrades just as well as highly complex multi-year programs. A particular challenge for the organization was its high requirement for availability in combination with extremely long project lifecycles. “For many systems, we’re talking about production and active use for 20 or 30 years,” added Elisabeth Lux. “Our client needed a futureproof requirements management solution to keep track of many projects running in parallel, from definition, to testing, to quality management. The solution needed to ensure the highest levels of security as well as providing transparent data management to comply with strict internal processes and regulatory requirements.”
One key challenge for infodas’s defense client was the preparation of requirements documents for public tender processes. To accelerate procurement and to deliver new, innovative capabilities faster to front-line staff, the organization sought to streamline workflows and generate the relevant documents much quicker with a higher level of automation. The organization also had to be careful to keep critical information for the evaluation confidential to support a smooth tender process with regards to competition law and other regulations.
We’ve built on Dimensions RM to digitize and professionalize the requirements management lifecycle for our client. Thanks to this integrated solution, our client can manage complex requirements effectively and support large-scale systems such as naval vessels from procurement through the full lifecycle.”
Manage requirements with a full-featured, web-capable solution that drives efficient system and software development.
Manage software change and configuration with Agile development automation, common databases, advanced network compression and advanced library-caches.
Quickly create, adapt, deploy and govern process-based apps and workflows across the organization with enterprise-scale business process automation.
The OpenText and infodas teams have worked with this defense-sector client continuously over almost 15 years to expand and optimize requirements management with Dimensions RM. “The cooperation between infodas, OpenText and our client has been very successful,” confirmed Elisabeth Lux.
The OpenText™ Professional Services team performed the initial implementation and continues to manage software upgrades. The infodas team provides in-depth software training, requirements management and prioritization workshops to help its client adopt best practices. Jenny Heylmann, IT consultant at infodas, said, “We’re always looking to enable our client to get even more value from Dimensions RM.”
Beyond training and workshops, infodas also worked closely with its client to seamlessly integrate Dimensions RM with comprehensive management processes across various teams and departments. The infodas team leveraged Dimensions RM APIs and widely used standards such as ReqIF, the Requirements Interchange Format, to flexibly and efficiently share data across systems and workflows.
“Our client has a centralized approach to requirements management. A single team of about 25 experienced requirement engineers provide this service to all specialist departments of the organization,” said Jenny Heylmann. “We’re facilitating this collaboration with bespoke integration processes and tooling built around Dimensions RM. Automation of this type is essential to enable the efficient flow of data across the organization.”
The organization combines Dimensions RM with Dimensions CM to handle software change and configuration management. Additionally, the client relies on OpenText™ Solutions Business Manager for standardization and workflow automation to boost staff productivity while ensuring full transparency and control.
Our client saves a lot of time by defining common requirements catalogs in Dimensions RM once and using the specifications again and again. Requirements can be combined and customized if needed.
By combining all requirements in one place and using flexible output templates, infodas substantially accelerated the creation of its client’s requirements specifications documents. “Compiling complete requirements and tender documents previously could take the client several years,” added Elisabeth Lux. “Thanks to Dimensions RM and automated processes, the client can provide its requirement lists within just six months and start public tender processes much faster. This in turn speeds up project delivery.”
By automating information exchange between teams, infodas substantially accelerated its client’s requirements management processes. Different teams can now seamlessly deliver their requirements to a central repository using custom tools and API integrations. “In the past, the client always blocked out three days just for manual data management,” confirmed Jenny Heylmann. “Today, thanks to Dimensions RM and our API integrations, our client can consolidate all requirements in a couple of hours, a saving of approximately 90 percent. Our tools and processes accelerate collaboration and also improve the quality of the requirements specifications.”
Complex projects cover many areas, and some requirements are essential across many projects. Using Dimensions RM, infodas’ client can, for example, define a standard list of labor-safety requirements once and flexibly use it across many different projects. “Our client saves a lot of time by defining common requirements catalogs in Dimensions RM once and using the specifications again and again,” added Jenny Heylmann. “Requirements can be combined and customized if needed. A common glossary helps to create a shared understanding of key terms across projects and requirements. This approach has also enabled our client to increase staff productivity and standardize its requirements specifications.”
Working together, infodas and the client team defined a standardized requirements information model that helps to abstract away some details and focus instead on the key services and defense capabilities to be delivered.
The client relies on Dimensions RM to manage its projects throughout the entire lifecycle. Test management is now also directly driven by the requirements specifications, making it easier to confirm that the delivered systems meet the original specifications.
Elisabeth Lux concluded, “We’ve built on Dimensions RM to digitize and professionalize the requirements management lifecycle for our client. Thanks to this integrated solution, our client can manage complex requirements effectively and support large-scale systems such as command and control information systems or naval vessels from procurement through the full lifecycle of operations, continuous improvement, and maintenance. We’ve streamlined our client’s processes, added automation, and enabled efficient requirements and information sharing for thousands of users across many departments with different specializations.”