A software security company releases new software two months ahead of schedule

Collaborative lifecycle management solution based on IBM Rational software promotes agile approach

Published on 27-Jun-2013

"Rational Team Concert allows you to work with scrum very nicely. So the team will use it on a day-to-day basis for their work planning in the beginning of the sprint, and then the team will put its work results back into the application." - A research and development (R&D) manager, Software security company

Customer:
A software security company

Industry:
Computer Services

Solution:
Agile Software Development, Collaborative Lifecycle Management

Overview

This company specializes in security processes, software and cryptography. The organization’s research and development (R&D) team develops and maintains a common application platform and common libraries that are used for application development throughout the company.

Business need:
This company's research and development (R&D) team wanted to adopt agile methodologies to improve speed to market and boost project visibility.

Solution:
The team used a suite of IBM® Rational® software to create a collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) framework that supports the agile approach.

Benefits:
The team cut the amount of time required for reporting by 75 percent and released a new product two months ahead of schedule.

Case Study

This company specializes in security processes, software and cryptography. The organization’s research and development (R&D) team develops and maintains a common application platform and common libraries that are used for application development throughout the company.

Adopting agile methodologies

The company's R&D team provides tools, software development kits (SDKs) and middleware for application development. As part of this mission, it regularly develops and tests innovative devices and products. In the past, it took the team around six months to release a new product. It was using traditional development methods, which made it difficult to manage change requests and evaluate project progress and health. Project managers spent hours to days gathering information to compile into reports.

In 2011, the team decided to adopt agile development methodologies to improve time to market and provide better project insight. “We wanted to be able to manage our changes better,” says an R&D manager and certified scrum master at the company. “At the same time, we wanted to see whether agile would give us a better view of our project progress.” Initially, the R&D team tested the agile methods on one small project, using whiteboards and spreadsheets for project management. However, when it tried the methods on a larger project, it ended up with a backlog of 50 – 100 user stories on one product cycle. The team quickly realized that if it wanted expand use of the agile methods while properly managing this backlog, it would need more effective tooling.

Establishing a collaborative lifecycle management platform

The R&D team began evaluating automation tools to improve the effectiveness of its agile adoption. “As we were adopting agile, we continued to use different automation tools, and then we learned about the IBM test management tool, IBM Rational Quality Manager,” says the manager. “We began to create our CLM [collaborative lifecycle management] by using Rational Quality Manager.”

The team then purchased IBM Rational Team Concert™ software. “Rational Team Concert looked like something we could use to manage our project, manage the backlog, manage the team activity and provide visibility,” says the manager. The team completed the CLM solution by installing IBM Rational Requirements Composer and IBM Rational Functional Tester software.

A team of 2 – 3 project managers uses Rational Requirements Composer software to define requirements and expand user story details that they need to implement in the product. The project managers then determine which sets of requirements or backlog the team should address in the next product cycle. The development team can then look at the project plan inside Rational Team Concert software. “Rational Team Concert allows you to work with scrum very nicely. So the team will use it on a day-to-day basis for their work planning in the beginning of the sprint, and then the team will put its work results back into the application,” says the manager.

Concurrently, the company's quality team uses Rational Quality Manager to plan its project, create test cases and eventually link test scripts to the script the Rational Functional Tester application produces. All the project information is inside the CLM. “We have proper traceability between requirements to the project items,” says the manager. “This makes it very easy to generate reports. Previously, we had to do a lot to generate different types of reports. Today, you can actually gather this information from the CLM tool itself.”

Realizing significant productivity gains

Using the CLM solution, the R&D team can easily accomplish tasks that used to require much more effort. “Before, when we needed to provide reports, we had to do things manually, because we had different silos of data to manage. The team spent quite a bit of time gathering all this information from each of the different silos and then trying to establish the proper traceability and eventually produce a report,” says the manager. Creating a quality report, for example, used to take two team members a full day. Now, one team member can create the report in less than four hours, reducing the amount of time spent on reporting by 75 percent. The CLM also provides continuous insight into project statuses. “When we need any data about the project progress or any reports, we just go to the CLM and see the dashboard or quickly create the report that we need,” says the manager.

The team also achieved extremely impressive results with product releases. As a result of adopting the CLM tools and agile practices, the R&D team released its product two months ahead of schedule.

About collaborative lifecycle management tools from IBM Rational

Effective application lifecycle management (ALM) integrates all activities in the software development lifecycle, automating time-consuming and repeatable tasks and providing tools that promote near-real-time collaboration between globally dispersed teams, partners and suppliers. The IBM Rational solution for collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) was designed to make it easier for traditional, agile and hybrid teams to implement an effective ALM environment across multiple platforms that meets the vast majority of their needs. Built on an open and unifying IBM Rational Jazz™ platform, this solution comprises a set of seamlessly integrated products that work as one: IBM Rational Requirements Composer, IBM Rational Quality Manager, IBM Rational Team Concert and IBM Rational Software Architect software.

For more information

To learn more about CLM solutions from IBM Rational software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/rational/alm/collaborate .

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational Team Concert, Rational Functional Tester, Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Quality Manager

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Rational, Rational Team Concert, and Jazz are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml . This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.

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