Digital Project Manager: An Overview of Modern Requirements4DevOps

The Digital Project Manager: An Overview on Modern Requirements4DevOps

Detailed Overview & Explanation Of Requirements Management Features

What is Modern Requirements4DevOps?

What is Modern Requirements4DevOps? Read on to discover how Modern Requirements4DevOps works—what problems it can help you solve and who uses it, along with a tour of its features, pricing, and integrations.

I’ll also explain how Modern Requirements4DevOps compares to similar tools.

Read the full article on Digital Project Manager.

Introduction to Rights Management

Introduction to Rights Management

What is Rights Management?

Rights Management is a new feature in MR2020 Release to control user access. The project administrator can grant or deny a group of users from accessing an MR module and its functionalities. Currently, Rights Management is available for three MR modules: Smart Docs, Baseline, and Reporting.

The Benefits of Using Rights Management

Flexible and customizable permissions allow project teams to maintain the appropriate balance of collaboration and control.

Whenever a permission change takes place, it will immediately impact every user team/group that is assigned the permissions. This ensures that permission settings can easily be updated and maintained as projects progress and teams change roles.

How to Access Rights Management

Rights Management can be accessed from the Modern Requirements4DevOps extension under Project Settings.

Group Features

The available features which you can set permissions for varies from module to module.

The available Group Features are as follows:

  1. Create /Edit Folder
  2. Delete Folder
  3. Create/Update Artifact
  4. Delete Artifact
  5. Create/Update Meta Template
  6. Save As Template
  7. Smart Report Generation
  8. Smart Report Designer

Permissions Selections

There are typically three types of permission access to choose from for each group feature:

“Allow”

“Deny”

“Not Set”

  1. “Allow”: Explicitly grants users the permission to access a group feature in MR module(s).
  2. “Deny”: Explicitly restricts users from accessing a group feature in MR module(s).
  3. “Not Set”: Implicitly denies users the ability to access a group feature in MR module(s).

Inherited Permissions

Teams/Groups can automatically inherit permission settings from parent Teams/Groups. Permissions Settings explicitly changed in the child teams/groups may override permissions inherited from parent Teams/Groups. Keep the following rules in mind:

  1. Inherited “Allow” values can be overridden to “Deny”.
  2. Inherited “Not Set” value can be overridden to “Allow” or “Deny”.
  3. Inherited “Deny” value cannot be overridden to “Allow”.

Permission Conflicts

When same user exists in more than one teams/groups, the following rules apply:

  1. “Deny” has preference over “Allow”.
  2. “Deny” has preference over “Not Set”.
  3. “Allow” has preference over “Not Set”.

Please watch the detailed tutorial video on Rights Management!

If you have any questions or thoughts about Rights Management, please contact your Customer Success Representative of Modern Requirements and we will be happy to work with you to explore this feature.
Time to Read: 10 minutes

Using MatCal to Perform Mathematical and Logical Calculations in Modern Requirements Management

Using MatCal to Perform Mathematical and Logical Calculations in Modern Requirements Management

What is MatCal?

MatCal is a feature in Modern Requirement4DevOps used to perform mathematical and logical expressions on work items.

Why we need MatCal in Requirements Management

To manage the relationships between work item properties in a smarter way! It eliminates the manual efforts of doing the calculation outside the project environment and avoids risks of introducing incorrect calculation results to your projects.

Let’s look at a simple example here to illustrate a relationship between work item properties.

Business Value and Priority are properties of work item Feature.  Normally, high Business Value leads to high Priority.

With the right configuration, MatCal could help you manage the relationship by automatically assigning Priority value based on the Business Value input.

Industry Use Scenarios

Scenario 1: Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) in ISO 26262

Scenario 2: Risk rating is automatically assigned according to Severity score and Occurrence score

Scenario 3: Priority rating is automatically assigned according to Severity score and Likelihood score

Please watch the video for extra usage scenarios and tutorials on MatCal!

Time to Read: 10 minutes

Reusing Requirements

Requirements Reuse: An Effective Way to Facilitate Requirements Elicitation

Learn how to Reuse Requirements in Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is an incredible platform that provides a single-source of truth. 
For many teams that statement alone is enough to consider using the world’s leading ALM platform for their requirements management. Being able to tie development tasks to requirements, and those to Test Cases is hard to pass up. 

But what if you don’t need all of the features of a full ALM platform?
What if you only need a solution for your Requirements Management needs? 

You can use all of the rich features of Modern Requirements4DevOps to turn your Azure DevOps project into a full-featured Requirements Management solution. One of these features is the ability to reuse requirements across different projects, collections, and servers using the Modern Requirements4DevOps Reuse tool.

Looking to reuse requirements? 
You’re in the right place. 

What you’ll learn in this short article:

  1. Benefits of reusing requirements
  2. The two types of reusing requirements
  3. How reusing requirements can be used effectively

The Benefits of Reusing Requirements

When we talk about the benefits of requirements reuse there is one thing that needs to be addressed first.

The most common question I get from hardware teams is “How could this possibly benefit teams who aren’t software-related?”

So before we begin, requirements reuse is not just for software teams.

Requirements reuse is a topic that often catches people’s attention.

This is because in the world economy we are seeing companies focusing on given domain or areas within given industries. This leads to companies building products within a specific domain, or around a given solution, and really narrowing in on the few things they can be really successful at.

This means that as you build projects, solutions, or systems, often a team can reuse elements of a previous project. This is where requirements reuse fits into the picture.

By enabling a team to reuse those requirements in the next project they are able to reduce the amount of overhead required in getting started in a new project.

For some people this might already be obvious.

What might not be obvious, however, is that reuse can also be a great way of handling requirements that are scoped above the project level. This would include non-functional requirements, or risks that need to be considered as a company-wide mandate. This would even go so far as to allow your team to reuse requirements whose purpose is strictly regulatory or compliance-centric. This functionality can be extended to software and hardware teams alike and can even help teams product teams devoted to a physical component or deliverable.

 

The Two Types of Reusing Requirements

Reusing Requirements by Reference

Reusing requirements by reference is a quick way to introduce existing requirements to your project by simply building links with them. By doing this, you could have direct access to those work items and review all the associated content, links, and attachments without actually copying them within or across projects.

Reusing Requirements by Reference

 

Reusing Requirements by Copy

In Azure DevOps there is very limited functionality for copying requirements, or other work items, from one project to another. But when you add Modern Requirements4DevOps into your Azure DevOps environment, requirements reuse meets its full potential.

When discussing the Reusing Requirements by Copy, there are three major approaches to consider.

Reusing Requirements by Copy

 

How to Reuse Requirements Effectively

After watching the above videos it is obvious that the Modern Requirements4DevOps Reuse tool is effective for reusing requirements.
It offers full control over the requirements you are choosing to reuse, allows you to apply customization to those requirements, and allows you to link the requirements to the source work item.

This means no matter where you want to send requirements, you can do so using the Modern Requirements4DevOps Reuse tool. But there are some ways that you can use the Reuse tool more effectively. 

The first notable mention is by pairing the reuse tool with the Modern Requirements4DevOps Baseline tool. 

What is a Baseline?
Many teams use Baselines of requirements and don’t even realize they do.

A Baseline is a snapshot of Work Items at a given point in time. 
For many teams they simply use Microsoft Word document versions as a baseline. 

When talking about capturing requirements at a given time, there are many reasons why the Modern Requirements4DevOps feature is better than the traditional Microsoft Word approach. With Modern Requirements4DevOps Baselines, you are able to capture a set of, work items as they were on any date of your choosing.

This means if you want to capture your requirements as they are two weeks ago, you can easily create a Baseline for those requirements on that date. This lends itself directly to the benefits of the Reuse tool added by Modern Requirements4DevOps.

By combining the Reuse tool with our Baseline, you can not only choose the set of requirements you want to reuse but also the version of those requirements as well. This allows you to take the best and most applicable version of your requirements forward to your next project. 

The next notable mention is to use the prefix / postfix / and other operations effectively when reusing requirements.

When reusing requirements, the Modern Requirements4DevOps Reuse tool allows you to customize how the requirements being reused will appear in their destination project. 

The screen which allows you to do this can be seen below:

 

Using the above feature will allow you to easily add a prefix or postfix to the requirements once they reach your chosen destination project. As seen above, you can also choose to send these requirements to a specific area path (like hardware or software for instance), or even into a given iteration so you can decide when these requirements get handled. 

The most commonly used feature in the field options, however, is the ability to add a tag. 
Often when you are sending requirements from one project to another you want to be able to easily identify and trace those requirements in your destination project. Adding a Tag will allow you to do this.

What is the link with Source Work Item Option?

This option allows you to establish a link between the work item you are reusing and the work item you create in your destination project. 

What link does it create? 
It links your new destination work item to your original work item via the “Related” link or any link type that you have configured in the admin area.
In the below image you can see a Test Case I have copied from project to project, using both the prefix “CL- ” and the “Link to source work item” options set.

 

Using the “Link to source work item” feature allows you to easily trace requirements back to where they were pulled from. While there are many use cases for this feature when moving requirements directly from project to project, this more advanced use cases are for when you are moving requirements from a library or repository into a project instead. 

How to merge copied baselines?

Baseline is a very useful tool no matter you want to reuse a single work item or a long list of work items from your source project/library. In Modern Requirements, you could create links between your source and copied works items so that you could locate the origins of these copied work items.

Although there are links in between, the copied work items are still considered to be independent of the source work items, which means any changes you make to either the copied or source work items will not impact their counterpart.

You might want to ask: how to synchronize the changes when necessary? Assume you have a library where all your design specification work items are saved, and you have reused them in 5 different projects. If now you have to modify some designs in the library, and you want all copied design specifications to be synchronized, you can simply use the Merge functionality, which is located under Source Copied Baseline(s) or Target Copied Baseline(s) in the Details tab of the Baseline module.

Baseline is a very useful tool no matter you want to reuse a single work item or a long list of work items from your source project/library. In Modern Requirements, you could create links between your source and copied works items so that you could locate the origins of these copied work items.

Although there are links in between, the copied work items are still considered to be independent of the source work items, which means any changes you make to either the copied or source work items will not impact their counterpart.

You might want to ask: how to synchronize the changes when necessary? Assume you have a library where all your design specification work items are saved, and you have reused them in 5 different projects. If now you have to modify some designs in the library, and you want all copied design specifications to be synchronized, you can simply use the Merge functionality, which is located under Source Copied Baseline(s) or Target Copied Baseline(s) in the Details tab of the Baseline module.

Still remember the definition of a baseline? A snapshot of selected work items at a point in time. So no matter what changes we have made to the baselined work items, the saved snapshot won’t change. So even if we have merged the baselines, the changes are done against the latest versions of the work items, not to the baselines themselves. Sounds like a little bit hard to understand?

Please watch the 5-minute Merge Copied Baselines video.

Merge Copied Baselines

 

Want to experience reuse's full potential?

Try Modern Requirements4DevOps for free today.

We offer you the ability to try our Requirements Management solution in your own Azure DevOps environment, or in an environment we supply that includes sample data. 

Importing Requirements to Azure DevOps

Importing Requirements into Azure DevOps

Learn how to easily import requirements (and some assets) into your ADO project

When moving to Azure DevOps, or when working offline away from your existing Azure DevOps project, you need a way to bring your newly created requirements into Azure DevOps.

Many teams face the issue of getting the requirements they have created in Excel, Word, and elsewhere into Azure DevOps. Luckily there are a few simple ways to do this without having to worry about adding a lengthy copy/paste session to your process! 

In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways to import requirements.

One of these options is free, and some are features provided by adding Modern Requirements4DevOps to your Azure DevOps project. 

The topics in this article are as follows:

  1. Importing Requirements from Microsoft Excel
  2. Importing Requirements from Microsoft Word
  3. Importing Diagrams and Mockups into Azure DevOps

Importing Requirements from Microsoft Excel

Whether you have all or some of your existing requirements in Excel, or you are looking to export requirements from an in-house tool to a .csv file, there is a free way to import your requirements to your Azure DevOps project. 

This is a free solution – provided you already have Azure DevOps and Excel.

The first step is to make sure you have the Microsoft Excel add-in called “Team tab.”

You can download this add-in directly from the link below:
https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691127

If you clicked the link above, you will have the ability to turn on your Excel team tab. 

When enabled, this extension allows you to connect an Excel sheet directly to a given project in your Azure DevOps Organization. 

When you enable it you will have two primary functions available to you:
1) You will be able to publish requirements to your project from Excel
2) You will be able to pull requirements from your project to Excel

This means you can work on your requirements from either interface and connect the changes to your project. i.e. if you pull requirements into Excel and make changes, you can publish those changes backup to your requirements in your project. 

After you have run the installer you downloaded you are ready to enable the extension.

Enabling the Team tab in Excel:

  1. Open Excel
  2. Create a Blank Sheet 
  3. Click File
  4. Click Options
  5. Click Add-ins
  6. Choose COM Add-ins from the drop down near the bottom of the window
  7. Select “Team Foundation Add-In and select Okay. 
If you have issues with this process, follow this link.
 
If you now see the Team tab in Excel, you’re ready to import requirements! 

Using the Excel Team tab

In this video, we cover how your team can use the Import capabilities provided by the Excel Team tab Add-in.

 

Importing Requirements from Microsoft Word

The second way to import requirements into your project is through Microsoft Word. 

This feature is a “Preview Feature” available with any Enterprise Plus Modern Requirements4DevOps license. This means any user in your organization with an Enterprise Plus license will be be able to access and use the Word Import Feature. 

If you aren’t currently using Modern Requirements4DevOps, you can try this Word Import Feature by trying Modern Requirements4DevOps today!

Give it a try!

So how does Word Import work? 

Warning: As a Preview Feature, you should expect that this might not be prettiest solution, and will typically require some coding knowledge. But not much – and if you can borrow a developer familiar with xml (or any other scripting language) for 20 minutes, you should be just fine.

Word Import works by having a well-formatted Word document which uses different Headings to represent the different Work Items / Requirements and their properties in your document. 

For example, let’s take an example of a BRD you might already have in Word format.

You likely have your Introduction, Overview, Scope, and other context elements using the style of Heading 1

You might then have your Epics, Features and User Stories in this document as well. Your document might look like this:

Heading 1 – Introduction
-> Paragraph – All of the text for the Introduction goes here…

Heading 1 – Overview
-> Paragraph – All of the text for the Overview goes here…

Heading 1 – Scope

-> Paragraph – All of the text for the Scope goes here…

Heading 1 – Requirements
-> Heading 2 – Name of Epic
–> Heading 3 – Name of Feature
—> Heading 4 – Name of User Story
—-> Paragraph – Description of the User Story above

Now, your document might be a little different but that’s okay. The principles you are about to learn are the same. 

Word import requires a document (shown above) and a ruleset (explained below).

Typically an admin will create a ruleset that your team will use for importing documents, and it will only have to be done once. So if you have a document already created and your admin has created a ruleset you’re good to go. 

If your admin needs to create a ruleset, read on. 

Creating a ruleset is incredibly simple and is done by editing an XML file. 
The XML file you create will determine how the Word Import tool parses your document for:
1) Which pieces of the document are work items?
2) Which pieces of the document are properties of a given work item?

If you are working through this in real-time, it might help to download this ruleset file as a starting point and watch the following video:

Using the Sample Ruleset to Start

In this video, we cover how to use the sample ruleset file to import a simple requirements document. Please remember creating a ruleset is typically a one-time process. 

 

Importing Diagrams and Mockups into Azure DevOps

Diagrams, Mockups, and Use Case models can be incredible tools for authoring and eliciting requirements. 

This is why with Modern Requirements4DevOps, your team can easily build all of these visualizations directly from within your project. This allows you to benefit from a single-source of truth model where everything is built into your project. 

But maybe you already have Diagrams and Mockups that you would like to add to your Azure DevOps project and connect to requirements. Is it possible to import these assets?

The answer is yes.

Both our Mockup tool and our Diagram tool will allow you to easily bring existing Mockups or Diagrams into your Azure DevOps project. 

To do this, simply save your asset as a .png or .jpeg file from your chosen Mockup/Diagram tool. 
You can then upload your created asset to either the Modern Requirements4DevOp Simulation tool (mockups) or Diagram tool (diagrams). 

You might be thinking, but if we upload it as .png or .jpeg then how can we edit our Diagrams and Mockups? Well, you can’t. But there’s a reason you should do this even still. 

If you want to connect a single Diagram to 25 requirements without using Modern Requirements, you will have to open all 25 requirements and connect them to each individual requirement. 

When you update your Diagram in the future, you will have to reopen all 25 requirements and change the attachment. 

With Modern Requirements4DevOps however, you are able to create a Diagram work item that you can link all of your necessary requirements directly to using the right panel. This means you will be able to have your Diagram in one place, and when that Diagram needs updating, you can easily add in your updated image, and connect your attachment to that single work item. 

Conclusion

In this article we covered three distinct ways that you can import both requirements and their assets to your Azure DevOps project. 

You can import requirements through Excel or Word, or import your existing Diagrams and Mockups. 

If you are interested in using Modern Requirements4DevOps to support your requirements management process, consider giving our product a try here!

Time to Read: 10 minutes