Embedded Systems and Cloud based Kovair ALM

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Embedded Systems solution provider increases their operational efficiency using cloud based Kovair ALM

Embedded Systems solution provider increases their operational efficiency using cloud based Kovair ALM
The organization with their suite of highly efficient, extremely smart, scientifically and financially viable embedded systems solutions provide services in the FinTech, CleanTech, GovTech and Industrial Electronics sectors while supporting SaaS, PaaS and on Premise and field Opex Models. Over years, this tech company has helped organizations accelerate their journey towards digitalization.

Their Challenges

In this organization every project starts from a Project, Product or POC request. Once a request is approved by Project Head and Quality Manager, the project gets initiated. Every project goes through the phases of Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Monitoring & Controlling and Project Closure. The organization deals with multiple types of Requirements and their corresponding designs followed by development and testing. In absence of a centralized software tool for managing all these different phases, the organization was struggling in various areas as mentioned below.
  1. Centralized tool for complete transparency: With a mix of offline mediums like word and excel for maintaining different artifacts, it was extremely challenging for the organization to track the progress of the projects and manage quality. They needed a centralized repository for accessing the same artifacts without versioning and searching problems.
  2. Managing Requirements: Every project in the organization starts with Product Requirements. Each Product Requirements are broken down into various other sub-level hardware and software requirements, which again go through various levels of Design and Prototypes. With requirements and specifications maintained in “traditional” office documents, achieving the traceability was difficult and, consequently, inefficient.
  3. Central Governance: Having so many diverse teams and items to work on, the organization felt the need to establish a centralized process governance to reduce multiple redundant and overlapping jobs done by individual teams
  4. Collaboration: The working of projects in this organizations requires the involvement of various stakeholders like Project Managers, Project Leads, Design Engineers, QA Manager, QA Engineer, Author Hardware team and Audit teams. They work on a wide range of artifacts like Requirements, Designs, Coding, Prototyping, Testing and Risk. Every team having their own way to manage the artifacts, it is challenging to establish a proper collaboration mechanism

The Solution

With the above-mentioned challenges in hand, the organization was looking for a SAAS based ALM & PPM solution which could cater to their problems. After evaluating multiple tools, they decided to select the Kovair ALM Studio.
Kovair ALM Studio, the fully integrated application lifecycle management product from Kovair is a browser-based solution. Kovair ALM Studio along with its proprietary ESB, Kovair Omnibus provides a single platform for PMO success.

Hosted Solution

The organization was looking for a cost-effective solution over cloud to avoid any infrastructure related investment. Kovair has hosted the entire solution on Kovair cloud. These are getting accessed by users of the company from different geographical locations.

Project Initiation & Planning

Kovair PPM is a one stop solution that delivers greater value to the organization by connecting project planning to execution. Using Kovair PPM, organizations can define strategic initiatives to portfolio to projects to their outcomes. It allows to define strategic initiatives, choose the relevant projects for execution, provide deeper insights into development, projects and programs by generating EVMs at all levels, providing valuable inputs to the management, enabling them in making data-oriented decisions.
The organization maintained their pre-project phase in Kovair ALM where every request for a new product, project or POC gets registered. These requests go through multiple level of approvals configured through Kovair’ s task-based workflow. Once a request gets approved, a project gets created using the standard project template of the organization. (example?)
Project Initiation and Planning

Fig.1
Once a project gets created, project managers can manage all phases of project management in Kovair. Using the capability of Task Scheduler, they are doing the planning. Task scheduler of Kovair ALM allows Project Managers to do the planning with precision by providing capabilities mentioned below.
  1. Supports creation of plan incrementally
  2. Provides Gantt Chart allowing managers to track the critical path for a project
  3. Allows to track milestones
  4. Considers company and individual leaves of resources
  5. Supports creation of tasks for activity owners as and when the plan gets published
  6. Provides complete transparency to project managers on project progress
  7. Allows project managers to compare planned vs actual in the plan in a real-time manner
Project Initiation and Planning

Fig.2
With all the above-mentioned capabilities, project managers of the organization now have much better control on the project progress and users also have better visibility to their to do list of tasks.

Requirements and Design Management

Projects in the organization starts with Product Requirements. Each of these product requirements is categorized into multiple sub-requirements, viz. Hardware, Firmware, Software and Mechanical Requirements. All these requirements are then streamlined into their respective designs viz. Hardware, Firmware, Software and Mechanical Designs.
Kovair ALM allowed the organization to import all Requirements from their existing word documents and establish relationships between these Requirements and their corresponding Designs.
Requirements and Design Management

Fig.3
Requirements Management module of Kovair ALM provided them some inherent benefits as mentioned below.
  • Allows easy capturing of Requirements from documents using Word Import
  • Facilitates maintaining different types of Requirements through entity management framework
  • Supports separate attributes and relations for each type of Requirement
  • Allows to enforce centralized governance through automated task-based workflow for tracking a requirement lifecycle from analysis to delivery
  • Supports tracking of who, when and what of changes for audit trail
  • Supports versioning of Requirements with facilities of comparing and merging versions
  • Custom template

Development Management through Connectivity with SVN

The organization is using the integration with their source control management tool SVN. Whenever a File is checked in SVN the related changeset and SVN file automatically gets synchronized to Kovair ALM. Once synchronized, these changesets gets linked to the Requirements or Defects against which the code was checked in.
Kovair comes with a SOA architected proprietary ESB platform Kovair Omnibus enabling organizations to setup an integrated ecosystem of tools without replacing the existing tools.
Other than SVN Kovair also provides integration with multiple tools as per the diagram below.
Development Management through Connectivity with SVN

Test & Defect Management

The organization maintains Test Cases for each type of Requirements. They capture and manage all their System, Unitand Module Test Cases as well as the mechanical inspection data. The organization was earlier managing their test cases in excel files along with the traceability with requirements. This was leading to lot of errors and missing test cases. Test coverage of requirements was also not visible to different stakeholders leaving behind lot of untested requirements. With the implementation of Kovair Integrated Test Management solution, they now have a complete visibility to all the test activities that are getting performed against the requirements. They can maintain their Test Plans containing both entry and exit criteria. On failure of every test execution a defect gets logged in Kovair. There is a complete visibility to the testing activities along with the end to end traceability from Requirements to Defects.

Some of the inherent capabilities of Test & Defect Management by Kovair ALM are:

  • Provides single platform for your testing needs
    • Test Management
    • Test Execution
    • Test Automation through integration -with what?
    • Task Based Workflow to manage your test activities
  • End to end traceability with Requirements and Defects
Test & Defect Management

Fig.4
Test & Defect Management

Fig.5

Reports and Dashboards

Kovair ALM Studio provides built-in graphical and textual reports in Word, Excel, PDF formats and dashboards with real-time drilldown data access. It allows users to configure KPIs as per organizational need and give access to different users based on their roles and responsibilities. Kovair ALM Studio allows users to generate pre-formatted word documents like SRS/SDD/PRD/MRD from the application.
Using all the benefits as mentioned above, the managers and senior management of the organization has got complete visibility to the progress of the Project. This real-time data has also helped the organization in the areas of early detection of errors and improve production quality.

The Business Benefits Achieved

The organization has acknowledged that they are saving both time, cost and getting better quality with the implementation of Kovair ALM Studio. Some of the major areas of benefit are listed below.

Robust Requirements Management

Kovair ALM Studio has given the Project teams what it mostly needed – an improved and uniform process for requirements and test management. It has drastically simplified the management and tracking of various types of requirements, designs, prototypes, tests and test reports.

End to End Traceability

With the implementation of Kovair ALM Studio, the organization achieved end to end traceability between the artifacts from Requirement to Designs to Test to Defect. which was exceedingly hard to achieve manually. Using this traceability, the project managers get accurate data on coverage of various items and provide real-time status updates on the project proceedings. They are now equipped to provide fast responses to questions like
  • Which test objects are related to which requirements?
  • Which change requests are impacting which requirements and test results?
  • What are the different Designs that are related to the Requirements?
End to End Traceability

Enhanced Collaboration

Using the unified platform of Kovair ALM Studio, collaboration between the project teams became easier. Capabilities like Document View is providing users a detailed information about the requirements, tests, designs, etc. while using the Traceability View, users can view the entire chain of linked artifacts that are related to one another and clearly track the coverage and progress of the mission.
The real-time information from Kovair over a web-based interface along with email notifications, facilitates the acceleration of work processes that has resulted in significant improvement in the communication and collaboration among the different team members.

Conclusion

Using Kovair ALM Studio in conjunction with Omnibus, the organization has successfully implemented a fully integrated ALM environment. With this implementation, the organization has seen a substantial growth both in quality and productivity. Stakeholders from different teams have recognized the benefits of Kovair’s ALM implementation. Some of the areas where the organization have seen significant benefits are:
  • Automation of standard operating procedures and working process enabling controlled project execution
  • Significant reduction in Issues improving product quality
  • Better release predictability with the help of real-time reports and dashboards
  • Visibility of complete coverage through traceability helping in early detection of gaps & errors
For more information, visit: www.kovair.com

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