Integrating requirements and project management
As the project manager, you have been asked to incorporate the requirements work that your team has done in IBM® Rational® RequisitePro® with the projects in IBM® Rational® Portfolio Manager. Before the 7.1 release of Portfolio Manager, this was a manual process that required some (possibly a lot) of duplication, if you did it at all, because there was no direct integration.
Keeping the information between the two tools synchronized was a hit or miss proposition. You had to review each individual requirement in RequisitePro and compare it to what was stored in Rational Portfolio Manager. Next, you made any necessary adjustments to the version that was stored in Rational Portfolio Manager. Regardless, upper management wants to track resources and costs for the requirements and evaluate the work done, just like any other task. With Version 7 and later, they can.
The goal of the Rational Portfolio Manager (project management) to RequisitePro (requirements management) integration is to link requirements with project planning and tracking to help you achieve the following goals:
- Improve traceability by mapping RequisitePro requirements to requirements in Rational Portfolio Manager without making significant changes to existing processes and practices
- Have the appropriate roles working with the appropriate tools (for example, project managers working with Rational Portfolio Manager and business analysts working with RequisitePro)
- Provide project managers with greater visibility and insight into the relationship between development activities and the requirements from RequisitePro.
- Allow business analysts to trace requirements from RequisitePro to corresponding requirements and related tasks in Rational Portfolio Manager
- Automate RequisitePro requirement updates into Rational Portfolio Manager requirements (this includes creating, modifying, and deleting requirements)
Listed below are the main prerequisites for establishing and using this integration:
- In order to use the integration with RequisitePro, you must have Rational Portfolio Manager V7.1 or later. This version was made generally available on June 29, 2007.
- The supported version of RequisitePro is 7.0.1 or later
- The RequisitePro Web Service needs to be deployed. This is not the same as the RequisitePro Client for Web (that is, IBM® Rational® RequisiteWeb). This service package should be deployed on the same server as RequisitePro.
- RequisitePro Web Services must be deployed on a Microsoft® Windows® machine with one of the following supported application servers:
- IBM® WebSphere® version 5.1 or later
- Apache® Tomcat® version 5.5
- Oracle® 9.0.4 or 10.1.0.2
- BEA® WebLogic® 8.1.5
- See the installation documents on the RequisitePro Integration for details on how to install this service.
- RequisitePro Web Services must be deployed on a Microsoft® Windows® machine with one of the following supported application servers:
- Requirements must exist in RequisitePro
- The RequisitePro project must be registered in the project list for Rational RequisiteWeb
Note: Remember the name that you use to deploy the
.ear file, because youâll need this to form part of the URL for the RequisitePro Web Services (more on this later).
Now that the basics are in place, you can learn how to use this integration.
Importing RequisitePro requirements
All of the import work is done through Rational Portfolio Manager. In the current implementation, it is a "pull" process from RequisitePro. All the data retrieved is read-only in Rational Portfolio Manager. Log into Rational Portfolio Manager as a user who can manipulate projects.
Opening the view
Requirements can only be imported as a "requirement" in the Scope Management view. In addition, they also need to be associated to a specific project. This article will use a new proposal versus an existing project, but either will work.
- The first thing that you need to create is a proposal. Depending on which view you last opened, you may need to select the Work Management view (see Figure 1) on the Navigation Bar (for those unfamiliar with Rational Portfolio Manager, this bar is located in the lower left corner of the GUI screen).
Figure 1. Selecting Work Management
- In the Work Management view, drag a Proposal from the main menu bar onto the Proposals folder, as shown in Figure 2.
In your environment, you may not use this same structure, or the naming convention may be different. Rational Portfolio Manager is very versatile and can be configured in countless ways. The examples in this article will keep the environment as simple as possible.
Figure 2. Drag a Proposal into the Work Management view
In a standard deployment of Rational Portfolio Manager, you may use a template or, as part of your process (that is, Workflow) objects may be automatically included into the proposal. To keep it simple, none of this will be shown. The proposal used in this example was created from the IBM® Rational Unified Process® (RUP®) framework Small Project template, which is included in Rational Portfolio Manager Version 6.2 and later. The steps to import RequisitePro requirements would be the same regardless of the objects defined within the proposal or project.
- Once the proposal has been created, select Scope Management from the Navigation tree (Figure 3). The Scope Management view displays in the main pane of the GUI, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 3. Selecting Scope Management
Figure 4. Scope Management view
Starting the import
Youâll notice that there are folders for each of the projects and proposals. This gives you one location to put all of the scope elements for that specific project or proposal, which helps you organize these objects.
- To start the import process, highlight the folder to which you want to import the requirements (in this example, RequisitePro Integration).
- Next, right-click and select Import from RequisitePro, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Importing requirements
The Import process is now started (see Figure 6). On an initial import, you need to supply some information that will allow the user to access the RequisitePro Web Service and, through that, access all of the projects that have been defined (and that the user has rights to) in RequisitePro.
- You must provide the URL for the RequisitePro Web Service. The base structure of the URL is provided, but you will need to provide some additional information:
- Server Address
- Deployed Name for the RequisitePro Web Service (default is reqpro)
This information will need to be placed into the first field of the dialog box. Figure 7 shows where this information would be placed.
Figure 6. Initial screen for the import process
Figure 7. Import dialog box
You must also supply a valid RequisitePro Login Name and Password (see Figure 8). The Next button will not be available until all this information is supplied.
- Enter a valid RequisitePro User, then their password. Note that these fields are case sensitive, so be sure to have the correct capitalization!
- Finally, click Next.
Figure 8. Completed initial screen for import
Choosing a project and requirements
Once you have clicked Next, the system will process the information provided and return a list of projects that you can access.
- Using the drop-down menu, highlight the project you wish to use, as shown in Figure 9, then click Next.
Figure 9. Project list
The system will query the requested project and return with a list of requirements. This list will represent all of the requirements in the project in their hierarchical structure, including folders (see Figure 10).
Figure 10. List of requirements
- Expanding the folders and requirements will show you how they are structured in RequisitePro (see Figure 11). You can change the size of the dialog box and the size of the columns within the box so that you can easily see all of the available information.
Figure 11. Expanded requirements list
- To select the requirement (or requirements) that you wish to import, select the checkbox next to the requirement in the Import column. You do not have to select all of them, although any ancestor requirement containers (see Figure 12) will automatically be selected.
A selected but shaded checkbox next to a folder or project indicates that not all of the requirements contained in that folder or project are scheduled to be imported.
Figure 12. Selecting a single child requirement automatically selects all of the ancestor requirement objects
- You can also select the entire folder or project (where project is the highest level), and all of the requirements in that folder or project will be selected for import automatically (see Figure 13).
Figure 13. Selecting an entire folder of requirements
- You do not need to select each individual requirement if you want most but not all of the requirements within a folder. Select the folder, then remove any requirement(s) from the import list. To do this, click the check box for the requirement(s) that you do not want to import. You can also clear an entire folder (see Figure 14).
Figure 14. Removing requirements
- You can also select different types of requirements to import at the same time (see Figure 15). The status box in the lower left indicates the total number of requirements selected, as well as the last operation completed. (In Figure 14, 11 requirements were cleared.)
With this version, there is a limit to the number of requirements that can be imported at the same time. This limit is 400 requirements. As you can see in the status bar in Figure 14, 50 total requirements are currently selected to be imported.
Figure 15. Importing different types of requirements
- Once you have selected all of the requirements for import (keeping in mind the current limit of 400), click Import. Rational Portfolio Manager, through the integration, will now create a copy of each of these requirements.
You cannot edit the fields imported from RequisitePro in Rational Portfolio Manager. You must make any modifications to the requirement in RequisitePro.
While Rational Portfolio Manager is processing the requirements, the Import from RequisitePro dialog box indicates that the process has started (see Figure 16).
Figure 16. Importing RequisitePro requirements
When the import is complete, the dialog box disappears and the Rational Portfolio Manager GUI is redisplayed showing the Scope Management view. The folder that you selected at the beginning of this process will be collapsed.
- Open this folder and you will see the name of the RequisitePro Project. Under this project will be the folders containing the RequisitePro requirements (see Figure 17).
Since this folder structure is obtained from RequisitePro, if your project doesnât take advantage of this option, then you will see the list of requirements instead.
Figure 17. Successful import of requirements from RequisitePro
- Expanding the folders will show you the requirements that you imported (see Figure 18).
Youâll also notice that the hierarchical requirement structure is not maintained. Within Rational Portfolio Manager, you have the ability to nest requirements, but if you do, you cannot schedule the nested requirements separately in the Work Breakdown Structure. In order to give you more flexibility for scheduling options, requirements from RequisitePro are imported to the same level. The hierarchical structure is, however, maintained in RequisitePro.
Figure 18. Imported RequisitePro requirements
In order to differentiate the imported requirements from requirements developed and maintained within Rational Portfolio Manager, special icons are associated to the imported objects. Table 1 shows both the Rational Portfolio Manager native icon and the RequisitePro icon.
Table 1. Standard Rational Portfolio Manager Icons and RequisitePro Icons
|Type||Native Rational Portfolio Manager Icon||RequisitePro Icons|
Obtaining status and information on imported Requirements
More information can be obtained on the status of the imported records at the ReqPro project level. While still in the Scope Management view, do the following:
- Highlight the RequisitePro project.
- Click Description from the top menu bar (see Figure 19).
Figure 19. Opening the Description view for a RequisitePro project
The Description view opens, showing the RequisitePro Integration layout. This layout contains two portlets: Identification and RequisitePro Integration Status. Each of these portlets contains information on and about the RequisitePro project (see Figure 20). The Identification portlet contains the information from the Import Wizard. It also contains two additional fields:
- Create new requirement on update
- Delete requirement in RPM if deleted in RequisitePro
You must have the description view checked out in order to modify these. By default they are both set to No. The second portlet, called RequisitePro Integration Status, contains a list of all the requirements for the RequisitePro project described in the Identification portlet.
This portlet shows the status of each requirement (synchronized, deleted, or out of sync; and whether or not it has been imported), and it also shows the last update date from RequisitePro, thus giving you an overview on this project. You can also run the Import/Update wizard directly from this view.
The RequisitePro User, RequisitePro Password, Server URL, and Project Path are obtained when you start the first import process for the project. The RequisitePro Integration Status section indicates what requirements have (and have not) been imported, as well as what their status is.
Figure 20. Imported Project Description view
- If you select the Launch RequisitePro Import/Update Wizard button, the Import From RequisitePro dialog displays (see Figure 21).
Figure 21. Project Import wizard
- You can import or update requirements as described earlier (see Figure 22).
Figure 22. Combining Updates and Imports through the Project Import wizard
- Clicking the Import button will cause the server to start the process to import and update all requested records. On the next view of the project Description view, the additional requirements will be updated (see Figure 23).
Figure 23. Updated information in ReqPro project Description view
Updating (Synchronizing) a Single Requirement
The previous section discussed how to update at the RequisitePro project level. Now you will see how it is done at the requirement level. You can start the process either from the Work Management view or the Scope Management view.
- In the Work Management view, highlight the project (that is, the Rational Portfolio Manager project, not the RequisitePro Project).
- Click the Scope Management button from the top menu.
- When the Scope Management view opens, expand the RequisitePro project and highlight a single requirement, then right-click and select Update Imported Elements (see Figure 24).
Figure 24. Updating a single imported requirement
- The Confirm Update from RequisitePro dialog displays. If you do not want this dialog box to display every time you update a requirement, select the Donât show this dialog again box in the lower left corner before you click the Yes button (see Figure 25).
Upon completion of the update, you will be returned to the Scope Management view.
Figure 25. Confirmation dialog for update
If the two tools are "in sync," the dialog box will look like Figure 26, and the message will indicate that the element is up-to-date.
Figure 26. Imported element up-to-date
Working with Requirements
Now that you have successfully imported and updated requirements from RequisitePro, you probably have a lot of project management questions. Listed below is a sample of some of the questions you might have:
- Can I schedule the requirements into projects?
- Do the requirements have to be scheduled to the same task?
- Can I add Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) elements to the requirement?
- Can I apply resources?
- Can I apply cost estimates?
- Can I add documents?
The simple answer is you can do anything to these requirements that you could do to a native requirement, except edit three (3) fields. These fields are: Reference Number, Description, and Name (see Figure 27).
- To access the Description view, either double-click the requirement or highlight the requirement and select Description from the top menu bar. The default view or the last opened view will display.
Figure 27 shows an example of a "Requirement view." An icon indicates that the requirement is currently checked out. You can customize this layout (or any layout) to fit your companyâs needs.
Figure 27. Requirement Description view in Edit mode
Through this description view, you can perform many project management tasks, only some of which are:
- Add resources
- Make the resource task responsible
- Add attributes
- Add documents
- Add financial information such as cost, expenses, and benefits
Your ability to perform these tasks will be determined by your Rational Portfolio Manager security rights. Figure 28 shows the same Description view layout as Figure 27 except several of the portlets have been expanded. It also reflects the following additions to this requirement:
- A "requirement responsible" resource (Karen Miles)
- A document (Sample document)
- An attribute (Scope Management > Business Impact > Quality)
- Closing the description view (click the red X () in the upper right corner) returns you to the Scope Management view.
Figure 28. Expanded portlets showing in the Requirement Description view
The information in various portlets within the description view act in a similar way as do the attributes within RequisitePro: they add depth and breadth to the understanding of that requirement. To understand the complexity of the requirement, you need to create its work breakdown structure (WBS).
- You can do this either before moving the requirement to the Work Management view or after. The process is the same no matter which option you choose. Drag any scope element from the main menu bar onto the requirement. Order is maintained based on the order you have dropped the objects.
You can add summary tasks, deliverables, tasks, milestones as well as other scope elements such as risks, issues, or defects. If you selected to create the WBS first, your results will be similar to what you see in Figure 29.
Figure 29. Elements added to a Requirement
- You can then apply project management tasks to each object (such as task responsibility, adding documents, assigning resources, and so on). This is done in the same manner as it was at the requirement level.
- This requirement is now ready to be included in the project WBS. In order to do this you must switch to the Work Management view. Select this from the navigation tree on the left.
- Expand the project in the Work Management view:
- Highlight the project
- Right-click and select Expand all (see Figure 30)
Figure 30. Rational Portfolio Manager pop-up menu
The project will display with all elements of the WBS displayed (see Figure 31).
- Click Scope Management from the top menu bar. This will display all the scope elements for the highlighted project (in this example: RequisitePro Integration), including the imported requirements from RequisitePro.
Figure 31. Expanded WBS in the Work Management view
- Youâll need to expand all the containers to view the actual requirements (see Figure 32).
Figure 32. Work Management view with Scope Management opened
- Drag the requirements onto the Work Breakdown Structure. These do not need to be placed in the same deliverable or summary task (see Figure 33). As you can see, these requirements are not in the same summary task or deliverable. Some have not even been scheduled.
The elements in the WBS can now have time applied, and they can affect the schedule. In other words, they can be treated like any other element within the Work Breakdown Structure.
Figure 33. WBS with requirements from RequisitePro
It is important that the information in Rational Portfolio Manager stays current with what is in RequisitePro. This process must be initiated from Rational Portfolio Manager, but it can be done from the project level all the way to the requirement level (as described earlier in this article).
Understanding the impact of these imported requirements from all aspects of project and portfolio management has not been ignored:
- You can use all of the existing reporting aspects of Rational Portfolio Manager to evaluate them.
- The requirements are available for evaluation as part of the Scope Management OLAP Pivot tables, Reports, or even the new data warehouse and common reporting.
- These requirements will also show up on the Investment maps as part of the information available when you hover over the project bubble.
- You can even do trends on them via the integration with IBM® Rational® ProjectConsole™.
Now, with this integration, working on the correct version of the requirement is no longer hit or miss. Your business analysts can continue to work in RequisitePro, taking advantage of all the features this tool provides for requirements management (especially the traceability function). They do not have to change how they work.
In addition, your project managers can import these requirements and apply all the standard project management functions such as resource assignments, scheduling, cost estimates, risk management, and time and expense (to name a few). They do not have to learn another tool, keep track of changes, or update manually transcribed requirements.
Upper management can see how their assets are being utilized. Now, when a senior manager wants to integrate existing requirements into his project and portfolio management environment. Rational Portfolio Manager and its integrations with the other IBM Rational tools is the answer.
- Read author Debra Johnson's article: "Reporting with Rational Portfolio Manager Version 7.1" (developerWorks, June 2007).
- Take the Web-based training course : PRJ311: Integrating IBM Rational Portfolio Manager and IBM Rational RequisitePro.
- Download the trial version of IBM Rational RequisitePro V7.0 from the Downloads section on developerWorks.
- Browse the technology bookstore for books on these and other technical topics.
Get products and technologies
- Visit the Rational Portfolio Manager area on developerWorks for project manager content and resources.
- See also the Rational RequisitePro area on developerWorks for requirements management content and resources.
- Download IBM product evaluation versions and get your hands on application development tools and middleware products from DB2®, Lotus®, Rational®, Tivoli®, and WebSphere®.
- Visit the Requirements Management and RequisitePro forum on developerWorks to post your questions and comments and to share your thoughts, ideas, and solutions with others who use RequisitePro.
- Participate in the Rational Portfolio Manager forum on developerWorks to post your questions and comments and to share your thoughts, ideas, and solutions with others who use this software.
- Check out developerWorks blogs and get involved in the developerWorks community.