Improving Validation & Verification data management by deploying a life cycle management tool
Abstract: Managing data can be a challenge for large scale projects involving dozens of collaborators with different expertise. Data could be requirements, test procedures or product breakdown structures (PBS) for example. The deployment of an Application Life cycle Management (ALM) platform marks the beginning of the transition from the document-centric approach to new object-oriented methods such as Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) to store data. This thesis evaluates the deployment of Polarion ALM tool to improve validation & verification (V&V) processes’ time and cost. An action research methodology has been implemented on the case study of aeronautical projects. A data management prototype has been developed. It consisted in (a) designing a database structure, (b) designing workflows and processes to handle data, (c) designing reporting views to compute, sort and display information, and (d) developing import/export templates depending on the pre-defined formats. An anonymous survey addressed to the prototype users showed that the respondents are eager to work with such a tool and predict time and cost saving on the long term for V&V processes. There is indeed no answer with a mean or median lower than 3 over 5 on the satisfaction scale, meaning that the participants globally agree that the new approach is at least equal or better than the previous methodologies. However, configuration management has been a challenging feature to implement and does not meet all users’ expectations. Using a more recent version of Polarion ALM tool could enable those needs to be fulfilled. The assessment has also shown that a successful ALM tool deployment relies on both the implemented data structure and the management of change (also called change management). Including the future users during tool development facilitates the adoption of the ALM platform. Thus, it necessitates strong interactions with the company collaborators through defined communication channels and a proper training program.
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