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Custom Workflow Configurations in ALM

workflow_simple-336x336Rolling out a new piece of software doesn't need to be a painful, disruptive experience – even if it's an ALM solution used to support all your development processes. While rethinking your processes to optimize efficiency is usually a good idea, most development teams have their tried and tested workflows that they'd rather keep, whatever types of software they're using.

Related reading: Replacing IBM DOORS to Modernize a Legacy Requirements Management Toolchain

When changing the software environment to take advantage of the various features and capabilities offered by an advanced ALM solution, "migrating" your existing workflows can cause some headache. As you'll see below, that's not the case with codeBeamer ALM, which is easily adaptable to custom environments.

Workflows are also important in safety-critical industries. Standards and regulations in certain sectors require that companies enforce and prove the use of adequate processes in development and QA. Being able to simply configure your own complex workflows greatly facilitates regulatory compliance.

Working for your ALM tool vs. making your ALM platform work for you

codeBeamer's inherent flexibility is highly valued among our increasingly growing group of satisfied customers. By flexibility, we mean that this ALM platform is incredibly simple to customize to suit your needs, and to adapt to and integrate into your existing environment. Thus, it can be used to support various processes and realize value from day 1.

In addition to offering several integration points via REST API, a round-trip MS Office export & import function, and a built-in JIRA® sync feature, the system itself is also highly customizable. Using codeBeamer, you can fully configure your own trackers: the system allows you to add (computed) fields, escalation rules, notifications, and permissions.

What's more, you can also configure your workflows to suit your internal processes (or process requirements set forth by industry regulations), to automate certain processes, and to apply these tailored workflows to your fully customized work items.

Advanced custom workflows in codeBeamer

The following examples should give you an idea on how complex workflows can be configured with codeBeamer.

First and foremost, building your workflow starts with outlining the custom statuses of each work item type. Your artifact will go through these sequential steps before being marked as complete. Let's see a simple example first, with the following work items:


As you see, user stories are broken down into functional, and system requirements. Once these are completed, they need to be tested by QA, before being passed on to user acceptance testing (UAT). That's a pretty simple, typical workflow – however, each of these steps may have sub-processes. In codeBeamer, individual workflows may be connected to each other, even across projects.

Most likely, each feature will be tested individually. However, sticking to our example, in order to be able to pass the product on to user acceptance testing, each and every feature will need to be tested and verified by the QA team. In cases like this, codeBeamer allows you to configure a "guard" that only allows your team to set the status of work items to "UAT" once all the internal tests are completed. What's more, the system can be configured to automatically transition the status to UAT once all test cases are completed. You can also set up custom notifications triggered by various events and actions.

These guards are perfect ways to enforce processes, greatly facilitating compliance & QA audits. They allow you to set up certain conditions that need to be fulfilled before progressing to the next step, or before another workflow can begin. They can also be used to ask for e-signatures by certain members of your team, thus allowing you to manage approvals (sign-offs).

To learn more about advanced workflow configuration options in codeBeamer watch our webinar recording from 29 July 2015 below. Ready to give it a try? Start your free trial or contact us with your questions!

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