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IBM Design Portfolio – System Lifecycle Management

Researching Application Lifecycle Management

Research by the Green Thread team in 2009 and 2010 across Board of Advisors and our ALM customers resulted in new strategies and innovations in Application Lifecycle Management


User research identified user pain points

  • Complex information schemas modeling artifact types and lifecycles
  • Weak integrations across lifecycle tools with demands on data synchronization across repositories
  • Limited plan information allowing teams to plan changes and work using agile methods

Research at out enterprise client reported on similar pain points and years in negotiating a corporate wide schema in ClearQuest that managed the lifecycle of Change Requests as a single state model.

How did this research change the Rational strategy on ALM?

Formulating a ALM User Experience Strategy


Based on our research we formulated the ‘ALM Principles’ that was validated by our sponsors

  • Development is not an island unto itself; it provides a service to the business
  • There are cycles within cycles many of which are ripe for automation
  • A Solution is created by a social network of people producing artefacts
  • Solutions never die, they are refined and maintained for years
  • Assets are Investments
  • Simplicity First

Thought leadership


In 2009 I co-led the publishing of the CALM Redbook together with Carolyn Pampino and a group or Rational SMEs. The Redbook provides a blueprint for Collaborative Application Lifecycle Management by using an end-to-end reference scenario for deploying the new Rational products and ‘Agility at Scale’ into an existing enterprise environment.

The scenarios produced for the Redbook covers Change Management, Requirements Management, Enterprise Integration Builds and Test Management. It also discusses metrics for team success in Application Lifecycle Management.

In the Redbook I also explored integration scenarios and solution requirements for integrating the new Jazz platform with enterprise deployments of ClearCase and ClearQuest. Additional work in Enterprise ALM integrations were published in 2010 on IBM Developer Works.

Learn more about the Collaborative ALM Redbook in this blog.

Systems Lifecycle Management


In 2010 I started to design of a variant of CALM for the Systems market. My research identified opportunities for a System Lifecycle Management and solution based on System Engineering workflows across the CALM products.

Systems customer reported on development pain-points

  • Overlapping systems lifecycle solutions with brittle integrations
  • Ineffective systems engineering workflows
  • Innovation ineffective across system teams
  • Waterfall processes blocking agile improvements

The UX strategy for the design focused on provide

  • Improved requirements engineering
  • Integration to project management and solution modelling
  • Improved program and project planning
  • Project health monitoring, and team transparency
  • Improved quality through lifecycle integrations
  • Increased team efficiency through cross discipline collaboration

Systems Lifecycle Management scenarios


The Systems Lifecycle Management scenario was designed as an extension to the core CALM@scale scenario. This decision was based on the importance to our sponsors to modernize Systems Engineering with new collaborative and agile methods.

The shared design with the CALM@scale scenarios

  • Getting started
  • Adopting practices
  • Task management
  • Planning and transparency
  • Automation
  • Measures

The Systems Lifecycle Management scenario extends the shared scenarios

  • System engineering and architectural management on the Jazz platform
  • Add OSLC open standards to System Engineering integrations
  • Manage a traditional system delivery project and integrate with an agile software team
  • Product planning and delivery of products, components and variants
  • System Engineering measures using reports and dashboards

Learn more about the Systems Lifecycle Scenario on

The Systems Engineering Lifecycle scenarios validated innovations ALM information models.

Systems Lifecycle Management
Act 3 – Complete a System Requirement


The acts in the Systems Lifecycle Management scenario explored how the team successfully uses Systems Engineering workflows on the System Delivery platform.

In the scenario, the system engineering team is using an agile approach to iterative development. The objective of each iteration is to realize and validate a set of system requirements and use-cases, resolve prioritized defects and change requests, and to integrate the sub-systems into a complete an integrated demonstrator / prototype of the system product.

This act helped in designing many scenario details

  • Lifecycle management support for model driven development
  • Collaboration with Requirements Engineer and Software Architect
  • Design review of model based design
  • Code review of model based design
  • Process controlled delivery of code and model elements
Notice the development asset model in the image?
The separation of individual assets and their state was an CALM innovation. Let me describe how.

The CALM information model


The information model designed for the CLM platform is radically different compared to the model in ClearQuest. Reformulating this model was a huge quantum leap for modern Application Lifecycle Management.
  • In CQ the complete lifecycle was managed in complex schema.
  • In CALM the state of is distributed over a network of linked and related artefacts.

Lets consider an example (by walking the structure in the image)

  • A Requirement is implemented as a Story
  • The Story may be decomposed into Tasks and there may be Defects on the emerging implementation
  • The Story is planned for an Iteration in a Release
  • A Requirement and Story is tested by a Test Case
  • A Test Case will generate a Test Result in a Test Iteration / Milestone
  • A failing Test Case will result in a Defect on a Story
  • All tests are a part of a Test Plan testing a Release
Designing a Systems Solution using a distributed artifact model was a new concept. Read more about how we introduced that to the market.

Thought leadership


In 2010 I published our design in a SSE Workbench Redpaper for systems delivery teams who require an integrated solution for systems life cycle management for systems and software engineering. It illustrated how proven methodologies and best-of-breed tools, such as Rational DOORS, Rational Rhapsody, Rational Team Concert, and Rational Quality Manager, can help you design high-quality products that meet customer requirements during the innovation process for smarter products.

The paper was produced by me and Chief Evangelist Bruce Douglass. We provide an expert look into the processes and best practices
that enable effective product development.

Did this design create any recognizable outcome? Yes! The SSE Workbench is today shipping as the Continuous Engineering solution. The innovative CLM solution expanded with the PLE capabilities.

Learn more about the solution in this blog on the SSE Workbench Repaper.

Read more about the ‘Day one productivity’ design continued to evolve the Systems solution.