The IBM Rational CLM exhibits the traceability relationships between requirements and development thereby enabling the business analyst and project manager to know the status of the set of business requirements and the planned work items.
Shortly, IBM CLM is a combination of Requirements Management, Change & Configuration Management (CCM), and Quality management under one single ALM platform for better & easy creation of traceability views.
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What You Will Learn:
The IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) is primarily a set of 3 integrated tools which include:
This integration helps the entire project team to look at one single tool to capture all of the project artifacts instead of using multiple tools in silos with NO proper traceability, real-time information about the progress of work and reports.
With IBM Rational CLM a business analyst can look at what is happening to the set of business requirements i.e. whether it is developed and tested or not. Similarly, a project manager can look at the status of a set of planned work items in case of scrum implementation it would be STORY as an example of work items and its associated developer tasks and test cases.
In case of waterfall implementation, it would be BUSINESS NEED work item and its associated developer tasks and test cases.
Work Item is an important concept in IBM Rational Team Concert to manage and track development tasks. Examples of work item include EPIC, STORY, TASK, BUSINESS NEED, RISK, DEFECT, RETROSPECTIVE etc. In addition to these pre-defined work items teams can also create their own custom work items. Work Items are integral part of project planning and are linked to code changes using SCM feature and build management.
Typically when the teams use multiple tools there is no proper traceability to track the artifacts end to end in the project lifecycle.
The concept of lifecycle project in IBM Rational CLM helps to connect the entire team to one single platform. So by creating a lifecycle project you can link Business Requirements to UML Design artifacts and then to Work Items and Work Items to Development Tasks & Test cases. All these are done dynamically.
Using lifecycle project will help to see the project created in each of the 3 containers i.e. Requirements Management (RM), Change and Configuration Management (CCM) and Quality Management (QM) as shown below and also linked so that the traceability view can be easily created.
More about creating lifecycle project, adding users, roles, permissions and license updating can be found here.
Each CLM application can be accessed using the following URL’s
Once you login to the RM URL as mentioned above, you can easily navigate to the other applications as well.
Let’s start by creating Requirements. The steps mentioned below are to be followed to create the same. The requirements once created will be linked to User Stories and the Test Cases.
#1) Login to RM application using the URL https://<ServerName>:9443/rm/web
#2) Click to select the CLM_Project after login. The Public dashboard will come up as shown below.
(Note: Click on any image for enlarged view)
#3) Click on Artifacts –> Browse Artifacts to create requirements.
#4) Left click on the ‘Features and Vision’ folder and then select Create Artifacts
Enter the name as ‘Place Order for Music CD’, Artifact Type as ‘Feature and Artifact Format as ‘Text’. Then click on OK.
#5) The newly created requirement is shown below:
#6) Define the attributes for the newly created requirement. Then select the requirement just created and select the ‘Edit Attributes’ option.
Add attributes as shown below and then click on Save
#7) In order to display the attributes click on the icon to select the ‘Configure Page Settings’
#8) Now click on ‘Configure Columns to Display’
#9) Now select the Business Priority and Description attributes to be displayed and unselect the ones which are not required and click on OK.
As you see we have created a Business Requirement. IBM Rational DOORS NG also allows you to create different types of requirement like Actors, Non-Functional requirements, any custom requirement types and also their defined attributes.
Typically, the next step is to create a Business Process diagram to support the created Business Requirement. Business Process diagram is easier to visualize for the business users rather than in a textual format.
In IBM Rational DOORS NG it is created using the BPMN notation which stands for Business Process Modelling Notation which is an industry standard.
For a detailed explanation on how to create the Business Process, you can refer to my article on IBM Rational DOORS NG
Now let’s see how the Business Requirement will be traced or linked to a User Story and Test Case
As you are aware that IBM Rational CLM is a single integrated environment and for one single complete view traceability ensures coverage across lifecycle artifacts and also helps to find gaps if any with respect to delivery.
Go back to the Artifacts view (Artifacts –> Browse Artifacts) and click on the folder ‘Features and Vision’.
To link a Requirement to the User Story which defines the functionality to be implemented from a development perspective select the Requirement and click on ‘Add a Link to the Artifact –> More’.
Select the Link Type as ‘Implemented By’ and the Artifact Container as CLM_Project (Change Management) to create a New Story by adding the Summary and other respective attributes as shown and then click on OK
Similarly the procedure to link a Requirement to the Test Case will be defined in IBM Rational Quality Manager again, hence select the requirement and click on ‘Add a Link to the Artifact –> More’.
Choose the link type as ‘Validated By’ and Artifact Container ‘CLM_Project’ (Quality Management) to create new Test Case and give a name as shown. And click on OK once done.
Let’s now look at the traceability View. Click on ‘Configure Page Settings’ à ‘Configure Columns to Display’.
Add the columns ‘Implemented By’ and ‘Validated By’ and click on OK. The traceability view is now displayed.
The above view shows the Requirement as Implemented By a User Story item and Validated By a Test Case. This is possible only when you have an integrated tool like IBM Rational CLM.
In the above traceability, view click on the User Story under ‘Implemented By’ column.
The User Story item now opens within the CCM container as shown below.
Few attributes for the STORY work item are to be noted very importantly = like the Story Points which define the complexity of the feature being developed, Owned By, Priority and Planned for. Acceptance criteria can also be defined in the Acceptance TAB to confirm the completion of the Story item.
The above attributes are required for Sprint Planning from a Project Management point of view for Project Managers. In addition to the above attributes, custom attributes as per the project needs can also be added.
Project Managers managing Agile SCRUM projects interested in creating Product Backlogs and maintaining Sprint Plans for their teams can take a look at the 2 part series available.
In the Story work item which is open, click on the Links TAB. Since the traceability to requirements was created earlier it is just shown.
Now click on ‘Add Related’ drop down and then select ‘Add Children’ to start creating and adding developer Tasks
Click on the link ‘Create Linked Defect’ and let’s change this to Task type.
In the form that opens, change the type to Task in the drop down.
The form is now changed to Task type, so add the details as shown below.
The important attributes include Owner (usually assigned to developers), Priority, and Planned for appropriate Sprint, Planned Effort which is defined as an estimate and Due date. In addition to these attributes custom attributes as per project needs can also be created. Click on Save.
You will notice that as the Task progress the state workflow drop-down on the right will also need to be changed. This can be entirely customized as per our need.
Now click on the Parent ID (227) on the right-hand side, which will take you back to the Story item. Click on the Links TAB of the Story item to see the developer task linked and shown.
The developer tasks created will be further linked to Source Code and then built. I will show this in a separate article.
Now since the Test Case was already created when it was linked to the requirement, it can now be added to the Story item. Click on ‘Add Related’ drop down and select ‘Add Tested by Test Case’
Select ‘Link to existing Test Case’.
Select the Test Case which was already created earlier and then click on OK.
The traceability is now updated to show the Test Case linked.
The Story item also has a workflow which can be closed once the developer tasks, defects, and test cases are done with.
In the above view of the Story item click on the Test Case to open it for creating Manual test scripts and for further testing.
For further usage of IBM Rational Quality Manager please look at my earlier article published at => IBM Rational Quality Manager (RQM): Complete Hands-On Guide
By reading this article you would have understood the importance of having one single ALM platform for end to end delivery.
I do believe from my experience that it is not easy to replace your existing delivery environment where multiple tools are being used but I would suggest you look at moving on to a single repository environment in the near future.
To summarize, we have seen:
About the Author: This article is written by STH team member Niranjan. He is having 20+ years of experience in IBM Rational tools.
Next, we will be covering in-depth hands-on tutorials on IBM Tools like:
We will try and focus to dive deep on some of these features as well.