Overcoming Product Development Challenges: How IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management Can Help

Product Development Challenges

Developing new products and services has never been easy, and in recent years, companies face a host of challenges that make it even more difficult. Some of the key challenges include:

  • Products are becoming more complex and sophisticated, with features such as fitness tracking and self-diagnostics, which make product development more difficult and time-consuming.
  • Companies face pressure to bring products to market faster with more features at a lower cost. Consumers demand faster product iterations resulting in shorter product lifespans, which puts pressure on companies to deliver ROI. Shrinking product lifespans are accelerated by the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence and analytics.
  • Regulatory reporting is time-consuming and costly. Companies need to comply with a growing number of regulations and standards, which can be difficult to navigate, and failure to meet regulatory requirements can lead to costly fines and other penalties, as well as damage to the company’s reputation.
  • Falling behind competitors in product development and delivery. In today’s fast-paced business environment, companies need to be able to develop and launch new products quickly to stay ahead of the competition. Failure to do so can result in lost market share and revenue.
  • Increasing rework and cost of finding design errors late in development. Effective collaboration and communication across distributed teams is essential for successful product development. This involves not only ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals and objectives but also providing the tools and infrastructure needed to support collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Costly quality issues such as recalls, penalties, and reputation damage

The cost to develop new products/services is out of control. Companies need to leverage more partners and suppliers for specialized expertise and to meet the demand for parallel engineering development. Systems engineering has reached a tipping point in product complexity, and traditional engineering development practices are no longer efficient. A more disciplined end-to-end engineering lifecycle management strategy is required, based on adopting and accepting a continuous engineering model, leveraging engineering management tools focused on the four key pillars of the development process: requirements, modeling, testing, and workflow.

Benefits of ELM

To address these challenges, companies need to adopt a more disciplined end-to-end engineering lifecycle management strategy based on adopting and accepting a continuous engineering model.

  1. Complexity Management: One of the most significant advantages of ELM is its ability to manage complexity. With ELM, organizations can maintain transparency and traceability across the entire development team, ensuring that the product meets all requirements and is fully tested. It enables better decision-making through model-based systems engineering and understanding the impact of design changes throughout the product lifecycle.
  2. Accelerated Delivery: ELM facilitates agile methods, integrating architecture, design modeling, simulation, and quality management. This, in turn, promotes component reuse, improving the efficiency of product line engineering and leading to faster delivery.
  3. Improved Quality: In addition to accelerating delivery, ELM’s providing integrated testing and lifecycle traceability improves quality by ensuring that products meet requirements and undergo comprehensive testing. It offers visibility across artifacts for a complete view of development.
  4. Streamlined Compliance: ELM integrates compliance and regulatory standards into development processes, ensuring auditability, traceability, verification, and reporting. Compliance becomes a natural part of the development process.
  5. Collaborative Team Development: Another benefit of ELM is its ability to support collaborative development across functions and geographically distributed teams. It enables agility at scale, incorporates industry standards and regulatory requirements, and ensures full lifecycle traceability of requirements, design, and test data.
  6. Visual Modeling and Optimization: ELM enables visual modeling, simulation, and testing of architectures and designs, optimizing them early in the development process. It provides customizable reporting, dashboards, change impact assessment, and management.

Ultimately, ELM promotes continuous improvement through the automation of best practices, enables analysis of data to improve decision-making, and enables end-to-end management of the development lifecycle. In short, ELM is a comprehensive solution that can help organizations overcome development challenges, improve quality, and accelerate delivery while fostering continuous collaboration and streamlining compliance.

IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management

IBM Engineering Lifecycle Management portfolio helps companies meet these product development challenges and leverage the benefits of an industry leading ELM solution. IBM ELM is a modular set of integrated software components designed to help teams manage the engineering process from requirements to design, implementation, verification, and validation. It provides traceability across engineering tools, giving teams visibility into dependencies and impact analysis. With automation, teams can work together faster with fewer errors, generating product documentation deliverables and making changes with confidence. IBM ELM addresses challenges related to complexity, compliance, distributed work, reuse, and traceability, and helps teams accelerate delivery, improve quality, and foster continuous collaboration while streamlining compliance. The solution includes engineering management tools focused on the four key pillars of the development process: requirements, modeling, testing, and workflow.

Requirements Management

Effective requirements management is a critical success factor in product development, as it helps to ensure that the product meets the needs of its intended users and stakeholders. However, this is often easier said than done, as requirements are constantly changing and evolving over time. In addition, different stakeholders may have competing priorities or conflicting requirements, which can lead to delays and rework if not addressed early on in the process. IBM Engineering Requirements Management (formerly DOORS) provides a comprehensive solution for managing requirements with greater efficiency and accuracy. It assists in the gathering, documenting, and tracking requirements throughout the development lifecycle to ensure the final product meets stakeholder needs. Its features include collaboration tools, traceability analysis, and customizable reporting and dashboards. Managing requirements throughout the development process is crucial to ensure everyone is working on the same requirements, and there is clear auditability. IBM Engineering Requirements Management DOORS Next is a web-based tool that supports complex requirements such as IoT. It provides benefits such as automatic notification of changes, and the leverage of Watson AI to improve quality. Effective requirements management drives better insights, improves collaboration, and enables better development of complex products.

Workflow Management

IBM Engineering Workflow Management is an agile project management tool that allows teams to plan, track and manage their work using custom or SAFe processes, resulting in faster release cycles. Workflow management is a critical part of software development, providing teams with a framework to manage the various tasks and processes involved in the development lifecycle. IBM Engineering Workflow Management (EWM) provides a comprehensive solution for managing agile, traditional, and hybrid software development methodologies. EWM allows teams to track and manage work items, automate workflows, and collaborate on development activities. It also provides a range of features to enhance visibility, including customizable dashboards and reports, project health and risk indicators, and integration with other development tools. Effective workflow management improves team productivity, accelerates time-to-market, and enhances the overall quality of software products.

Test Management

IBM Engineering Test Management is a comprehensive solution that enables teams to ensure product quality and reliability by providing end-to-end test asset management, from requirements to defects, and automation to speed project schedules. Effective test management is vital for the success of software development projects, as it involves planning, organizing, and executing tests to ensure software products meet requirements and perform as intended. With IBM Engineering Test Management, testing teams can define, track, and manage test artifacts and results, automate test execution, and integrate with other development tools. The solution supports various testing methodologies and provides real-time visibility into the progress and quality of testing activities, enabling teams to deliver high-quality software products on time and within budget. The tool also provides features like automated traceability, predefined reports, and the ability to create a read-only snapshot of the test plan. By adopting an integrated test solution like IBM Engineering Test Management, teams can reduce costs, maximize efficiency, and deliver quality products.

Systems Design

IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody offers a collaborative environment for systems engineers to design, model, and simulate complex systems and ensure that products meet requirements. It supports UML, SysML, UAF, AUTOSAR, and defense frameworks. Effective systems design can improve system performance, reliability, and reduce costs. IBM’s Rational Software Architect provides an integrated development environment that supports the entire system design process. Systems design involves selecting appropriate hardware, software, and communication technologies, and designing them into a coherent system. IBM Engineering Systems Design Rhapsody provides diverse teams with collaborative tools to analyze requirements, optimize design decisions, and validate functionality early in the development lifecycle. Key benefits include modeling support, requirements modeling, safety standard development, and static checking.

At DataSkill, we believe that IBM ELM is an excellent choice for teams looking to improve efficiency, reduce development costs, and accelerate time to market. With this solution, you can deliver products faster, with higher quality, and meet your compliance obligations. Contact DataSkill to discuss your particular business needs.