Change Request Workflow in Jama

Amanda Jennewein
Amanda Jennewein
  • Updated

Updated: May 6, 2024

Audience: Everyone

Introduction:

This workflow aims to simplify the analysis and updating of requirements based on a Change Request in Jama. The primary objectives of this workflow are:

  • Improve visibility into the full impact of a Change Request (CR)
  • Reduce time to review and collaborate on requirement changes with stakeholders
  • Enhance ability to audit and compare versions of requirements 

This workflow is presented as an alternative to the standard CR functionality. It is customized beyond Jama's out-of-box CR functionality (for reference, the standard CR functionality is explained here).  

Preconditions

To start this workflow, your Jama Admin must have the following setup:

  • Change the request item type to one with relevant attributes and status values for your organization.
  • The relationships widget is enabled, while the Change Request widget is disabledThis is because the Change Request widget, although a legacy function with some valuable features, is less potent than using Relationships in Jama to link Reqs to CRs.

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  • If Relationship Rules are utilized, relevant rules are established to allow links between the Change Request item type and impacted items (e.g., Requirements).

Create CR and View the Impact

When a CR is being considered (before approval), the Change Owner will create the CR in Jama. CRs could also be sourced from other systems and synced into Jama via our Jama Integrations Hub or API integration.

 

Once the CR information is in Jama, the Change Owner will create downstream relationships with individual requirements, specs, etc., potentially impacted by the change. This will allow teams to quickly see complete traceability impact across the project and help assess whether or not to move forward with the CR.

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Create Relationships to Imoacted Items

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  1. Select a Change Request

  2.  Navigate to the Relationships Widget

  3. Select the button "Relate Items."

  4. Find items to Relate, double-click to add a relationship

View Impact Analysis

After establishing relationships, the Change Owner runs Impact Analysis reports to determine with colleagues whether or not to proceed with the CR.

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Analyze Analysis Report

As multiple traceability layers exist, any CR could have a significant “ripple effect.” The Change Owner needs to review every item in the impact analysis to determine if they need to change per the CR

  1. If Yes, create a direct relationship in Jama from that item to the CR
  2. If No, move on to the next item

The result of this analysis effort will be that all impacted items should directly relate to the CR.

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Create CR Filter and Branch the Impacted Requirements

Create CR Filter

The Change Owner will create a filter in Jama that shows the CR and all items related to the CR that need to be changed. It will serve as a quick reference for these items, allowing for efficient baselining and review of impacted items by stakeholders.

 

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If an existing CR filter already exists, users can right-click to duplicate the filter and change the CR # reference in the filter criteria: 

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Now, Change Owners and stakeholders have a filter to see quickly and baseline items related to the CR: Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 4.16.14 PM.png

Branching requirements

Option 1: Baseline

Jama Baselines capture "point in time" snapshots of requirements. If a change request is not approved, it is possible to undo any changes or modifications that have been suggested or made. Before making changes to impacted requirements, the Change Owner should create an initial baseline to capture a "before" snapshot of requirement versions.

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After capturing an initial “before” baseline, all the requirements that need to change should be related to the CR. This will enable the Change Owner to update the impacted requirements and review the updates with stakeholders. It is important to note that all users can see the changes made to the requirements. To make it easier to track the changes, it is recommended to use a workflow status on impacted requirements, such as marking them as “Draft” instead of “Approved.”

Option 2: Reuse

This option allows the Change Owner to create a physical branch in Jama instead of using a baseline. This branch can exist in a separate tree area or a Jama project. 

 

This approach requires more manual processing but is beneficial because the mainline requirements remain unchanged while a separate branch is edited and reviewed. This is helpful if other work, such as testing, continues in parallel while the requirement changes are considered.

 

To Reuse, right-click the CR and choose "Reuse."  Ensure you click the option  "Include Related Items and Mirror Relationships." Ensuring you are copying the CR and the related requirements.  You may also create an Advanced Reuse rule to handle particular circumstances in your item structure.

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After branching the requirements, you can update them with proposed changes.

Update Requirements with Proposed Changes

Change Owners will use the power of Jama’s Review Center and version control to iterate the CR changes and collect feedback. The benefit of using Jama for this process includes:

  • Less Formatting and Rework
    • Jama automatically creates versions and comparison views
  • Increased Collaboration
    • Jama provides a single place for all feedback and conversation
    • No more track changes buried in email
    • Everyone participates on their own time and builds on each other’s feedback.
  • Reduce Meeting Time
    • Resolve significant questions or issues before the face-to-face design work sessions.

Setup a Review

Find a relevant CXR and Send it for Review. 

For Option 1 - Branch with Baseline, you may right-click the CR filter to Send it for Review. 

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For Option 2 - Branch and Reuse, go to the reused branch of requirements. 

To begin, set a deadline and optional settings, and invite yourself for the first iteration of the review. This allows Jama to baseline the requirements to be included in the review and allows you to see how the Review will appear to your stakeholders. Later, you will publish a new review revision with the proposed updates and include stakeholders for feedback. 

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Once you publish the Review, it will appear in the Review Center. Note - An administration can configure which fields are displayed. By default, it is Name/Description only. 

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Author/Edit the Items in the Review

Once the requirements are contained within a Review, the Change Owner can start changing the criteria affected in the CR. They can make changes directly in the Project view or Review Center view. 

 

In Review Center, click on an individual requirement to go to the single item view and click Edit:

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Publish Review to Stakeholders for Feedback

After the Change Owner has edited the requirements, they can be published to invite feedback from the Stakeholders.Screenshot 2024-05-06 at 4.35.15 PM.png

Change Owners may assign stakeholders either a Reviewer or Approver role:

  • Reviewers need to add comments but not officially approve the change
  • Approvers add comments and also mark  ‘Approved’ or ‘Needs More Work

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Facilitate Stakeholder Review

Stakeholders will receive an email notification to participate in the CR review. When they open the review, they see the “proposed” requirement changes but can easily see a side-by-side comparison to the baseline version of the requirement: 

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Stakeholders may add comments and mark items as reviewed. 

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The Change Owner may publish several revisions of the Review based on feedback. The Review closes when either:

  1. All Reviewers/Approvers approve all items in the Review.
  2. The Review deadline has been reached.
  3. Alternatively, the Change Owner who initiated the Review may close the Review manually.

Participants in the Review can always refer back to revision 1 of the Review to see the original baseline of the requirements:

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Approve or Reject CR

Based on the Review feedback and analysis of the schedule and cost, teams may choose to Approve/Implement the CR or Reject/Close the CR. How you do this depends on which option you select for branching the requirements.

Option 1 - Branch using Baseline

  • To approve, the proposed changes have already been authored, so update the CR and Requirement statuses to show that the incorporated changes have been approved.
  • To Reject, go to the original Baseline taken for the CR and choose "Replace Current items with Baseline."
    • This will roll back any proposed change edits in the Requirements.
      • Update CR to the appropriate status.

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Option 2 - Branch using Reuse

  • To approve, right-click the CR branch and choose "view synced items."

    • Select "Compare," and Jama will show differences between implemented requirements and proposed changes per the CR.
    • Synchronize changes from the CR workspace to the mainline.

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  • To reject a CR, you need to update its status. However, you should not synchronize any changes made to it.

  • Leave the CR branch as documented in the analysis for future reference. 

Create a Baseline Comparison Report for Audit History

Once the stakeholders approve the proposed requirement changes, Jama’s Baseline tab will show the initial baseline before any changes and all the iterations made during the Review Center collaboration. Please note that there may be multiple Review iterations. The “last” Review baseline is the final iteration of requirements per stakeholder approval. You can compare the first and last Baselines to see the before/after view for a specific CR.

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To generate a before/after view, the Change Owner can create a Baseline Comparison report in Jama. This report is a Word document that compares existing requirements and changes based on the CR side-by-side. 

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Additional Information and Resources:

 

Please feel free to leave feedback in the comments below.

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