March 14, 2012

Make Requirement Baselines Automatic

Requirements Management
Application Lifecycle Management

Requirement snapshots in TestTrack are a great way to baseline requirement documents as they move through the creation, review, approval and implementation phase. Here's an example of a  straightforward workflow for requirement documents, where we draft, review, approve, then implement the requirement document. [caption id="attachment_11105" align="aligncenter" width="581" caption="Simple requirements document workflow diagram"][/caption] Creating snapshots at specific milestones in the workflow can help with reviews, and are also useful historically to know with certainty when a specific requirement was added, removed, or changed. A few possible milestones to use in this workflow would be when the document enters the "In Review," "Awaiting Approval," and "Approved" states. With TestTrack automation rules, you can quickly and easily configure the workflow so snapshots are taken automatically as the document moves through the workflow, removing the need for someone to do that (or forget to do it) manually. To automate the snapshot process, go to Tools > Administration > Automation Rules, select Requirement Documents from the Type list and then click the Triggers tab. You're going to create a new rule by clicking Add, entering a rule name, and then clicking the Trigger When tab. Scroll down and select the appropriate workflow state change action. For this example, we'll set up a rule to snapshot the document after it's approved. Lastly, click the Actions tab and add a Create Snapshot action. Be sure to give the snapshot a label so that anyone viewing the snapshot later will know why it was created.

[caption id="attachment_11107" align="aligncenter" width="256" caption="Set trigger condition for snapshot"][/caption][caption id="attachment_11108" align="aligncenter" width="256" caption="Add a create snapshot action"][/caption]

Once you have snapshots in place, it's a cinch to go back and look at the history of a document. Simply open the requirement document, go to the Snapshots tab, pick the versions you want to compare and click Differences. More on that later, but here's a quick peak at what the differences report looks like: additions in green, deletions in red. [caption id="attachment_11111" align="aligncenter" width="512" caption="Requirement differences report"][/caption]