Image Blog ALM Ten Tips Importing Word Requirement Documents
May 18, 2012

Ten Tips for Importing Word Requirement Documents into Helix RM

Requirements Management
Application Lifecycle Management

Many organizations maintain their requirements documents in Microsoft Word. So, when they switch to a requirements management tool, they need to transfer their requirements documents.

But it doesn't need to be a daunting process — if you have the right tool. With Helix RM, it's easy to import and retain your existing requirements documents. 

Not using Helix RM yet? Try it free today >


How to Transfer Requirements Documents

1. Prepare Your Current Requirement Document

Taking the time to prepare the document helps you transfer requirements smoothly.

You'll want to use formatting compatible with Helix RM, which means you can't use numbered lists, multi-level lists, tables, or hyperlinks. Also be sure to remove comments and tracked changes.

2. Configure Helix RM Before Importing

Before you import, create a new Helix RM project for testing purposes. And configure the requirement types your organization uses.

You will need to use trial and error to figure out the best way to import your Word documents. That's why we suggest using the test project until you have successfully imported the documents.

3. Select an Import Interpretation Method

When you import a Word document, Helix RM divides the document into individual requirements.

You can choose to create requirements in Helix RM based on styles used in the document or list items. The method you select in the Microsoft Word Import Wizard depends on the structure of the Word document and the type of requirements the document includes.

Style interpretation uses each paragraph as a requirement while outline interpretation creates a new requirement for every list item.

The best way to decide which method to use? Preview them in the import wizard and decide which works better for you.

4. Establish a Requirement Hierarchy

Helix RM uses list levels in the Word document to determine the hierarchical level of a requirement. If you choose to use Word styles but do not have the document in outline form you may need to modify styles in order to create the hierarchy.

An easy way to do this is to import styles from a Word template in Helix RM.

First, open the requirement document in the templates directory (C:Program FilesSeapineTestTracktemplates). Import the Requirement Level 1 through Requirement Level 9 paragraph styles into your Word requirement document. Finally, make sure to base the styles you are using for the requirement summary text on the corresponding requirement level styles. (i.e., heading 1-requirement level 1, heading 2-requirement level 2).

5. Preview the Import

The preview gives you the opportunity to see exactly how the requirements will be imported into Helix RM. You can make adjustments in the preview to ensure requirements are imported correctly before you start the import.

6. Create an Import Template

Once satisfied with the import preview, create an import template to save the import settings. The next time you import a document, you can save time by loading the import template and using the saved settings.

7. Test the Import

After you have finalized the import settings, import the Word document into the test project. Any errors will be displayed to help you troubleshoot.

If the import is successful the document and the requirements are added to Helix RM.

Open the requirements document in the Specification Document Window and check the document closely to make sure that you are satisfied with the import. If you need to make changes, you can reimport as many times are you need to get the desired results.

8. Import the Document into the Helix RM Project

Import the document into the Helix RM project in the production environment. Load the import template to use the same settings from the test project.

9. Create a Requirement Document Snapshot

A snapshot is useful to compare a requirement document to other versions of the document to view the differences.

To create a snapshot, select the document and choose Activities > Create Snapshot.

10. Update the Imported Requirement Fields and Status

Prior to other users working with requirements be sure to set requirements fields and move requirements to the correct status.

Set requirements tools by choosing Tools > Configure List Values and select the field type. To save time you can change multiple requirements at once by choosing Activities > Bulk Requirement Changes.

You may also need to enter requirement activities (from the Activities menu) to make sure requirements are in the correct workflow state.

Not using Helix RM yet? Try it free today >

Need help writing requirements? Get the Guide >