Why You Should Stop Using Microsoft Office
July 19, 2016

Why You Should Stop Using Microsoft Office to Manage Your R&D Process

Agile
Application Lifecycle Management

Software Development Requires R&D

Research and development (R&D) is a critical phase of the application lifecycle. Especially if you're launching a new product.

So having the right R&D process is important. But too many teams are using Microsoft Office for R&D...

Why Microsoft Office Is Bad for R&D Processes

Microsoft Office is bad for your R&D process. Word documents and Excel spreadsheets are manually tools. 

That means:

  • You can't manage change.
  • You lose control over the process.

There's one really big problem with using Microsoft Office for R&D. You can't manage and trace development artifacts across the lifecycle. You have to manually track down requirements documents. And you have to manually create connections between those requirements and tests (and issues, as they arise).

That leads to a huge effort on your part. It's hard enough to do as a one-off Waterfall event. But it becomes increasingly difficult the more changes you introduce — especially later in the lifecycle.

Agile relies on an ability to make iterative changes and adaptations as the project progresses. So, this complexity makes Agile nearly impossible.

How to Improve Your R&D Process

The only way to break down the barriers to Agile adoption is to stop using Microsoft Office.

An automated tool — such as Helix ALM — makes R&D go more smoothly.

That means:

  • You'll always be able to manage change.
  • You'll be in control of the entire process.

Helix ALM makes it easy to manage and trace development artifacts across the lifecycle. Requirements link to tests. Tests link to issues. And issues link back to requirements. That makes it easy to know what's going on — and analyze the impact of change

Plus, this traceability makes compliance easy.

So, you'll be able to meet the requirements of the EU, FDA, IEC, ISO, HIPAA, ISO, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Specifically, you can meet or exceed FDA regulations for:

  • 21 CFR Part 11
  • 21 CFR Part 820 QSR compliance
  • IEC 62304 & 60601
  • ISO 14971 & 13485
  • cGMP
  • GxP assessments

R&D For Agile Development Teams

Improving your R&D process can also help your team adopt Agile. Interested in learning more? 

Break the Barriers to Agile