Sennheiser Relies on Helix ALM to Accelerate Its Compliance Management and Agile Processes

For over ten years, Sennheiser has relied on Helix ALM to accelerate the development-to-release process, automate compliance reporting, and support their transition to Agile development. The company developed increasingly innovative, complex products due to Helix ALM’s ability to link all requirements, test cases, test runs, and defects for their globally distributed development teams.

Accelerated Development-To-Release Process With Helix ALM

Regulatory Compliance

Helps Sennheiser stay compliant with industry regulations from around the world.

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Agile Adoption

Ability to respond faster to the needs of the customers by establishing stable, self-organized teams.

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End-To-End Traceability

Prevents delays or deletions of key product data with real-time, multi-user access.

Project quality managers and testers love the possibilities

“to create test cases and document the results of repeated tests in test runs. Reporting capabilities for test campaigns are also appreciated.”

 

A Heritage of Audio Excellence

Sennheiser is a world leader in quality audio products. Founded in 1945, Sennheiser develops and manufactures innovative headphones, microphones, and wireless transmission systems.

The company is active in more than 50 countries and operates its own production facilities in Germany, Ireland, and the United States. Sennheiser has hundreds of developers focused on continuously transforming their audio products.

Held Back By Manual Lifecycle Management

Sennheiser used “pencil and paper” and Excel spreadsheets for issue tracking across their software and hardware development processes. This slow, manual method had several flaws:

  • Prone to error and accidental data deletion.
  • Made workflow management difficult.
  • Hindered traceability.
  • Limited access to one user at a time.

In addition to managing issues in Excel, the Sennheiser team also had to manage requirements and test cases manually. They needed a more efficient, transparent workflow, and something stronger than spreadsheets to overcome the problems in their development process.

Adding Helix ALM Made Development Better

Sennheiser originally adopted Helix IM to improve their issue tracking and bug reporting capabilities. Issues could be assigned through the tool. And at any given moment, the team could see the workflow and who was working on what.

As their needs grew, Sennheiser added Helix TCM for test case management, and then Helix RM for requirements management. Today, they have the entire end-to-end development coverage of Helix ALM for both their software and hardware development process.

Helix ALM supports Sennheiser through:

  • Automatic traceability of entire development process.
  • Accelerated development due to multi-user access to all project data.
  • Simplified management of multi-technology products.
  • Automated compliance management and reporting.
  • Support for Agile teams – both software and hardware development.

Meeting Compliance Requirements Is Easy

Helix ALM also helps Sennheiser stay compliant with industry regulations from around the world. Because the company makes wireless audio products, they must comply with several countries’ regulations regarding signal interference, electromagnetic compatibility, and other safety concerns.

The Sennheiser team manages all these compliance requirements in Helix ALM.

Their teams now have a better overview of the risks and regulatory concerns they must address. They can also look up what measures were taken on previous projects to find the details they need. And because Helix ALM automatically links all project artifacts, traceability is much easier.

Going Agile With Helix ALM

Sennheiser soon discovered that Helix ALM supported their transition into Agile development methods. The transition happened in phases. Now, the company has many Agile projects. The teams working on those projects find Helix ALM well-suited for Agile because it allows them to manage and view the status of stories, tasks, and defects in one tool.

Helix RM is used heavily on these projects. System engineers use Helix RM to manage technical requirements of complex, multi-technology products, such as the company’s TeamConnect Wireless system.

TeamConnect Wireless is Sennheiser’s conferencing solution. And it has hundreds of technical requirements due to its connectivity capabilities. On projects like this with a multitude of features, Sennheiser’s teams write the requirements as user stories in Helix RM.

A “Story Backlog” folder is created, where the stories are listed and ranked according to their priority. This folder view also contains sprint folders (one for each sprint) to store the stories that will be worked on during the respective sprint. Reports like burndown charts can be generated automatically to indicate the progress within the sprint.

A project like this would have been impossible using Excel documents. But with Helix ALM Sennheiser’s team became more Agile, enabling them to easily handle more complex product development.

Entire Lifecycle Support With Helix ALM

Now Sennheiser’s workflow is more efficient and transparent. They have automatic, end-to-end traceability of their entire product development lifecycle. And because Helix ALM allows real-time, multi-user access, there are no more delays or accidental deletions of key product data.

Sennheiser’s team now manages the development of increasingly complex, multi-technology products — and maintains their place as one of the leading innovators of audio technology.

And Helix ALM enables them every step of the way.

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