Posted by: RationalRDM | May 16, 2011

More time to enjoy the garden: Automating document generation and metrics reporting

While mowing the lawn this weekend, I couldn’t help thinking how much I love the new lawnmower we recently purchased. While it would have taken a couple of hours to do the front and back of the house with our old one,  I can now do it in a fraction of the time with a lot less effort expended. It cuts so much better and the grass collector is great – no more raking to do. Added to that the ‘easi-reel’ feature for storing the power cord, really is ‘easi’ – no more tangled cable (and believe me I can tangle anything!). All in all, I like that it does more for me, leaving me more time to enjoy the garden rather than on maintaining it.

I always get the impression that there is the same desire from business analysts and systems engineers when it comes to producing documentation or metrics from requirements data. Even if an organization has moved to mostly working online within a dedicated requirements management tool, there is usually the need to produce nicely formatted reports for management or customer review. And when this is the case, you don’t want to be spending lots of time and effort to extract, assemble and format the data that you’ve already captured and structured in the requirements management tool.

Fortunately this is an area where vendors and users have come up with ways to automate document generation and metrics reporting, to make it easier and quicker, leaving you more time to concentrate on getting the product or application delivered on time and to customer needs (or sunbath in the garden!).

At the forthcoming Innovate 2011 conference (in Orlando, Florida, June 5 -9), several of the Requirements Definition & Management track sessions will focus on document generation, reporting and metrics:

  • Michael Sutherland of General Dynamics Land Systems will talk about ‘Using the IBM Rational Publishing Engine to Streamline the Document Generation Process’. Michael will describe how Rational Publishing Engine has helped General Dynamics reduce document generation time by 70 percent;
  • Joseph Dress from Constellation Software Engineering will discuss metrics that can be obtained from requirements data, how he automated collection of those metrics from IBM Rational DOORS and demonstrate the metrics achieved on the Goddard-built Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) project; and
  • Bill Betz from IBM will show how to produce out-of-the-box and customized metrics reports and documents from IBM Rational Requirements Composer.

To see details of all the Requirements Definition & Management track sessions and the conference as a whole, and to register (use code RDM11 to get $100 off your registration fee) please visit the Innovate 2011 conference website.

Right, I’m off to enjoy lunch on my newly mowed lawn 🙂

Andy Gurd,  Go-to-Market Manager, IBM Rational.

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