ENOVIA’s Pragmatic Nod to Federated Requirements Management

This post includes an overview of the industry's needs for requirements management, a background and overview of the requirements management capabilities of ENOVIA and Chad Jackson's commentary and analysis of those capabilities.

ENOVIA’s Pragmatic Nod to Federated Requirements Management

This post includes an overview of the industry’s needs for requirements management, a background and overview of the requirements management capabilities of ENOVIA and Chad Jackson’s commentary and analysis of those capabilities.

Storified by Chad Jackson · Wed, Nov 14 2012 07:05:56

System engineering: it seems like recently that’s been the hot topic. Attend a user conference of one of the PLM software providers and you’ll see its been added to the buzzword bingo game. But every software provider offers the same capabilities to manage requirements, right? Well, actually, that’s not quite the case, as I found out when I talked to the folks at Dassault Systèmes. However, before we talk about the requirements management capabilities of ENOVIA, let’s look at what capabilities the industry needs.

Capability Needed for Requirements Management

At the most basic level, requirements management is about defining requirements and then then assigning them to different aspects of the product. This relationship allows designers or engineers to fulfill those needs by designing those aspects of the product accordingly. For much more information on such practices, check out the requirements management entry in wikipedia. It contains many other references to relevant information as well.
Requirements management – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaRequirements management is the process of documenting, analyzing, tracing, prioritizing and agreeing on requirements and then controlling…
However, there are more advanced practices in managing requirements. Specifically, system engineering design practices call for additional intermediary representations that sit between requirements and aspects of the product. This includes functions, which represent a capability that could be delivered in many ways, and logical representations. The system engineering entry in wikipedia as well as the publications from the International Council on System Engineering (INCOSE) go into greater detail on these practices.
Systems engineering – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaSystems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering focusing on how complex engineering projects should be designed and ma…
INCOSE – Annual Report

Background of ENOVIA’s Requirements Management

Requirements management capabilities were first introduced in ENOVIA back in the 2002-2003 timeframe. However, the current solution ENOVIA Requirement Central was not offered until 2008. It has been enhanced in every release since that time.
Dassault Systèmes ENOVIA’s Requirement Central and other offerings made more strides forward when the company acquired Geensoft in June 22nd, 2010.
Dassault Systèmes Acquires Geensoft, an Embedded Systems Developer by Desktop EngineeringMCAD/CAM: Expands V6 portfolio to digitally validate embedded software in intelligent vehicles.
Geensoft, which provided numerous tools that enable software engineers to develop embedded systems, provided a number of advanced requirements management capabilities. Since the acquisition, some of those capabilities have been integrated into ENOVIA Requirements Central.

Core Capabilities Provided by ENOVIA Requirements Central

This section is meant to communicate the factual capabilities of the software being reviewed. It cites and embeds information from the provider of the software.
So what exactly does ENOVIA Requirements Central do? Its most core capabilities lets users create and then centrally manage both customer needs and requirements. This enables central accessibility as well as tracking and managing versions and iterations of needs and requirements. That covers the basics of any requirements management solution.
Requirements aren’t mean to live on their own, however. As stated in the wikipedia entries and INCOSE publications, they are essentially meant to be allocated to things so engineers can fulfill them with the form, fit and function of designs. As such, requirements in ENOVIA’s Requirements Central can be associated with CAD models that are modeled in CATIA. But the interoperability across the portfolio goes much further than that. Really any thing in ENOVIA, CATIA, SIMULIA and DELMIA products can be associated with these requirements.
As INCOSE publications cite, some organizations that practice more advanced system engineering practices need intermediary representations such as functions and logical definitions. ENOVIA Requirement Central works with other applications from Dassault Systèmes V6 PLM offers to allow users to create these representations and then allocate requirements to them as well as allocate them to other things as well. The folks at Dassault Systèmes call this a Requirements, Functional, Logical and Physical (RFLP) definition.
When it comes to requirements, traceability and analysis is also very important. These kind of reports let users understand which requirements have yet to be allocated, which parts must fulfill which requirements and the like. ENOVIA Requirements Central has several out-of-the-box reports such as a Requirements Validation Matrix, Requirements to Requirements Traceability Matrix, Requirements Fulfillment Matrix and, Derivation Traceability Report. However, there are other reports available.
For more details on ENOVIA Requirements Central, you can visit: http://www.3ds.com/products/enovia/products/enovia-v6/v6-portfolio/d/collaborative-innovation/s/governance/p/requirements-central/?cHash=8f75bc2f17206984b4b11e7ed693f8e7.

Standout Capabilities of ENOVIA Requirements Central

A capability that stood out to me when I saw it was the integration between ENOVIA Requirements Central and document editing tools. In a document, the integration analyzes the structure of a document and can then create requirements from them in an automated fashion. Here is a quick video that shows how the integration works. It is not the highest quality, however it demonstrates the functionality well enough.
ENOVIA Requirements Managementkgoncharov
A related capabilities that is provided through the Reqtify product is the ability to connect to other software systems and applications that manage requirements. Reqtify essentially provides an aggregated bi-directional connection to and from requirements across many software systems and applications. It does this for document editors, requirements management systems, configuration management tools, integrated development environments, CAD applications and UML/SysML applications. By doing so, you can gain full traceability across many federated views of requirements and how they map down to physical items.
Last but not least, users in CATIA can interact with requirements in a fairly complete fashion. They can not only see which requirements have been allocated to the designs they have open, but they can navigate allocations forwards and backwards across the Requirements, Functional, Logical and Physical (RFLP) definition. They can also take action on them, editing the allocations.

Commentary and Analysis

This section represents the opinion of the post author in the form of commentary and analysis.
OK. So what’s my take?
The first thing that springs to my mind is pragmatism. Software providers can sit back, say everyone’s stuff should be managed centrally and wait for everyone to make the migration. However, that isn’t a very realistic view. The truth is that product development is messy. Sometimes really messy.  The ability to use Reqtify to leave requirements where they sit today is terribly pragmatic, even if you want to consolidate to a single system to manage requirements one day. Getting a single view of that network of requirements, functions and items is really important. Interestingly enough, the vision here is parallel to PTC’s for PPMLink, which sits on SharePoint and integrates to other systems that manage projects. It’s also similar to Siemens PLM’s Active Workspace, which has the ability to integrate with other systems and display enterprise information on top of 3D models.
The second thing that strikes me is the integration with document editing tools. I’m a firm believer that most knowledge workers in product development today still primarily rely on documents and spreadsheets. Providing a way to link to those documents is a huge enabler in that light. Siemens PLM provides a similar integration to this.
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Third, the breadth of capability in ENOVIA Requirements Central is impressive. I looked up some of their training materials, which is often a hint at what the software can really do, and was excited to see how realistically the training curriculum reflected a real-world scenario. Here’s the link: http://www.3ds.com/fileadmin/EDUCATION/PDF/V6courses/CATIA/RMT.pdf. Below are the goals for the class.

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

– Create Product Lines, Models, and Products

– Capture the requirements from an MS Word requirement specification document into the ENOVIA database

– Connect the captured requirements to a model

– Commit the Candidate Product Requirements to a Product

– Create Decomposed and Derived requirements

– Create test plans to verify that the technical solution meets the requirements

– Create hardware and software builds for the product revision

– Revise a released requirement using an Engineering Change

My Takeaway

My takeaway is that ENOVIA Requirements Central looks to be a very comprehensive solution. It seems to support many of the design-related needs of INCOSE and other generic requirements management needs. Support of a federated approach to requirements management in particular is powerful.
My one nit would be that when compared to the INCOSE materials, this solution, like many in the industry, is loaded with capabilities that support from the front-end of the development cycle. The interoperability between ENOVIA Requirements Central and SIMULIA allow for virtual verification and validation, however, integration into more of the back end of the engineering V process with planning, data acquisition and management of those items during testing and verification would make this offering more powerful.

Summary and Questions

OK. Again, lots of information. Let’s recap.
* ENOVIA initially supported requirements management in 2002-2003. ENOVIA Requirements Central was initially offered in 2008. Dassault Systèmes acquired Geensoft and integrated their requirements capabilities, specifically around Reqtify, to enhance ENOVIA Requirements Central
* ENOVIA Requirements Central offers many core and advanced requirements management capabilities, including: centralized management and access, allocations within a functional, logical and physical network as well as reporting and analysis.
* ENOVIA Requirements Central provides some standout capabilities as well, including: support of a federated requirements management environment provided by Reqtify, integration with document editors to link to requirements and integration with CATIA to allow users to view and manage requirements.
* My takeaway is that ENOVIA Requirements Central is comprehensive solution that fulfills many of the needs of generic and INCOSE requirements management needs. It is, however, more targeted at the front end of the development process as opposed to the back end which needs more support of the testing and validation process.
Well, that’s my take. Now my turn to ask some questions. What do you see in terms of federated environments in product development? What about the use of documents in product development? Do you see either of those circumstances going away anytime soon?
Take care. Talk soon. And thanks for reading.