A best practice in administering Jama Connect is to create a Template Project that can be reused/duplicated as necessary.
Creating a Template Project has the following benefits:
- Standardize methodology
- A Template Project is a good way to enforce standardization of the requirements management and testing processes by using the same data templates and relationship rule configuration.
- Each team may operate in their own project in Jama which will allow flexibility and customization at the project level for things like a project tree structure, tags, release list, and workflows.
- Increase speed for setting up new project teams
- Remove the need to recreate project configuration each time a new Jama project begins. This saves time and reduces redundant work.
- Decrease context switching between projects
- Create a familiar way of working across Jama projects.
- Teams do not need to learn new terminology or think about new configurations when switching between Jama projects.
- The Template Project should feel familiar to teams that have been involved in other Jama projects, leading to faster set up, training, and adoption.
- Enable reuse across multiple projects
- Teams can take advantage of Jama's reuse and synchronization capabilities, allowing them to easily reuse assets and compare across projects for differences.
- Leverage custom scripts (that perform functions outside of core Jama functionality) and custom exports across multiple projects.
This article will provide a step by step guide to creating a Template Project. Individuals must have Org Admin rights to complete the steps outlined in this article. The steps covered will be...
- Determine the appropriate development methodology for your teams
- Tag existing Item Types that best fit your development methodology or create new item types
- Create a Relationship Rule to fit your teams development methodology
- Create the actual Template Project and associate with Relationship Rule
- Create the Project Explorer Tree (filing cabinet/organization of data) for the Template Project
- Create workflows, if needed. Remember the connection between workflows, and picklists in Jama
- Duplicate the Template Project for actual Production Projects
How to Execute
Step 1: Determine your methodology
The first step for all teams implementing Jama is thorough discovery. Whether organizations are using classic Systems Engineering, Agile, Hybrid, or completely unique models, teams can configure Jama Connect to align with these methodologies. Your team's methodology directly informs how your template project will be configured.
The shift into to Jama will be a large part of the discovery process...
Moving from a document-centric process to an item-based approach is key to any successful implementation of Jama. Creating a Template Project as a by-product of this discovery process will save time in the future. Existing processes, systems and methodologies can easily be copied and should seem more familiar to the execution teams.
Step 2: Determine your Item Types
Jama Connect is a database-driven, item-based platform. The shift from a document-based approach to an item-based approach is key to the discovery process and ultimately the adoption of Jama Connect within an organization.
Your team's development methodology comes into play here. Classic Systems Engineering processes might use Item Types like System Requirement, High-Level Requirement, Low-Level Requirement. Agile teams may use Strategic Themes, Software Requirements, and Epics and User Stories. Many teams use a mix.
All of these items can be uniquely described with metadata. What's the status of this item? Which team member is assigned to this particular test? These all represent fields within an Item Type. Your fields are created on a per-item basis. For example, a System Requirement may have different fields than a Subsystem Requirement.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating new Item Types...
- Go to Admin > Item Types and determine which out-of-the-box items your organization will utilize. Leverage the description field (click "Edit" and add your organization's name to the Item Type description). This helps provide context and can provide another level of categorization for the item type.
- Consider deleting any Items not in use. This can clutter the Item Types view and can make navigation tricky. Only make items that are needed within the project visible. https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/project-administrator/manage-projects/configure-project-item-types.html
- Leverage recommended 'Widgets' per item type. Widgets are assigned when creating new Item Types or editing existing Item Types. Widgets add additional functionality to Items. It is recommended that the following widgets are made available: Activities, Relationships, Versions, and Synchronized item widgets. More detail can be found here - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/item-types/item-type-widgets/enable-or-disable-item-widgets.html.
- Create fields on each item type. There are several field options to choose from when creating new fields. More detail can be found here - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/fields/add,-edit-and-delete-fields/custom-fields.html
For more on information on Item Types, browse the Item section in the Jama help guide - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/item-types.html
Step 3: Create your Relationship Rule
Relationships in Jama are established between discrete items (e.g., Stakeholder Requirement A to System Requirement X). A key step in creating a project template is determining what relationships are permitted based on your methodology. For example, an organization may have a process that dictates a Stakeholder Requirement can relate to a System Requirement, but should not relate directly to a Subsystem Requirement. Relationship Rules established by the Jama Administrator are applied to projects to drive conformity to the desired model of decomposition. Setting up the relationship rule for your item types is critical as it enforces the methodology your organization wants to utilize in Jama. Applying the relationship rule to the Template Project ensures that it is also applied to any projects generated from the template.
Here is a link to the Jama help section on the Relationship Rule Diagram - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/manage-relationships/set-up-relationship-rules.html
Step 4: Create the Template Project
It's time to create the Template Project.
Give the Template Project a Project Key and Name. The Template Project can also be placed in its own Project folder for another layer of organization. You can easily apply appropriate permissions to template projects to limit read/write access. More information on permissions can be found here - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/reference/permissions/access-permissions.html.
Once the new project has been saved, click "Configure Project" and go to Item Types tab. Configure the visible item types at the project level and remove any unwanted or unused Item Types from the Template Project.
Here is the help article on Item Configuration at the Project level - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/project-administrator/manage-projects/configure-project-item-types.html.
After applying these changes, go back to Admin > Relationships and click to add the new Template Project with the Relationship Rule created in Step 3.
You can find more information on Project configuration in the help guide - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/projects.html.
Step 5: Create template project structure
The backend structure for the Template Project has been created. Now its time to create the structure of the Project Explorer Tree.
It's important to set up this Project Explorer Tree structure in the Template Project because this structure will be copied from the template project into new projects and therefore serves as the starting point for any new efforts. This is a key benefit to having a template as it saves time when setting up new projects.
Think of this as a "filing cabinet" for the project, where all of the underlying Items will live in containers. This structure allows teams to stay organized. Items can be organized into different containers (containers which may represent different functional areas of the product or system).
New items can be added in each relevant section in the Tree. New items can also be imported via MS Word or MS Excel to create new items of a particular type and at a particular level.
Here is what a complete Project Tree might look like...
Here is a link to the Jama help section detailing how to set up new containers (Components, Sets, and Folders) within Jama - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/create-content/containers.html.
Step 6: Determine Status Workflow for Item Type(s)
NOTE: This step is optional and based on your team's needs.
Jama's Workflow capability allows Admins to constrain and direct item status values for alignment with a state transitioning model typical of requirements. The Workflow constrains the "next available" state based on an item's current state. For example, a requirement in Draft may transition to Review, while an item in Review may transition to Accepted or Rejected. Workflows are defined per Item Type by the Jama Admin. Item Types included in a project template will automatically have the Workflow applied if configured by the Admin.
Workflows work in conjunction with Picklists in Jama. Before Workflow is configured for a particular Item Type, a Picklist must first be created and a new field created on the desired Item Type, associated with this Picklist.
Refer to the help guide on how to create and edit Picklists - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/administration/organization-administrator/manage-content/fields/pick-lists/add-a-pick-list.html.
And refer to the help guide on how to create and edit Workflows https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/collaborate/workflows/projects-workflows.html.
Step 7: Create your Production Project!
At this point, the Template Project is ready to be used.
In Admin > Projects, select the Template Project. Under Actions select 'Duplicate Project'.
Below are the available configuration options, each explained:
- New Project Name - provide a name for the project that is easily identifiable for the teams using Jama.
- Project Key - Set an alphanumeric project key. This key is unique and will show up on all items, as part of the unique item ID generated by Jama.
- Check items to include in copy - Select all settings to copy over. This way, additional configurations will be copied over to the new project.
- Do Not Check "Synchronize". Synchronization may be valuable for another use case (e.g. creating a variant from an existing product) but this should not be used when creating a new Project from the Template. For more information on Synchronization functionality within Jama, see the help guide - https://help.jamasoftware.com/ah/en/manage-content/reuse-and-synchronization/synchronization.html.
- Do Not Check "Create Relationships." This function is more relevant if duplicating an actual production project with content where you want a relationship to the source.
- Click "Duplicate Project". The new project is created in Jama and is using all the various item types, relationship rule configuration, and project structure you've set up in the template.